The Pauline Year and the Word of God
The Pauline Family of India opened the Year dedicated to the Saint of Universality by launching its New Community Bible, a version “made in India for Indians,” which the Society of St. Paul labored 16 years to produce.
Cardinal Ozwald Gracias officially introduced everyone to the New Community Bible during a very lively Eucharistic Celebration. A similar launch was held in 33 other parishes throughout the city.
As Cardinal Gracias said in his homily, this version of the Bible, which consists of a simple but faithful English translation of the biblical text, enriched with commentaries, authoritative introductions and references to Indian traditions, “will bring the Word of God closer to millions of people, Christians and non-Christians alike.”
During this special Year, the Pauline Family of India is helping everyone get to know and love our Father St. Paul through many different initiatives.
29 June 2008 – The Pauline Year opened in Ahmedabad with a solemn Eucharistic Celebration presided over by Bishop Thomas Macwan. In the presence of a great crowd of the faithful and representatives of over 1000 religious Institutes, Bishop Macwan also officially presented the Pauline Family’s New Community Bible.
Sr. Rita Joseph, superior of the FSP community of Ahmedabad, briefly explained the meaning of the Feast of St. Paul and the Year dedicated to him. Calling Paul “the 13thApostle of Jesus Christ,” she emphasized that even 2000 years after the Apostle’s death, his life and writings continue to show everyone how to live in Christ.
The Pauline Cooperators of Ahmedabad played an important role in the preparation and celebration of this event by decorating the church with flowers, posters of St. Paul and quotes from his writings. They also served as lectors during the Liturgy of the Word, participated in the Offertory procession, etc. One woman Cooperator performed a traditional dance of thanksgiving at one point of the Eucharistic Celebration.
Afterward, the Cooperators offered the people copies of the New Community Bible at a special price for the occasion.
That evening, Sr. Rita Joseph and Sr. Divya guided a prayer meeting, in which they presented a beautiful message about St. Paul in power point format. The evening ended with a fraternal agape.
New Delhi
28 June 2008 – Eucharistic Celebration opening the Pauline Year presided over by Archbi-shop Vincent Concessao in Sacred Heart Cathedral. The celebration began with a special dance by the students of St. Anthony High School. Before the Liturgy of the Word, the Bible was carried into the church in procession and garlanded and enthroned by the Archbishop, who emphasized the importance of living the Word and proclaiming it to the people just as Paul did.
30 June 2008 – Eucharistic Celebration in our FSP chapel presided over by Archbishop Eme-ritus Henry D’Souza. Present for the Liturgy were those who regularly attend Mass in our chapel, as well as FSP collaborators and several invited guests.
In the evening, our sisters organized a very meaningful prayer service on the life and works of St. Paul. They emphasized that everyone should follow in the footsteps of the Apostle by seeking the will of God and striving to zealously carry out their commitments with love and fidelity. The evening concluded with a simple but sumptuous agape.
The FSPs of Shillong organized several initiatives to celebrate the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul and open the Pauline Year:
28 June 2008 – Celebration of the opening of the Pauline Year in our book center, attended by many cooperators and clients. After a short prayer, Fr. Cilia, SDB, unveiled a picture of St. Paul and gave a brief talk on the Apostle and his mission. Our sisters took the opportunity to launch the province’s New Community Bible and new CD, Vessels of Clay.
It was a beautiful time of fraternity and mutual encouragement for the 30 participants.
29 June 2008 – Prior to the solemn opening of the Pauline Year, our sisters organized a Tri-duum in the Cathedral Parish of Khasi and launched their New Community Bible and new CD, Vessels of Clay. They also held book displays in three parishes with the full collaboration of the parish priests and the enthusiastic participation of the people.
30 June 2008 – Our sisters prepared for the Feast of St. Paul by reflecting more deeply on the Apostle and celebrating a novena in his honor. On the feast itself, they invited the other reli-gious communities of Shillong to lunch, preceding the meal with a short prayer service that illustrated the multi-faceted personality of St. Paul and in which they thanked their guests for collaborating with our mission.
29 June 2008 – Our sisters celebrated the opening of the Pauline Year by organizing and guiding a Eucharistic Liturgy in the parish of St. Theresa, during which Sr. Shiji Abraham, an FSP junior, renewed her vows. In his homily, Fr. Eugene Pereira, Vicar General of the Diocese, reminded the FSPs of their duty to spread the Gospel like Paul, especially during this year dedicated to their father and patron. After the Mass, our sisters presented their New Community Bible to the parishioners and distributed pictures of St. Paul to everyone.
28 June 2008 – The Pauline Year opened with a solemn Eucharistic Liturgy in the Cathedral, presided over by Most Rev. Abraham Viruthukulangara, Archbishop of Nagpur. In his homily, the Archbishop expressed his esteem for the Daughters of St. Paul and their mission and thanked them for animating the Liturgy in such a beautiful and meaningful way. He also invited everyone in the packed cathedral to imitate St. Paul’s love for Christ and his dedication to spreading the Gospel.
The Eucharistic Celebration was introduced by Sr. Prasanna, fsp, and enriched with a dance by Sr. Ansila, fsp. Sr. Marie Piccardo, superior of our Nagpur community, thanked everyone for their participation and then hosted a fellowship meal for friends and well wishers.
28 June 2008 – The FSP community of Goa also celebrated the opening of the Pauline Year with a special Eucharistic Liturgy and the launch of the Province’s New Community Bible. In his homily, the main celebrant, Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, highlighted the initiative of God in Paul’s conversion and said that the Apostle’s contribution to the growth of Christianity stands unparalleled.
At the end of the Eucharistic Celebration, the Archbishop presented the New Community Bible to the faithful, emphasizing the theme of his latest pastoral letter, “Rooted in faith, go, spread the Jesus glow.”
29 June 2008 – Following a solemn Eucharistic Liturgy opening the Pauline Year, Bishop Emeritus Ferdinand Fonceca, Auxiliary Bishop of Mumbai, launched the FSPs’ New Community Bible. He spoke at length about the mission of the Daughters of St. Paul and urged everyone to purchase this new Bible, which was produced in India for Indians.
Ahmedabad – A Tribute to St. Paul  
The Pauline Year is a great blessing to the Universal Church and to the Pauline Family throughout the world. For the FSPs of Ahmedabad, it was a dream come true when, with profound gratitude, love and devotion toward our Father, we were invited to perform a shadow play on St. Paul at the Ahmedabad Town Hall, on the occasion of Annual Deanery awards to outstanding achievers in various fields such as studies, sports, etc.
The play, which was performed in Hindi and which featured excellent light effects and music, was very well received by the public.
The initiative and support of our sisters, combined with the wholehearted commitment and zeal of our cooperators, were well-rewarded. The voice recording was done at the Gurjarvani Studio. Mr. Mark rendered an appropriate musical note at every scene transition, allowing the emotions of the actors to come alive for the audience. Afterward, the play was performed at Loyola High School Ahmedabad and then for the Mission Congress of Gujarat at Nadiad.
Now the FSPs have been invited to perform the play at St. Paul Church in Sabarmati for the Feast of St.Paul.
Vasai – Drama on St. Paul
The Pauline Year is drawing to an end, but the creativity and enthusiastic desire of the Daughters of St. Paul around the world to incarnate the Apostle in their diverse apostolic contexts remains high. Our sisters of Vasai, India tell us that they recently carried out a very interesting initiative to help make St. Paul known to the people of their area. “25 April 2009 will remain a red letter day not only for us but also for the whole FSP Indian Province, during this Year dedicated to St. Paul,” they write.
This is because with courage, dedication and a true missionary spirit, Sr. Stella and the rest of the Vasai community, with the help of some lay parishioners, wrote and produced a 2½ hour drama in Marathi, the local language, entitled “Parivartan Shaulacha” (“The Conversion of Saul”), which was performed on the grounds of St. Michael’s parish. The young man cast as Paul played his role with great authenticity, as did the rest of the cast, and the props, sound and lighting were taken care of by professional technicians. The drama will now be performed in other parishes in Vasai and then in Mumbai.
Our sisters tell us that besides teaching people about Paul and his message of Christ, the play has also become an excellent instrument for vocation work.
Mumbai – St. Paul’s Flame Shines More Brightly than Ever
The Pauline Family in Mumbai brought the Pauline Year to a close with a solemn Eucharistic Celebration in the chapel of the Daughters of St Paul in Bandra on 28 June 2009. The inspiring homily by Fr. Varghese Gnalian, SSP Provincial Superior, put everyone on the right track to reflecting on Paul as a person completely captured by Christ, to whom he gave his entire life after his dramatic experience on the road to Damascus. The celebrant’s soul-stirring words were echoed in the prayers of intercession voiced by the sisters, who thanked the Lord for having given the world such a great Apostle.
After the Eucharist, the Pauline Family gathered together for an enriching evening during which the members of our various Institutes shared their experiences and views on Paul.
FSP Provincial Superior, Sr. Ancy John, concluded the encounter by expressing her hope that the Pauline Family might not only continue to keep the flame of St. Paul lit, but also enable it shine more brightly than ever in today’s world.

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