“You are the light of the world. They do not light a lamp to be placed under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it shines light to all who are in the house. So then, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good deeds, and may glorify your Father in heaven“. (Matthew 5:14-16)
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, as we begin the new spiritual year, I extend a warm welcome to you all to the Indian American Catholic family. As Catholics hailing from our respective native South Asian motherlands, we have been entrusted with the responsibility of sharing our faith and love of Christ in this part of the western world. Guided by our Mother, our Lady of Vailankanni, the Indian American Catholic Association (IACA) strives to achieve this goal by reaching out to all faithful Catholics with origins from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
IACA was founded in 1993 with the mission of bringing together South Asian Catholics in the United States to foster faith and spiritual values while retaining our cultural identity. In the year 1997, IACA played a prominent role in establishing the oratory of our Mother Lady of Good Health Vailankanni, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC. With strong support of devotees from the Indian subcontinent, we have been organizing annual pilgrimage to the National Shrine during the month of September every year.
Last year we are celebrated the 20th anniversary of Our Lady of Vailankanni at the Basilica, with the participation of more than 2500 faithful from the Washington DC region. We had the privilege of having His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai as the main celebrant along with Archbishop Most Rev. Leo Cornelio of Bhopal and Most Rev. Thomas Paulsamy, Bishop of Dindigul, India. It was a celebration of great honor to our mother and moment of pride to all believers from our region.
This year, the pilgrimage is planned for Saturday, 8 September 2018, which is the Nativity Feast of our Mother. All are welcome and encouraged to participate with your loved ones in great numbers.
IACA is leading an effort is to establish a new oratory of our Mother at Emittsburg, Maryland in order to increase the devotion of Our Lady of Good Health Vailankanni in the United States.
There are variety of charitable and social activities that IACA supports. We assist our brethren in dire need of physical or emotional help either due to natural calamities or other hardships. We also conduct programs for youth and young adults to provide guidance in faith and instill values to become responsible Catholic members of our church.
Here are the activities IACA has planned for the year 2018:
(Some dates yet to be decided)
- Novena to Our lady of Vailankanni (Every first Saturday 4:30pm at the National Shrine, DC)
- Lenten Retreat
- Mother’s Day Celebration (at the Grotto of Lourdes in Emittsburg, Maryland) – Sunday, May 20st
- Youth and Young Adult Activities
- Anniversary Pilgrimage at the National Shrine, DC on Sep 8, 2018
- Christmas Celebration (date tbd)
We have a highly committed and passionate team at IACA representing each community and we need more volunteers to achieve or mission. If you would like to participate, please check our events in Facebook or this website or come to a meeting at the Basilica. You can also send an email at the below address.
Thank you for reading this note. May God bless you and keep you safe.
Harold Naveen D’Souza
President – Indian American Catholic Association