Message from MOST REV. DR ELIAS FRANK (Bishop of the Diocese of Asansol):
Dear Students, Teachers, Non-Teaching Staff, Parents/Guardians of the Students and CLW authorities,
Probably none of you know me, for the obvious reason, this being my first visit to the school. I am grateful to Sr Priyanka and Sr Asha Agnes for inviting me to visit the school and meet you.
St Joseph’s Schools, both CBSE and ICSE, belong to the Education Trust of the Catholic Diocese of Asansol, of which, at present, I am the president. You are not familiar with the dress I am wearing: it is the official dress of a bishop. The Catholic Diocese of Asansol is one of the eight dioceses in West Bengal and consists of East and West Burdwandistricts and parts of Birbhum and Bankura districts. Every diocese has a bishop as its head.
This month we have important celebrations, on 1st November, we Catholic Christians celebrated All Saints day, that is all our people who have died and are in heaven, we rejoice and thank God for them. On the 2nd we prayed for all the deceasedwho are not yet in heaventhat the bad things they did while on earth may be forgiven to them and they too may be in heaven.
On coming Saturday, it is Deepavali, the feast of light; in Bengal it is Kali Puja. Then towards the end of the month, on the 27th, it is Guru Nanak Jayanti. I wish to take this opportunity to wish our Hindu students and their parents, teaching and non-teaching staff, making my own the message given by the Vatican office for Interreligious Dialogue to all the followers of Hindu religion: “May God, supreme Light, illumine your hearts and minds, bless your homes and neighbourhoods, and fill your lives with peace and happiness!” (the full message can be read on: www.dioceseofasansol.org). Then to our brothers and sisters of Sikh religion, my prayer is: May this festive event bring you joy and peace and help enhance the spiritof unity and solidarity in your families and communities! (from the Vatican message given to those of Sikh religion on the occasion of Guru Nanak Prakash Divas).
Now, coming to us, you come every dayto this beautiful school, but what do you do at school? You come to study, right? Perhaps, most parents want you to study well, get good marks, complete higher studies and then get good jobs, right? The school is not just a place for studying, it is also a place of learning. What is the difference between studying and learning?Studying is gaining knowledge of subjects, but learning is gaining knowledge through experience, observation as well as studying the subjects.
I wish to draw your attention to one thing that is fundamental to achieve success in life: it is about peace. We must promote peace, not hatred, not division. To promote peace we must respect others, no matter what their religion is, what their social status is, no matter what their skin tone or complexion is, no matter what they eat at home. Respecting others means considering themasour brothers and sisters in the human family.
Peace is not possible without protecting our mother earth. When we throw trash here and there, when no recycling is done, we are polluting our mother earth. When we waste water, when we waste electricity we are harming the earth. There are so many things we can do to protect our planet earth.
I invite you, today, my dear children to be promoters of peace for a better future.
Thank you for your kind attention.
Bishop Elias Frank
The Catholic Diocese of Asansol