“The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isa 40:8)
A weekend Biblical Seminar on the Book of Prophet Isaiah was organized and conducted in Atma Darshan by our INM Biblical Apostolate Coordinator, Fr. Valerian Pius Fernandes SVD, as part of the ongoing seminars. These seminars on the various books of the Bible were initiated under the leadership and vision of Fr. Nazareth Sequeira in 2014, who was then the INM Biblical Coordinator, and were conducted with the help of Fr. Valerian, Fr. Naveen Rebello, Fr. Jose Kollemkunnel, Fr. Donald D’Souza and others. Over the past 7-8 years, these seminars have been conducted at regular intervals and so far the entire New Testament and the Wisdom Books have been successfully studied.
A committed group of about 30 participants has been attending these seminars in the past and now more and more people from various parishes of Mumbai Archdiocese are joining this group. Those who attended these seminars in the past, as well as this seminar on the Book of Isaiah, were very much satisfied with the content and presentation. They are open to learning more and more about the prophetic literature, as this gives them an opportunity to understand the background in which the prophets exercised their prophetic ministry and also appreciate what they have written in their books. Many questions, though, remain unanswered. But a lot of things are clarified during the seminar. It happens to be more an interactive seminar, with the participants asking questions and sharing also their own insights. They also began to appreciate how much of the Old Testament writings are quoted in the New Testament, especially Isaiah, and what they meant for Jesus and the early Church.
The participants come from different parishes of the Archdiocese of Mumbai, like, Dombivli, Kalwa, Thane, Mulund, on the Eastern side, while many come from Mira Road, Orlem, Malad, Amboli, Marol, Sahar, Four Bungalows, and other parishes, besides our own Sacred Heart Parish in Andheri and St. Theresa’s Parish, Bandra. Due to the prolonged pandemic and lockdown many could not join the seminar this time. However, there is a genuine request from many and many are hungry for the Word of God. God willing, more people will join the next seminar on the Book of Jeremiah in February 2022. In a word, the Word of God is alive and active, and it will be so.