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The Vicariate of Kuwait is now the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia which includes Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The decree from the Holy See came into effect on May 31, 2011.
|St. Thérèse Parish, Salmiya|
2 8 t h J u l y 2 0 0 6
Dedication and Canonical Erection of
St. Thérèse Parish, Salmiya, Kuwait.
I, Bishop Camillo Ballin, Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait,
hereby, issue the following
Since the Catholic inhabitants of the place Salmiya, presently under the Holy Family Parish, Safat, require an independent parish, after much consideration and after consulting the priests of the Vicariate, I, hereby, establish Salmiya, comprising of Messila, Ras Salmiya, Salwa, Rumaithiya, Maidan Hawally, Sabah Al Salem, Mishref and Bayan as a Parish, in terms of Canon 515 of the Code of Canon Law, dedicating the Parish Church at Salmiya to St.Thérèse of the Child Jesus.
I also, hereby, appoint Rev. Father Berchmans Aruldoss, OCD as the first Parish Priest of the newly erected Parish with all the obligations and rights of a parish priest as contained in the code of Canon Law.
Given at the Curia of the Vicariate under my seal and signature on July 25, 2006, Feast of St. James, Apostle.
Sd/- Bishop Camillo Ballin, MCCI
Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait
Sd/- Fr. Joseph Edappulavan, OCD
INTRODUCTION BEFORE THE MASS
My dear friends, we have gathered here today to celebrate a great day in our life, when our Holy Redeemer Chapel will be erected as the Parish of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus. It is not just an honour, but a grace bestowed upon us, the congregation of the Holy Redeemer Chapel.
We have been wondering why our Chapel will be known henceforth as the Church of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus. St. Thérèse is a young Saint who died when she was just 24 years old, of which her last 10 years were spent as a cloistered Carmelite nun, where she had absolutely no contact with the outside world.
Despite her existence in the obscurity of a cloistered convent, she was canonized in 1925, so she is a fairly modern saint whose only claim to holiness was perfection in the smallest deeds she performed, irregardless of the sacrifices she had to make. She called it her "Little Way" to holiness.
As a child, she was quite obstinate and prone to temper tantrums, but she learned to cope with her faults and even mastered them to her advantage. She turned her faults, by self-sacrifice, into instruments for holiness. It was her little way to show her love for Jesus.
Her journal, edited and published, after her death, as the Story of a soul was an instant success with ordinary people as it taught them that holiness could be attained even in the performance of common everyday things.
She never went on any missions; never did great deeds nor performed great works and she never founded a religious order, yet she became a great saint and was also declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul the Second in 1979. She is also honoured as one of the Patron Saints of Missions and Missionaries. The other is St. Francis Xavier.
This particular saint, St. Thérèse, should appeal to our younger generation and it is with this in mind, that Bishop Camillo Ballin felt that the name was appropriate for our Parish, as St. Thérèse is a shining example of a young woman, showing us the easy way to sainthood.
Furthermore, Kuwait and the rest of the Gulf are considered Missions for Evangelization, so what better way to honour a Patroness of Missions than to have a growing missionary congregation named after her.
As Catholics, we have been called to spread the Good News of the Lord, so my dear friends, as we partake of the Eucharistic Celebration, let us remember our own missionary objectives and let us thank our Almighty God for the honour, the privilege and the grace that will be bestowed upon us, today, as we become the Parish of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus.
Let us say together, the Prayer that St. Thérèse herself has written;
this prayer that shows us her down-to-earth attitude to life
and is a perfect lesson in humility.
My Lord and my God,
I have realized that whoever
undertakes to do anything
for the sake of earthly things or
to earn the praise of others deceives himself.
Today one thing pleases the world,
What is praised on one occasion
is denounced on another.
Blessed be You, my Lord and my God,
for You are unchangeable for all eternity.
Whoever serves You faithfully to the end,
will enjoy life without end in eternity. Amen.
HOMILY OF HIS LORDSHIP BISHOP CAMILLO BALLIN, MCCI
VICAR APOSTOLIC OF KUWAIT
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I greet you all in the name of Jesus! It is always a pleasure to be present with you and to pray with you.
As we hear in today's Gospel reading, It is Jesus who always takes the initiative. When He saw that a large crowd was coming to him, He said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?" Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to Him, "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?" Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. So, we see that it is always Jesus who takes the initiative. Again, it is Jesus who takes the initiative, for when they had eaten, He said, "Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted."
Jesus, He is the beginning of our Christian life. It is He who has called us to be Christians, in the first place. On my recent trip to India, I was told that Catholics in India are just 2 percent of the Indian population, that's you, just 2 percent. Yet, why has Jesus called you out of the many to be Christians? You did not choose to be a Christian of your own accord, rather it was Jesus who took the initiative to call you, to be His disciples.
Once again, we see that it is Jesus who inspired Bishop San Miguel to secure the Chapel premises in 1974 and Bishop Francis Micallef to buy the place and unite it with the Vicariate. Again, it is Jesus who inspired me to erect this Parish, as this I have not done on my own initiative. We must thank Jesus for all this and also the two previous Bishops who have done all they could for the Chapel in the years before.
Perhaps, some of you are wondering why there was a need to change the name of the Church from Holy Redeemer to St. Thérèse. As you might know, there has been a renewal of the liturgical calendar in recent years and the Holy See has communicated to the Bishops all over the world to keep their Parishes in accordance with the calendar. The feasts of the Holy Redeemer are so many, not just one, we can celebrate it at Christmas, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost as Jesus redeems us every single day! This feast is not officially celebrated anymore. On consulting the Priests of the Vicariate, they suggested that we should dedicate the Parish Church to St. Thérèse and I agreed and accepted their choice whole-heartedly, as St. Thérèse is the Patroness of Missions and Missionaries. Kuwait has mission status as it is not a Christian country. Thus I thought that it is most appropriate to give that title to a Church in a mission area. Praying to St. Thérèse can also help us further in our everyday mission.
It was Jesus who was instrumental in the lives of the two Bishops and myself, and now, it is Jesus who is leading this Church in faith. It is always Jesus who is with us, who accompanies us to the very end. He is our Source, our life and our end.
In today's Gospel, Jesus accepts the challenge of the five loaves and two fish, knowing well that that they are not enough to feed a multitude. Yet, He performs a miracle! We see that He is performing a good deed even today by erecting this Parish in Salmiya.
I thought that it was time that the fairly large community in this area be better organized as a local community and have its own identity instead of being loosely tied up with the Holy Family Parish at Safat. The Canon Code stresses the parish as community at the same time favors the territorial structure as a practical and necessary value. Hence, the Catholics living in the following areas: Salmiya, Messila, Ras Salmiya, Salwa, Rumaithiya, Maidan Hawally, Sabah Al Salem, Mishref and Bayan will belong to the Salmiya Parish. Baptisms, Marriages, First Holy Communion and Confirmation will place here and registers will be maintained, just like in other Parishes. Previously these were conducted in the Holy Family Cathedral, which created an over crowding and inconvenience in the Cathedral.
A Parish is first and foremost a community, and to this end each of you has a commitment to be a missionary in your Parish. The importance of community can never be underestimated. I invite you. therefore, to be one community, one family with brothers and sisters of other nationalities. Where are your Filipino brothers and sisters? You should make it your mission to invite and unite all Catholics living in these areas that I have just mentioned, to come and form one family with you in this Parish. Jesus does not ask you what is your nationality whether you are Indian or Filipino or Italian or American. Likewise, you should be united with the mission of Jesus, into bringing all your Catholic brothers and sisters together here, in making this a Catholic, a true universal Church. I hope that by the time of my next visit here, I will see more faithful of other nationalities gathered here.
I have decided that the first parish priest of the Salmiya parish will be Fr. Berchmans Aruldoss, OCD and Fr.Thomas Vadakedathu, OCD will be Assistant Parish Priest. The two Priests will live in the new premises that we have secured for them in the building right across the Chapel in the hope that they will have a lot of time for Parish work, Masses, visiting, etc. I ask each of you to extend yourselves in helping your Parish Priests, be near them, encourage and support them and above all, pray for them.
Let us give thanks to God for all the blessings bestowed upon this Parish through the work of the Priests, the Salesians who impart their priestly and spiritual services, the Carmel Sisters who selflessly render their help through teaching and catechesis. God bless each of you present here and your families. We pray for the intercession of St. Thérèse to keep us always united as one family.
SR. BERNITA'S ADDRESS AT THE CELEBRATION
Your Lordship Bishop Camillo, Fathers, Sisters and dear friends. All of us present here today, can raise our hearts and voices and say "the long awaited dream has come true. Salmiya today is no more a Chapel but a Parish". We thank our Heavenly Father for His manifold blessings on us and with the Psalmist we can exclaim "How lovely is your dwelling place O Lord! What peace and joy to feel so close to you". Today's celebration is also an appropriate occasion to remember with gratitude all those who labored selflessly for the development of the church in Salmiya. It is their steady and selfless service and contribution that has enabled the church to grow to its present status.
Throughout history , the Lord has continued to reveal Himself to the little and the humble. So too, today, He has raised this little chapel to the dignity, of a Parish - St. Thérèse is the Patroness of missions and missionaries. Since we are in this foreign land, it is but right and fitting that this new Parish is named after the great missionary St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus.
Though she stayed in the cloistered Carmel, she had a great part to play in the Church. Her mission was to pray for the Church and the world. May her zeal burn within us, that we may be a true witness to Christ spreading the good News by our own lives in this Gulf country. As she promised that she would spend her heaven doing good on earth, we pray that she may let fall from heaven a shower of roses on every member of this Salmiya Parish, and very specially on, Bishop Camillo, and the priests to whom we are grateful for all their effort exerted in erecting this Parish and again on all of you dear people of God for your fidelity, cooperation and service to the Church and His people. May God be praised and made known in the Parish through the intercession of St. Thérèse. Thank you and God bless you.
ADDRESS OF REV. FR. TONY D'SOUZA, SDB
Rev. Fr. Tony D'Souza, SDB thanked Bishop Francis Micallef Emeritus and Bishop Camillo Ballin for giving the Salesians the opportunity to serve the different Parishes in Kuwait, especially Salmiya where their school is located. He congratulated the Parishioners of Salmiya for being such a close knit community and assured them of the continued support and cooperation of the Salesians for as long as they were here in Kuwait. He had great admiration for the Catholic community in Salmiya for their dedicated service and unity and was very proud to be part of this new and growing Parish dedicated to St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus. For him as a child, he said, he started his schooling in St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, or The Little Flower school in Mumbai India and now he felt it providential that towards the end of his career he will serve in the Parish with the same name. On behalf of all his fellow Salesians he wished the newly erected Parish and all the parishioners God's choicest blessings and protection.
ADDRESS OF REV. FR. MELVIN D'CUNHA, OCD
Rev. Fr. Melvin recalled his tenure as the Priest-in-charge of the Salmiya Chapel just before Fr. Berchmans took over. During his time in Salmiya he had two personal wishes, one was for Mass to be celebrated daily in the Chapel and the other was to have all the Sacraments celebrated in the Chapel which has now been fulfilled as the Chapel has now been erected into a Parish. He congratulated Bishop Camillo, the new Parish Priest and Assistant Parish Priest and all the parishioners on the great occasion and wished everyone the very best and God's blessings for the future of the Parish.
VOTE OF THANKS BY REV. FR. BERCHMANS ARULDOSS, OCD
FIRST PARISH PRIEST OF ST. THÉRÈSE PARISH, SALMIYA
Rev. Fr. Berky as he is fondly called by his parishioners, began by thanking His Lordship Bishop Camillo for placing his full trust in him in making him the first Parish Priest of the Salmiya Parish. He assured the Bishop as well as all the parishioners of his full cooperation and support towards the spiritual and community development of the Parish. He also assured all of his continued presence in the Parish for any needs of the Catholic Community in the Salmiya area and informed all of his availability at any time as he would now be residing in the building very close to the the Church.
In his Vote of Thanks, he took the opportunity to thank the Bishop, the Salesian Fathers, and the Carmel Sisters for their support and help in the Parish especially towards their help in the liturgical services as well as the catechetical development of the children of the parish.
On a special note he thanked all the organizers responsible for the success of the Erection Day of the Parish with a special thanks to Ronnie D'Mello for printing the souvenirs and Linda and Rosario for preparing the Liturgy. He thanked the various groups involved in the Church, the Liturgical Group, the various Choirs, the Eucharist Ministers and Altar Servers, the God's Love Community Prayer Group, the Malayalam Group, the CFC, the Legion of Mary, the Catechism Team, the Ushers, the Salmiya Parish Youth Group, the Summer Club coordinators, the service and maintenance teams as well as Harry and Oswald for their continued support and cooperation towards the running of the Parish and wished them continued success for the growth and betterment of the Parish in the years to come.
SONG COMPOSED FOR THE
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Let us all thank God together
For all the favours received
Let us all praise Him together
For this, our place of worship
For showers of blessings
Showers of blessings received
Dearest Lord Jesus, we thank You
For future blessings, we plead
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
We honour, praise and bless You
We thank You, today
In a very special way
For our newly erected Parish
We thank You, today
In a very special way
For our newly erected Parish
SALMIYA PARISH YOUTH (SPY)
SONG DEDICATED TO ST. THÉRÈSE
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Looking back to all beginnings
When we felt the end is near
Seemed like our lives were drowning
Felt so lost and all alone
Our dreams all shattered down
All hope was washed away
And then His Spirit came embracing us
Brought us all together as one
We are together, we are one
Loving one another as the Savior loves us all
Cause we'll be together, forever one
One body the Church, we are one
In my Father's presence standing here
We, His people sing His joy
St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus
We mark a new beginning here
What started with a handful souls
Has grown a thousand folds
And in the company of saints and angels
We praise Him in His Sanctuary
COUPLES FOR CHRIST (CFC)
SONG DEDICATED TO ST. THÉRÈSE
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With hearts of gladness, we have gathered,
To celebrate this, special day.
Our Salmiya Chapel, has been renamed,
Salmiya Parish of St. Therese.
We thank the Lord for all His blessings,
Specially for this holy place,
A place of worship, a place to praise Him
Where we can come to receive His Grace.
We thank all the Bishops and priests
And all the parishioners too,
For making this Parish happen.
May God bless each of you.
With God in our lives, we'll march side by side,
And sing of God's name, spreading His fame.
We welcome Bishop Camillo Ballin,
We welcome Fr. Berky too,
We thank our Nuns and the Salesians
For all the hard work that they do.
We the members of CFC pledge our contributions too
Of our treasure, time and talents in all the Parish plans to do.
St. Therese of Child Jesus guide us in all that we do,
Pray to our heavenly Father, fill us with His Spirit anew.
May God bless us all as we answer His call,
We sing praise to Him, His joy we will bring.
HIS LORDSHIP BISHOP CAMILLO BALLIN, MCCI,
VICAR APOSTOLIC OF KUWAIT
ADDRESSES THE GATHERING AT THE CLOSING CEREMONY
PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE EVENT - CLICK THE THUMBNAILS
-- Photographs by Alban D'Souza
THE PARISH OF ST. THÉRÈSE OF THE CHILD JESUS
A POWERPOINT PRESENTATION
“In His time, He makes all things beautiful, in His time.”
The opening lines of this ancient hymn should remind us of God’s guiding hand in all matters, events and circumstance that surround us.
It is most applicable to us today as we are now witnesses to the Lord’s consistency in His faithfulness to His people.
We, as a congregation, have been erected as the Parish of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, joining the ranks of a million parishes all over the world.
We will now be officially registered in the Church of Rome.
Our Holy Redeemer Chapel has reached this turning point in its life, not just through the dedication and hard work of the Clergy and the Laity, but through the Almighty Hand at work, slowly but surely guiding and leading His people to greater things.
HE makes all things beautiful, in HIS time.
It all began with a congregation of about 40 members, at the first Mass celebrated in Salmiya, by our very first Bishop, Monsignor Ubaldo Teofano Stella on 3rd November 1959 at the residence of Mr. Archie Menezes, who in later years, with dedication and hard work and under the Lord’s guidance and care, managed to acquire the present premises in 1974, after having changed various locations over the years.
The old premises underwent major structural changes under the capable leadership of Monsignor Francis Micallef with the assistance of Rev. Fr. Gabriel Dias, the sponsors of the Chapel and a lot of dedicated parishioners, local technicians, artisans and laborers who realized the importance of our place of worship.
After the 8th June 2001 inauguration of the new and extended Chapel by Monsignor Francis Micallef and the first resident Nuncio, Monsignor Guiseppe D’Andrea, this renovated Chapel’s capacity brought about a surge in the number of worshippers. The number is still increasing, day by day.
The growth of the Holy Redeemer Chapel to its present status is also a combined effort of various people: our Nuncios, Monsignor Giuseppe De Andrea and Archbishop Mounged El-Hachem;
our four Bishops, Monsignor Ubaldo Teofano Stella, Monsignor Victor San Miguel, Monsignor Francis Micallef and Monsignor Camillo Ballin.
At this stage, we have to recall the invaluable service of our various Priests-in-Charge, Reverend Fathers John Pinto, Gabriel Dias, Francis Xavier Fernandes, Melvin D’Cunha and Berchmann Aruldoss.
Let us not forget the contribution of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Rev Fathers, Tony D’Souza, Derrick Misquitta, Lionel Braganza and Donald Fernandes.
The Carmel Sisters, under the able leadership of Sr. Bernita, have also played an important role, especially in the welfare of our children.
All of the above clergy have contributed in a major way to the spiritual upliftment of the people of Salmiya, binding them into an ever growing community of devout Catholics.
It is noteworthy now, to mention all the various Ministries, Groups, Catechists, Choirs and individuals, who have over the years, contributed or served in their own special and unique way, at the Holy Redeemer Chapel.
We collectively owe a great measure of gratitude to all these selfless and willing instruments of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What does our status as a Parish really signify?
In past years, for the Faithful of Salmiya, the Holy Redeemer Chapel was a place of worship, a beacon guiding people to a haven of prayer, but alas, with no official standing or cognizance whatsoever.
Now, as the Parish of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, we will be officially registered with the Church in Rome.
Like all Parishes throughout the world, we will have our own Register for Births, Baptisms, First Holy Communion, Confirmation, Marriages and Deaths and will be permitted to issue certificates for the same.
Our Parish will be known as “THE PARISH OF SAINT THÉRÈSE OF THE CHILD JESUS” whose Feast is celebrated each year, on the 1st of October.
Our Parish Priest is Rev. Fr. Berchmans Aruldoss and our Assistant Parish Priest is Rev. Fr. Thomas Vadakadam.
And now, a brief biography of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus.
Sister Thérèse lived as cloistered Carmelite Nun for a little less than ten years. She never went on missions, never founded a religious order, never performed great works, and yet, she is honoured today as Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus.
The only book of hers, published after her death, was a brief edited version of her journal called "Story of a Soul," showing her little ways towards holiness.
She often said, “My little way is the way of spiritual childhood, the way of trust and absolute self-surrender.”
Within 28 years of her death, she was canonized on 17th May, 1925 by Pope Pius the Eleventh, who also proclaimed her as one of the Patron Saints of Missions and Missionaries on 14th December 1927, because of her special love of the missions, and the prayers and letters, she gave, in support of missionaries.
Pope John Paul the Second declared her the 35th Doctor of the Church on 19th October 1997.
So what better way to honour this Little Flower of Jesus than to have a Parish named after her, in a missionary land called Kuwait?
The work of a missionary is to spread the Good News of the Lord, so what better way to honour all those who contributed to the growth of the Holy Redeemer Chapel than to have their Parish named after the Patroness of Missions and Missionaries?
Yes, the Church of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, is significant to our standing, in this Missionary land.
Marie-Francoise Thérèse Martin was born on 2nd January 1873 at Alencon in France, the 9th and youngest child of Louis and Zelie Martin.
When she was three years old, she was so weak and frail that the doctors had given up hope for her survival, but she survived against all odds, because a statue of our Lady had smiled at her.
Her parents too were worried about her welfare as they had earlier lost four of their children at a very young age.
It is noteworthy that Saint Thérèse’ parents, Louis & Zelie Martin, have both been declared ‘Venerable’ by the Church and that all their surviving daughters became nuns, four of them, Carmelites at Lisieux and the fifth joined the Visitation Sisters of the Poor Clare’s.
Thérèse was just 14 years old in 1887, when she decided that she wanted to become a nun. Of course she was turned down by her Parish Priest and her Bishop, but that did discourage her in any way.
In her determination, she even gained an audience with Pope Leo the Twelfth on September 20th 1887 and put forward her request to become a nun.
The Pope, seeing the earnestness of her bearing, blessed her and told her that she should obey her superiors, but he assured her, that she would become a nun, if it was the will of God.
On New Year’s Day 1888, she was contacted by the Prioress of Lisieux Carmelite Convent and was informed that she would have to wait just a while longer before she could be admitted to the convent. Then on 9th April 1888, she left her family and entered the cloistered Carmelite convent at Lisieux, France where the nuns had absolutely no contact with the outside world.
She professed her vows and became a Carmelite Nun on 8th September, 1890, when she was 17 years old.
Her life at the convent was a typical convent life of prayer, domestic work, gardening, washing, cleaning, polishing - and more prayer.
Most importantly for her, it consisted of doing any and every little thing, small, large or distasteful, and doing it well, in a total acceptance of the will of God.
This was her "little way." The little way of trusting in Jesus to make her holy and relying on small daily sacrifices, instead of great deeds, to increase her capacity for holiness.
Her little way of life of small sacrifices appealed to the thousands of Catholics and others who were trying to find holiness, in ordinary lives. People realized that one did not need to perform great deeds - to lead holy lives.
They realized that holiness could be as easily achieved, by the smallest of sacrifices.
Her little way of life, made known through her book, ‘Story of a Soul’ was the reason for Sister Thérèse’ popularity throughout Europe.
After her death on September 30 1897 at the age of 24, she came to be known as the Little Flower of Jesus. She is now honoured as Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus; the youngest Doctor of the Church; and we have been honoured to have her as the patroness of our Parish at Salmiya, Kuwait.
Being canonized on 17th May, 1925 by Pope Pius the Eleventh, she is a modern and youthful Saint of the Little Ways.
She is the perfect example for our youth of today and her simplicity of life should not be very hard to emulate.
Let her life be a reminder to all of us, who feel we can do nothing, that it is the little things that keep God's kingdom growing.
And yes, it is indeed, even the little things done by a lot of people that has led us all to this moment in time, in the Life of the Holy Redeemer Chapel.
The greatest grace granted by the Almighty Father to the Congregation of the Holy Redeemer Chapel is the Parish of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus.
Thank you and God bless you all.