All India Press Release
24th January 2017
The 29th Plenary Assembly of the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of
India (CCBI) to be held in Bhopal to invigorate the Family Apostolate
Bengaluru, 24 January 2017: The 29th Plenary Assembly of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) is scheduled to be held from 31st January to 8th February, 2017, at the Pastoral Centre, Ashaniketan Campus, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The Assembly will deliberate on the theme “Promoting the Joy of Love in Our Families” and will chalk out detailed programmes and action plans to revitalize the family apostolate at the diocesan and parish levels.
The Assembly will begin on Tuesday, 31st January, 2017, with a solemn Eucharistic celebration and the inaugural meeting will be presided over by His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias, the President of the CCBI, the FABC (Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences) and the Archbishop of Mumbai.
His Eminence Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri, Secretary General, Synod of Bishops, Most Rev. Dr. Lawrence Pius Dorairaj, Chairman, CCBI Commission for Family and Bishop of Dharmapuri, Mr. Donald and Mrs. Maureen Xavier from Hyderabad; Mr P. A. Edwin and Mrs Nimmy Marteena from Chennai; Mr. Colin Camiano from Bangalore; Mr Elias and Mrs Catherine Lyngdoh from Shillong; Mr Ishwar and Mrs Penny Bajaj from Mumbai; Mrs. Biju Cheriyath from Bangalore; Mr Patrick and Mrs. Christina Ganawa from Jhabua; Mr Joseph and Mrs. Assunta Minj from Bhopal and Fr. Jomy Jacob from Jabalpur diocese will address the Bishops on various aspects in “Promoting the Joy of Love in Our Families”
The theme of the Assembly “Promoting the Joy of Love in Our Families” is the follow up of the ‘Pastoral Plan for the Church in India’, promulgated on 8th December, 2013, in which the safe-guarding of the family is identified as one of the pastoral priorities of the Church in India. The recent apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia is the fruit of the two World Synods of Bishops in Rome, on family in 2014 and 2015 that made a clarion call to revitalize the family ministries at the parish and diocesan levels.
The Secretaries of the twelve Commissions of the CCBI will present the biennial reports of the activities of their Commissions for the year 2015 and 2016. The Bishops will evaluate the programmes and plan-out future activities of the CCBI Commissions of Bible, Catechetics, Canon Law and Other Legislative Texts, Ecumenism, Family, Laity, Liturgy, Proclamation, Theology and Doctrine, Vocations, Women and Youth. The Member Bishops will elect new office bearers for the CCBI. The meeting will also look into the present situation of the Church in India.
A one day recollection for the member Bishops, directed by well-known theologian, Archbishop Thomas Menamparambil, Emeritus of Guwahati Archdiocese is also organized. A mission exposure programme for the Bishops is also planned and the participants will visit various mission stations of the Archdiocese of Bhopal.
The official closing of the 29th Plenary Assembly will be on Wednesday, 8th February, 2017. The new President of the CCBI will preside over the concluding liturgical ceremonies. The Archdiocese of Bhopal under the leadership of its Metropolitan Archbishop Most Rev. Dr. Leo Cornelio S.V.D. is hosting the assembly.
The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) is the Canonical National Episcopal Conference. It is the largest Bishops Conference in Asia and the fourth largest in the world. It consists of 132 dioceses and has 182 bishops.
Rev. Dr. Stephen Alathara
Deputy Secretary General, CCBI