Anointing Fire Catholic Ministry Washington D.C. One Day Convention January 14, 2017

Mother Mary Abhishekagni Community presents
Second Saturday Convention in English in Washington D.C

First Papal General Audience of 2017

Kalloorkadu St. Mary’s Basilica Champakulam, Kerala, India.

Kalloorkadu St. Mary’s Basilica Champakulam is an ancient Christian Church in Kerala. It belongs to the Syro-Malabar Church under the archeparchy of Changanacherry. It is a Forane church, with several Parishes under it.

Champakulam Kalloorkadu St. Mary’s basilica (also called Champakulam Valia Palli) is one of the oldest Christian churches in India and the mother church of almost all Catholic Syrian churches in Alleppey District. It is the first one under the church at Niranam which is believed to have been founded by St.Thomas,the Apostle himself. Believed to be established in AD 427. Rebuilt many times and the many rock inscriptions found around the church tell us about the history of the church. The open air Rock Cross at Champakulam church is one of the most ancient ones with clear documentation of its antiquity up to AD 1151. There are many archaeological artifacts found around the church about its history. Champakulam church was once under Niranam Church, which was founded by the Apostle Saint Thomas himself.. Champakulam Church had very friendly relations with the Jacobite Syrian group and had a pivotal role in many ecumenical efforts in the Eighteenth century. One of the martyrs of east syrian catholics (nasranis), Ikkako Kathanar was born to this parish.

On 27-Nov-2016, the church was announced as a Basilica. This is the first basilica in the archdiocese of Changanasserry. So this is the 23rd basilica in India and 9th basilica in Kerala. Also, it is the 4th Syro-Malabar basilica in India.

Getting there

Road – 15 km away from Alleppey, 18 km from Changanassery by road. From Champakulam West bus stand, the Church is immediate next on the east side. From Champakulam East bus stand, the Church is on the west side, you need to cross the River Pampa (Ferries are available).

Water – Linked by boat service through the back waters to Alappuzha (1 hr), Kollam(8 Hrs), Changanacherry(3 hrs), Kumarakom(3 hr), Cochin(4 hrs) etc. From Champakulam main (Karuka) boat jetty (on the west side of River Pampa, the Church is only a few steps away – towards North.

Rail – Nearest Rail heads: Alleppey, Changanassery.

Air – Nearest International Airports : Kochi (Nedumbassery) – 85 km. Thiruvananthapuram – 150 km.

Source : Wikipedia

Feast of St. Alphonsa – 2016 – Kuravilangad Church, Kerala, India.

Feast of St. Alphonsa – The passion flower of Kerala celebrated at Kuravilangad Church, Kerala, India.

Year of Mercy Closing – Cathedral-Bhagalpur, Bihar, India.

Ettu Nombu – 2015 – St. Mary’s Forane Church, Kuravilangad

The church at Kuravilangad was constructed in the third century, just one hundred years before Constantine declared Christianity as the official religion in the Roman Empire.

The land is blessed by the esteemed presence of St. Mary’s Forane Church.According to tradition prevalent in Kuravilangad the church was founded in 345 A.D It is believed, Mother Mary’s first appearance in the world, was in Kuravilangad. Our Lady appeared to a few children at Kuravilangad, who were tending their flock in the bushes. Our Lady asked them to build a church at the place from where a miraculous perpetual spring sprouted, a spring which exists even today. The children reported the events to the elders and a church was built there. The church is noted for its old bell, which contains inscriptions belonging to some unknown script. Another significant artifact is a model of a ship made from wood.  Read More – Source: wikipedia

Scripture Readings for Second week of Lent – Wednesday

The Lord has given the Israelites manna in the desert, but, they still grumble. Now, they complain of lack of water and wish that they were still in Egypt. The Lord tells Moses to strike a rock with his staff, and, when he does so, water flows from it.

Exodus 17:1-16

Water from the Rock

17 From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

Amalek Attacks Israel and Is Defeated

Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some men for us and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the sun set. 13 And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the sword.

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this as a reminder in a book and recite it in the hearing of Joshua: I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 And Moses built an altar and called it, The Lord is my banner. 16 He said, “A hand upon the banner of the Lord! The Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

Watch Full Video of Way of the Cross with photos of original places of Via Dolorosa, narrations and prayers.

Lent Thoughts               Lent Devotions

Vailankanni Festival 2014 – Flag Hoisting – Part 1

Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health

Velankanni is home to one of the country’s biggest Catholic pilgrimage centres. The Catholic Basilica devoted to Our Lady of Good Health is popularly known as the “Lourdes of the East”. The origins of this church can be traced back to the 16th century and its founding is attributed to three miracles: the apparition of Mary and Jesus to a slumbering shepherd boy, the curing of a lame buttermilk vendor, and the survival of Portuguese sailors assaulted by a violent sea storm. It is built in the Gothic style, was modified by Portuguese and then further expanded later on due to the influx of pilgrims. The church building was raised to the status of basilica in 1962 by Pope John XXIII.

Annually, 20 million pilgrims flock to the shrine from all over India and abroad, out which an estimated 3 million people visit the shrine during its annual festival from 29 August to 8 September. The 11-day annual festival concludes with the celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of Mary on 8 September. Source: wikipedia

Visit the Church website

Video of Vailankanni Festival 2014 – Flag Hoisting – Part 1

Indian Saint – St. Alphonsa

St. Alphonsa

Saint Alphonsa who lived as an unknown simple clarist nun within the four walls of the Franciscan Clarist convent at Bharananganam, in the state of Kerala, is now known all over the world. Her extraordinary power of intercession before her beloved Spouse Lord Jesus Christ, made her dear to everyone. Thousands of people from all walks of life irrespective of caste, creed, religion or country flow to the tomb of the saint to pray for their various needs and to pay homage and gratitude for the innumerable favours they received. Read more and watch video of the shrine and life history.

The signet which even death could not erase

HOW GREAT IS OUR PRIVILEGE TO OWN THE LORD’S NAME….!

Speech by Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil the founder-director of Sehion Retreat Centre, of Palakkad Diocese. Fr. Xavier who has earned name and fame as an outstanding preacher of the Word of the Lord, Retreat Leader, television orator and organizer, is conducting many retreats for priests, nuns and believers in India and abroad. Visit Sehion Ministries USA

Download Prayer Book for the Sick

What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit

John 3:6 What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. (NAB)

We need to born again.

Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil is the Director of Sehion Ministries , Thavalam , Palakkad , Kerala , India.

Do not despise the words of prophets – Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil

To say Goodbye to sin is not a simple thing – Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil

palm tree cedar of lebanonI found a small speech by Fr. Xavier Khan Vattayil, the founder-director of Sehion Retreat Centre, Palakkad Diocese, Kerala, India. Fr. Xavier who has earned name and fame as an outstanding preacher of the Word of the Lord, Retreat Leader, television orator and organizer, is conducting many retreats for priests, nuns and believers in India and abroad.

Misuse of the tongue – Sins of the tongue

Holy Bible

You need your tongue to chew, swallow, and sing. You taste with it, talk with it, and sometimes even stick it out! What is evil tongue? A tongue which speak evil things is an evil tongue. A tongue can make friends, make enemies, make another person happy, make another person cry and much more. So a tongue is very powerful part of the human body. It is apparent that we all have within our power many uses of the tongue that are good and acceptable with God. But there are specific references to types of misuse of the tongue as well. You witness the misuse of the tongue every day. Whether it is your classmates who gossip and betray one another, or people who verbally abuse each other, you see it all the time! The tongue can be a powerful tool for good or a powerful weapon for those who are bent on evil. The tongue has the ability to determine the direction of our lives. It can make or break us.  The tongue is certainly an essential tool in carrying out our God given responsibilities. It is safe to say that any misuse of the tongue like cursing, backbiting, lying, spreading rumour, or presenting false doctrine is done to cover up a weakness. If one is able to control his tongue, he is a mature person able to control his whole body. Lack of control means just the opposite of control and is an indication of gross immaturity.

We want to see how specifically the Scriptures speak out against sins of the tongue.

12 If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
    if you spit on it, it will be put out;
    yet both come out of your mouth.

13 Curse the gossips and the double-tongued,
    for they destroy the peace of many.

14 Slander has shaken many,
    and scattered them from nation to nation;
it has destroyed strong cities,
    and overturned the houses of the great.

15 Slander has driven virtuous women from their homes,
    and deprived them of the fruit of their toil.

16 Those who pay heed to slander will not find rest,
    nor will they settle down in peace.

17 The blow of a whip raises a welt,
    but a blow of the tongue crushes the bones.

18 Many have fallen by the edge of the sword,
    but not as many as have fallen because of the tongue.

19 Happy is the one who is protected from it,
    who has not been exposed to its anger,
who has not borne its yoke,
    and has not been bound with its fetters.

20 For its yoke is a yoke of iron,
    and its fetters are fetters of bronze;

21 its death is an evil death,
    and Hades is preferable to it.

22 It has no power over the godly;
    they will not be burned in its flame.

23 Those who forsake the Lord will fall into its power;
    it will burn among them and will not be put out.
It will be sent out against them like a lion;
    like a leopard it will mangle them.

24a As you fence in your property with thorns,
25b     so make a door and a bolt for your mouth.
24b As you lock up your silver and gold,
25a     so make balances and scales for your words.

26 Take care not to err with your tongue,
    and fall victim to one lying in wait. (Sirach 28:12 to 26)

Obviously we have all misused our tongues. Think of a situation you remember where you sinned in this way. If possible try to ask pardon to that person you hurt with your tongue, else remember him in your prayers and ask pardon in prayer to God for the sin done with your tongue. Ready, Set, Done

Against Loose Talk

Holy Bible

Who is loose talker? A loose talker is someone who doesn’t think about what they are saying. So they may say inappropriate things, without meaning to cause trouble. But sometimes it causes trouble to others. Below are selected Bible verses that explain about loose talk. Read the verses carefully and if you find you are a loose talker, then make changes in your life.

4    One who trusts others too quickly has a shallow mind,
        and one who sins does wrong to himself.

5     One who rejoices in wickedness will be condemned,

      but one who hates gossip has less evil.

7      Never repeat a conversation,
        and you will lose nothing at all.

8      With friend or foe do not report it,
        and unless it would be a sin for you, do not reveal it;

9       for someone may have heard you and watched you,
        and in time will hate you.

10     Have you heard something? Let it die with you.
        Be brave, it will not make you burst!

11     Having heard something, the fool suffers birth pangs
        like a woman in labor with a child.

12     Like an arrow stuck in a person’s thigh,
        so is gossip inside a fool.

13    Question a friend; perhaps he did not do it;
        or if he did, so that he may not do it again.

14    Question a neighbor; perhaps he did not say it;
        or if he said it, so that he may not repeat it.

15    Question a friend, for often it is slander;
        so do not believe everything you hear.

16    A person may make a slip without intending it.
        Who has not sinned with his tongue?

17    Question your neighbor before you threaten him;
       and let the law of the Most High take its course. (Sirach 19:4-17)

Any of the verses strike your mind? You are welcome to make your comments.

Relations with Others

Holy Bible

By building positive relationships with others, we will be happier and more fulfilled and feel more supported, supportive, and connected. We need to understand that in order to have positive relationship with others, we must first work on our own self and heart. This is because in order to have good characteristics such as being nice and loving, you must first feel good about yourself. For you can not give what you do not have.

The Bible contains uplifting and encouraging scriptures for any situation you may face in life, and will guide you in your walk with Christ. Below are selected Bible verses that will offer biblically based guidance about good relationship with others. Read carefully, understand the meaning, and follow the same in your life.

18   Do not exchange a friend for money,
      or a real brother for the gold of Ophir.

19   Do not dismiss a wise and good wife,
      for her charm is worth more than gold.

20   Do not abuse slaves who work faithfully,
      or hired laborers who devote themselves to their task.

21   Let your soul love intelligent slaves;
      do not withhold from them their freedom.

22   Do you have cattle? Look after them;
      if they are profitable to you, keep them.

23   Do you have children? Discipline them,
     and make them obedient from their youth.

24   Do you have daughters? Be concerned for their chastity,
     and do not show yourself too indulgent with them.

25   Give a daughter in marriage, and you complete a great task;
     but give her to a sensible man.

26   Do you have a wife who pleases you? Do not divorce her;
     but do not trust yourself to one whom you detest.

27   With all your heart honor your father,
     and do not forget the birth pangs of your mother.

28   Remember that it was of your parents you were born;
     how can you repay what they have given to you?

29   With all your soul fear the Lord,
     and revere his priests.

30   With all your might love your Maker,
     and do not neglect his ministers.

31   Fear the Lord and honor the priest,
     and give him his portion, as you have been commanded:
     the first fruits, the guilt offering, the gift of the shoulders,
     the sacrifice of sanctification, and the first fruits of the holy things.

32   Stretch out your hand to the poor,
     so that your blessing may be complete.

33   Give graciously to all the living;
     do not withhold kindness even from the dead.

34   Do not avoid those who weep,
     but mourn with those who mourn.

35   Do not hesitate to visit the sick,
     because for such deeds you will be loved.

36   In all you do, remember the end of your life,
     and then you will never sin. (Sirach 7:18-36)

Remember you are going to live only once on this earth. So make it a goal to change your attitude and your habits by reprogramming your mind and getting rid of the negative thoughts and feelings.

Warning against Impurity and Infidelity

Read Bible verses that will provide biblical guidance, understanding and encouragement in your everyday life. The Bible contains uplifting and encouraging scriptures for any situation you may face in life, and will guide you in your walk with Christ. Below are selected Bible verses that will offer biblically based guidance to help you through any season of your life.

Proverbs chapter 5

1My child, be attentive to my wisdom;
    incline your ear to my understanding,
so that you may hold on to prudence,
    and your lips may guard knowledge.
For the lips of a loose woman drip honey,
    and her speech is smoother than oil;
but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
    sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
    her steps follow the path to Sheol.
She does not keep straight to the path of life;
    her ways wander, and she does not know it.

And now, my child listen to me,
    and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
Keep your way far from her,
    and do not go near the door of her house;
or you will give your honor to others,
    and your years to the merciless,
10 and strangers will take their fill of your wealth,
    and your labors will go to the house of an alien;
11 and at the end of your life you will groan,
    when your flesh and body are consumed,
12 and you say, “Oh, how I hated discipline,
    and my heart despised reproof!
13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers
    or incline my ear to my instructors.
14 Now I am at the point of utter ruin
    in the public assembly.”

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
    flowing water from your own well.
16 Should your springs be scattered abroad,
    streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be for yourself alone,
    and not for sharing with strangers.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
    and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19     a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
May her breasts satisfy you at all times;
    may you be intoxicated always by her love.
20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, by another woman
    and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
21 For human ways are under the eyes of the Lord,
    and he examines all their paths.
22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare them,
    and they are caught in the toils of their sin.
23 They die for lack of discipline,
    and because of their great folly they are lost.

St. Sebastian’s Feast, Athirampuzha Church

The St. Mary’s Church at Athirampuzha is one of the oldest in Kerala, was constructed around 835 AD. Though dedicated to Mother Mary, it is the feast of Saint Sebastian which attracts a large crowd. This annual feast  is being held from 19th January to 1st February every year. The event is a gigantic one with lacs of people visiting the place during the feast days and especially on the two main days – 24th and 25th January.

The procession is a spiritual ablu for the devotees. Band set including school bands, flags, gold-brass-silver wooden crosses, allavattom, venchamaram, Thazahakkuda, theevetti and beaded ornate umbrellas etc make the procession very gorgeous and regal. Ettamidam extends the celebration for eight more days. The Festival comes to an end by February 1.

School Girls Band set  is a colorful and mind refreshing treat.

Dazzling display of fireworks during the festival is a colorful visual treat.

Chenda Melam is one of the main attraction.

Shinkari Melam by Kerala women by Kerala women is another attraction.

St. Sebastian’s Feast – Athirampuzha Church –  Jan.24

St. Sebastian’s Feast – Athirampuzha Church –  Jan.25 – Part I

St. Sebastian’s Feast – Athirampuzha Church –  Jan.25 – Part II

Beautiful Piyata Tableau was part of the St. Sebastian’s Feast Athirampuzha Church on Jan.23, 2012. Look like a statue, but two boys were sitting in this Tableau during the procession on the street.

Bible verses – Ways to get blessings

Read Bible verses that will provide biblical guidance, understanding and encouragement in your everyday life. The Bible contains uplifting and encouraging scriptures for any situation you may face in life, and will guide you in your walk with Christ. Below are selected Bible verses that will offer biblically based guidance to help you through any season of your life.

How can I become a blessed ?

Genesis 12
1. Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.

2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.

3. I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves.”

1 Peter 3
9 Do not return evil for evil or reviling for reviling; but on the contrary bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing.

Genesis 39
5. From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had, in house and field.

Ways to get blessings
1. Know the Word of God and obey it.

Deuteronomy 28
Blessings for Obedience
1. “And if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments which I command you this day, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.

2. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.

3. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.

4. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your beasts, the increase of your cattle, and the young of your flock.

5. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading-trough. 6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

2. Lead a life filled with deep faith.

Hebrews 11
1. By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.

Luke 1
37. For with God nothing will be impossible.

Jeremiah 32
27. “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too hard for me?

Hebrews 11
6. And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Psalm 27
14. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yea, wait for the Lord!

Bible Verses for retreat and meditation

Read Bible verses that will provide biblical guidance, understanding and encouragement in your everyday life. The Bible contains uplifting and encouraging scriptures for any situation you may face in life, and will guide you in your walk with Christ. Below are selected Bible verses that will offer biblically based guidance to help you through any season of your life.

Read and meditate from the Bible that can help you in times of doubt, loss, mourning, sadness, sick or hopelessness.

Jeremiah 29:13
You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart,

John 6:44
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Deuteronomy 4:29
But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find him,
if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Psalm 145:18
The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.

Hosea 6
3 Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord;
his going forth is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.”

4 What shall I do with you, O E′phraim?
What shall I do with you, O Judah?
Your love is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that goes early away.

Wisdom 1
1.Love righteousness, you rulers of the earth,
think of the Lord with uprightness,
and seek him with sincerity of heart;
2 because he is found by those who do not put him to the test,
and manifests himself to those who do not distrust him.

Romans 9:16
So it depends not upon man’s will or exertion, but upon God’s mercy.

Sirach 48:20
But they called upon the Lord who is merciful,
spreading forth their hands toward him;
and the Holy One quickly heard them from heaven,
and delivered them by the hand of Isaiah.

1 Corinthians 3:20
and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”

Psalm 18
25 With the loyal thou dost show thyself loyal;
with the blameless man thou dost show thyself blameless;
26 with the pure thou dost show thyself pure;
and with the crooked thou dost show thyself perverse.

Mark 16:14
Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they sat at table; and he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.

Hebrews 4
2 For good news came to us just as to them; but the message which they heard did not benefit them, because it did not meet with faith in the hearers.
7 again he sets a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,

“Today, when you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”

Acts 16:14
One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyati′ra, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul.