“Bible is truly the inspired Word of God. Hence, reading the Bible daily attentively and devotedly is listening to God Himself who is its author,” said Father Domenico Soliman, Superior General of the Society of St Paul, inaugurating the newly erected Central Office of the “A Bible for Every Home” project at Subodha Nilayam Communications, Eluru, in Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
“A Bible for Every Home” is a flagship project of the Eluru Diocesan Communication Centre, entrusted to the members of the Society of St Paul.
The Congregation is also responsible for the pastoral care of St Theresa’s Parish, Eluru, in addition to managing Alberione Book and Media Centre, the only Catholic Book Centre in the region.
“A Bible for Every Home” (Indinda Biblu, in Telugu) Project takes its origin from the great dream that Bl. James Alberione, the Founder of the Society of St Paul, had always kept close to his heart. “A Bible for Every Family, a New Testament for Everyone”, for the realization of which, he was prepared to go to any extent!
A concrete step he took to realize this dream was to set aside a printing machine, only for printing different editions of the Bible, and the New Testament. He also insisted that printing and distribution of the Bible should take precedence over any other activity that the Paulines take up anywhere in the world.
“A Bible for Every Home” Project was formally launched in Andhra (at Eluru) in November 2006, as part of the week-long “Bible Festival”, in the presence of Bishop Galli Bali, then Bishop of Guntur, and Chairman of the CBCI Commission for Bible, Bishop John Mulagada, the first Bishop of Eluru, and Bishop Mathew Cheriankunnel, PIME.
After a gap of 16 years, it was re-launched in November, last year, to coincide with the 50th Death Anniversary of Bl. James Alberione by making more than 600 copies of the Telugu Catholic Bible available at free of cost, and then more copies at Rs 150, (half of the selling price of Rs 300), parish by parish.
The first parish to benefit from the project was Lourdu Matha Church, Thadikalapudy, (Eluru) where over 500 families received the Bible last year at half the selling price. The next parish chosen is Vyakula Matha Parish, Penugonda, 80 Kms away from the city headquarters. Nearly 200 families will receive the Bible at the reduced rate on 19th and 26th of February, after the Sunday Mass. The target is to reach 10 parishes of the diocese of Eluru during the year 2023.
Father Domenico Soliman, the 8th successor of Bl. James Alberione, the Founder of the Pauline Family, was warmly welcomed at the entrance of Subodha Nilayam by Advocate B.V. Krishna Reddy, Chairman, Indian Red Cross Society, together with the heads of nearby educational institutions, students of St Theresa’s Junior College and the students of the adjacent Nursing School, run by the Red Cross Society.
Father Soliman is the second Superior General to visit Eluru. He was accompanied by Fr Joby Mathew, the newly-elected Provincial Superior, and Fr Sajith Cyriac, Provincial Councillor.
The Superior General also felicitated Mr Anjarao, veteran Telugu Catholic poet and author, recipient of many literary Awards, who has to his credit numerous poems and over 25 books, many of which are Bible-centred, and lives of popular Indian saints. He had also made significant contributions to the publication of the revised edition of the Telugu Catholic Bible, 25 years ago, working with Fr (Dr) Gude Balthazar in 1997- 98, which is being used even to this day.
The 73-year-old Anjarao said that though he has received many accolades and has been felicitated by many literary organisations in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it is for the first time that he has received such an honour from a Catholic institution, and that too from the hands of the head of a world-wide Catholic media house like the Society of St Paul. -- Fr Alfonso Elengikal, SSP
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