When Sandi met Papa Francesco

“Caro Papa, mi chiamo Sandia. Ti amo, io sono Indiana e questo regalo è per voi.” [Dear Papa, I am Sandia. I love you, I am from India and this gift is for you] These were my first words to Pope Francis. This was my dream come true, to be in my wedding gown standing…

‘I confess’ vs ‘iConfess’

A number of people have asked me if one can make his/her confession over the phone. The rapid diffusion of virtual technologies are enabling people who are physically separated by long distances, to communicate instantaneously and easily. Practically everyone who has close family members abroad uses Skype. Messaging apps like Whatsapp and Hangout also allow…

The Saas-Bahu Saga Continues (Part II)

In Matthew Ch 10, Jesus says: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s…

The Saas-Bahu Saga (Part I)

“Father, my daughter-in-law is my gold! Bhangarachi Sunn! She takes such good care of me, bringing me my medicines from time to time, she looks after the home. She makes it a point to come ask me for advice for important things. I must have done something good to deserve a daughter-in-law like her”….and then…

Chocolate Catholicism

Anyone who knows me well enough is privy to the fact that I have a sweet tooth and a sweeter tooth for chocolates. Bring me a bar of rich chocolate and you will have my loyalty! One of the many blessings of being temporarily sojourned in Europe is finding myself on the continent which takes…

Mumbai Ark

It’s déjà-vu each year when Mumbai is blest with its annual flood. Having the annual Visarjan (not the one for Ganpati bapa), when every Mumbaikar is drenched to his or her bones, is left stranded somewhere with no trains or transport, and is forced to wade through knee-deep mucky water, is part of what it…

Of Toppling Statues

Ever since Charlottesville happened, a curious object has gripped the US conscience. Toppling statues of US historical figures from the Civil war era. For those of you who are unaware of Charlottesville, a pre-planned rally of white supremacists who were in town to protest the taking down of the statue of Confederate General Robert Lee…

Why do you look for the living among the dead? #fakenews

Just a few days ago, I received a Whatsapp text from one of my relatives stating that Sr Nirmala, the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, had passed away. It was accompanied by a picture of her laid out on a bed with the other sisters gathered around her to pay their last respects….

For Mom and For Dad

I’ve recently been introduced to two catholic websites specially designed for moms and dads. One for her and one for him. Though written largely for an American audience, parents from Mumbai and urban cities would find very valuable advice and resources for their own needs. Catholic Mom http://www.catholicmom.com originated when Lisa Hendey went online to…

Bored at Mass?

One of the most common refrains I hear from young people is ‘Mass is boring. Homilies are boring. I don’t know why I have to come Sunday after Sunday.‘ Some of my youth in the rear pews would be distracted on their phones during Mass. When I asked them once what they were doing, one…

Next Stop…Hell

“The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.” – Dante Alighieri In the last few years, I have become increasingly aware of an interesting reality in Catholic parishes in the US (well, this could also be true in Catholic churches around the world, but I…

When War is OK

Major Anup Joseph is one of my school mates and an Officer in the Indian Army. He received the Kirti Chakra, the second-highest peacetime gallantry award from the President in 2013 for killing three foreign militants in a daring operation in Kashmir. None of us in school had ever imagined that he would be in…