JUNE 25, 2016
Pilar priests and seminarians celebrate International Yoga Day
The scene is a “Catholic” ashram named Shubham Jinn in Moita, Agassaim, Goa. It is a “venture of the Society of Pilar* (Goa province)”. *Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier
It was inaugurated by Archbishop of Goa Filipe Neri Ferrao on July 6, 2015. This means that the Archbishop has given his seal of approval to the goals and activities of the centre. We shall see what they are.
The yoga guru of Shubham Jinn is Fr. Galdino Monteiro
SFX, a former superior general of his order.
The abundant life which Jesus assures his believers of in John 10:10b** is attained by the works of Hindu asanas, pranayama and yoga with Surya Namaskar (worship and obeisance to the sun god).
Celebrating yoga: A balancing act
Goa, June 18, 2016
The United Nations (UNESCO) declared June 21 as the International Yoga Day a little more than a year back (Dec 11, 2014). It has been celebrated meaningfully all over the world, particularly in India ever since.
This year too, a well-coordinated plan is drawn up to celebrate this day across the entire state.
Yoga is a discipline by which one seeks to attain a balance between one’s body, mind and soul. For this, there are a few exercises (called asanas) which are to be done regularly. These exercises include Pranayama, a health-promoting technique, which helps in deep breathing, cleansing of internal organs and getting rid of toxins. Thus, the practice of various asanas elevates us to the god (paramatma) and consequently contributes to peaceful co-existence.
This discipline, at once, reminds us of the ashramas found in various parts of our country. We have Satya Sai Baba Ashram, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ashram, Osho Ashram and many others. Although their goal is the same, each ashram emphasizes on a specific point. While Satya Sai Baba focuses on early morning Vedic chanting, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar teaches ‘the art of living’. The Osho Ashram helps people overcome traumatic experiences.
For a number of years now we have Christian Ashrams which try to combine Christian faith with the insights from Eastern religions, especially Buddhism. A few pioneers in this context may be mentioned: Italian Roberto di Nobili, who in 17th Century embraced the life of a sanyasi; Bengali Brahmin Brahmabandhah Upadhyaya; Frenchmen Jules Monchanin and Henri le Saux, the founders of Saccidananda Ashram in Tiruchirappalli. Today some Christian ashrams in India have become world famous, among them are Kurusimala Ashram, Shantivanam and Anjali Ashram. Those who seek god with a clear and sincere conscience, flock to these ashrams for an in-depth experience of the almighty. These people, irrespective of their colour, caste or creed are welcomed. Each ashram is headed by a guru.
In this tradition of ashrams, the society of Pilar has made a considerable progress over the last few years. After initial hiccups a Christian ashram has been established in the village of Agasaim, overlooking the river Zuari. Its Guru is Fr. Galdino Monteiro, who has a degree in psychology & counseling from a university in Rome and who, as a former superior general, has had a vast experience of interacting with various kinds of people, especially the youth. People from all walks of life approach this guru to assist them in having a deep experience of the divine. The ashram is named ‘Shubham Jinn’, a Konkani expression meaning abundant life.
People, especially youngsters and those who are burdened/frustrated, come here to listen to the lord, to whom they unburden themselves. The guru accompanies them in their search, if they want so.
**In the Gospel according to John, Lord Jesus declares, “I have come that all may have life, abundant life”. This ashram, Shubham Jinn, is inspired by these words of our Lord Jesus.***
The Guru does not preach long sermons; in deep communion with the lord, he only suggests: “You can make your life. In other words, with the grace of god there is nothing that you will not be able to do!” The search within, in the depths of one’s soul, leads one to live in harmony with nature and, eventually, to an enthusiastic whole-hearted response to abundant life. So, try it out! pranayama, satsang, arati, etc. will enable you to lift your heart and mind to the almighty in the silence of your being and to listen to the promptings of the spirit of life, abundant life.
***The yoga priest gives the media a part of Jesus’ discourse and imparts to it his own interpretation.
In the previous verses, Jesus warns, “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep (7). All who came before me* are thieves and robbers… (8) A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy (10).”
*One can apply the pre-Christian philosophy of a monistic yogic union with an impersonal “god” here.
Catholic ashram at Agassaim
Goa, July 7, 2015
The Provincial of Goa Province, Fr Kyriel D’Souza said that the Society of Pilar was celebrating its platinum jubilee and it was apt to open an ashram when the Catholic Church was celebrating the feast of St Thomas, an apostle who came and spread the teachings of Christ. Throwing light on the concept of the ashram, he said it was basically a place of God experience.
The archbishop lauded the efforts of the Society of Pilar and said it was a praise-worthy initiative. With the opening of this Catholic ashram, he said people across religions could come and experience God.
Speaking exclusively to Herald, the newly appointed guru of the ashram, Fr Galdino Monteiro said the basic vision of the ashram was attaining union with God and experience peace within and in the world. He said the ashram would enable people to grow in God consciousness and help them to live life in its fullness, creating equality, solidarity and fellowship among all people. Fr Monteiro said the ashram would be open to all ‘seekers‘ irrespective of caste and creed, where everyone experiences hospitality, love and compassion. “The lifestyle will be simple and eco-friendly with vegetarian food, simple clothes and living in simple shelters. It will be a place to build one’s faith, character and self-esteem,” he added.
Fr Monteiro informed that the people will follow a regular schedule of personal, common prayer, yoga, manual work and instructions based on various scriptures. There will also be inter-faith prayers and meetings,” he said.
The superior general of the Society of Pilar, Fr Francis Carvalho, sarpanch of Agassaim, James Alfonso, ex-MLA of St Andre constituency, Francis Silveira and others were present.
So the goals and activities of the ashram are endorsed not only by the Archbishop of Goa but by the entire senior hierarchy of the Society of Pilar.
Baptized Christians are not “seekers”; they have Jesus as the shepherd and the gate, and He is their “Way, the Truth and the Life” (cf. John 14:6). They are filled with the Holy Spirit of God and are commissioned to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them… teaching them to observe all that I have commanded…” (Matthew 28: 19, 20, the Great Commission)
However, our spiritually-impoverished bishops and priests are not only poisoning the clergy, religious and ignorant laity with the teachings of pagan religions, but also forsaking Christ’s mandate to evangelize and going with their begging bowls to the draw from the polluted wellsprings of man-made religions.
Instead of the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, “seekers” receive “common prayer” and “instructions based on various scriptures” which in reality are only fables and mythology; and of course the ubiquitous yoga.
These “inter-faith prayers and meetings” are once again the result of an interreligious dialogue gone awry, and the acceptance of the grossly mistaken belief that all religions are the same in their contents and goals.
St. Francis Xavier and Venerable Pilar Father Agnelo de Souza (1869-1927) who is on the way to being canonized as a Saint of the Catholic Church were not Hinduised and did not do yoga, Surya Namaskar or sing bhajans, use the “scriptures” of other religions or conduct inter-faith prayer meetings. They evangelized.
From Goa’s “Herald”, June 25, 2016:
“Guru Fr. Galdino Monteiro posing for yoga meditation”
Fr. Lino and Madhav
Sr. Bernadette practising yoga
Fr. Elvis performing Surya Namaskar
Scholastics of Mission Seminary* singing bhajans
*The Mission Seminary is the training college for Theology for the Society of Pilar. Figure out for yourselves what our future priests will be doing in their parishes.
The Pilar Seminary “teaches their students methods of quieting their mind with Hindu Yoga and Buddhist Vipassana meditations to help them deal with their vows of celibacy”.
The Pilar Fathers chant “OM” and promote a Hinduisation of the Faith.
Source: GOA PLUS, the supplementary to The Times of India and The Economic Times’ Goa edition of 11-17 March 2005
Father Seby Mascarenhas, rector of Pilar Major Seminary, told UCA News that his fourth-year theology students visit 10 colleges in the state and invite people of other religions to explain their religious tenets.
Father Ivan Almeida, who leads the seminarians, added that people attending such sessions do not pray to any specific God, but “if needed, names of all gods are used.”
PILAR PRIEST FR PETER CARDOZO VENERATES THE HINDU DEITY GANESHA
PILAR SEMINARY, GOA-SYNCRETISM AND NEW AGE
LOTUS AND THE CROSS-THE HINDUISATION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN INDIA
FOCOLARE, ‘THE WORK OF MARY’-IS IT GOOD FOR CATHOLICS?
INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE 01-POPE BENEDICT XVI
INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE 02-GOA CATHOLICS OPPOSE
INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE 03-THE FALSE KIND
SPIRIT OF ASSISI
FATHERS OF THE SVD CONGREGATION WITHOUT ZEAL OR HOPE
WAS JESUS A YOGI? SYNCRETISM AND INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE-ERROL FERNANDES