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Most Rev. Oswald Lewis
Bishop of Jaipur

2018 Easter Message By Most Rev. Oswald Lewis
Holy Week Services in the City Parishes


“Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive,” with these opening words begins the Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Christus Vivit” by Pope Francis. This document is the work of the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishop held from 3rd to 28th October 2018, on the theme: “Young people, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.” Holy Father signed it on Monday 25th March 2019 in the Holy House of Loreto and then addressed to young people and to the entire people of God.

What does the Word of God have to say about young people is answered in the 1st Chapter of “Christus Vivit”. God’s way of looking at young people is quite different from the many examples of choice made by God –of Joseph, Gideon, Samuel, King David, Ruth; and in the Old Testament. Jesus, who is eternally young, the disciples, the young rich man in the New Testament. The second chapter explains the youthful years of Jesus, “as an adolescent” spent in Nazareth being obedient to Joseph. “We should not think that Jesus was a withdrawn adolescent or a self-absorbed youth. His relationship with his parents and with others in the society were normal like any other young man. No one in Nazareth regarded Him as one “set apart” for a mission. Jesus walks with young people and teaches them from within. “The Lord is calling us to enkindle stars in the night of other young people.” The Church is also young when she is herself, when she receives ever anew the strength born of God’s Word, the Eucharist and the daily presence of Christ and the power of His Spirit in our lives.” The young people are looking for a Church that listens to them and is active in the world. They do not want a silent church nor a church afraid to speak out. So the Church in the modern world should be relevant to the times and respond to the signs of the times. The youth of today are not just the future of the world but “they are its present” as they are enriching the world of today. There is a tendency among the adults to highlight the problems and failings of today’s young people. Pope Francis says, “Whosoever is called to be a father, pastor and youth guide should have the ability to discern pathways, where others see only walls; to recognize potential where others see only peril. This way God the Father sees things. In this third Chapter, Pope Francis recalls young people living in the context of war; those who are exploited, the victims of kidnapping, organized crime, human trafficking slavery and sexual exploitation, rape. Taking a global view, the Holy Father explains many other forms of victimization of young people by political powers, by vested interests and the youth becoming easy prey to the worldly allurements, to the digital world, to the mass media, to drugs and crimes.”

Brief History

Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is a complete all season destination created in pink stone. Jaipur derives its name from Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, a prince, soldier and astronomer, who built the city in 1721 in accordance with Shilpa Shastra, the ancient Hindu tradition on architecture.

The first Christian presence in Jaipur goes back to the time of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur. In 1728 Father Emmanuel de Figuredo accompanied by a lay man Pedro de Silva, who later settled down in Jaipur, came to Jaipur at the invitation of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. The Maharaja gifted a piece of land and contributed generously for building of Sacred Heart Church at Ghat Gate in 1871.

The first resident priest of Jaipur was Fr. Conrad OFM Cap. In 1890 Rajputana and Malwa Missions were created separating them from Agra Diocese and in 1891 this new mission was made into an Apostolic Prefecture appointing Fr. Bertram OFM Cap., as the first Prefect of the new Prefecture. To start with there were five priests and five stations namely Bandikui, Nasirabad, Jaipur, Neemuch and Mhow.

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