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Writings of Melvyn Brown 


                                                            by  Melvyn Brown
                        Here's a bit of angel trivia : about 90 AD, Pope St. Clement I sent the Corinthians a letter, because the Bishops and priests were in conflict with one another,and the clergy had problems with the laity.In his letter to the Corinthians the Holy Father,
Pope Clement said, " consider the whole multitude of the angels, how they stand to minister to the divine will."
                        Angels are an important part of church history. They play a dynamic role in Christianity. In the fifth century, Priscillian, a bishop, made an incredible claim in developing his own idea that angels were emanations of God. This was a form of pantheism.Pope Leo I referred to Priscillianism as blasphemy, and a century later the heresy was
condemned. In 385 AD, Priscillian was executed by civil authority.
                        By the year 565 AD the Council of Braga, Poland, issued alist of anathemas against Priscillian. One of the anathemas was : " If anyone says that the devil was not first a good angel created by God,or that ... he had no creator but is himself the principle and substance of evil, let him be anathema."
                       In the thirteenth Century Holy Mother the Church announced an authoritative declaration on angels at the Fourth Lateran Council 1215 AD. This became the most important dogma of our faith. God is the Creator of all things visible and invisible, spiritual and corporeal. He has created all creatures out of nothing. The devil and other demons were
" created by God good according to their nature ( they were good angels ) but made themselves evil."
                        Protestants never compromise on praying to the angels and saints to ask them to intercede for us at the feet of God.
                        Our basic Catholic teaching is to invoke the angels and saints to obtain from God our wants.
                         " We must never let the angels come between us and God. We are not to look to the angels for our refuge, nor are we to invoke their aid. God is our refuge and we are to invoke His aid - and at His prerogative, the angels will render assistance as He directs.
(  Rhodes, " Angels Among Us, " 215 )
                         Remember ; Angels are divine intercessors, whom we are to invoke on our way to heaven.
                         Angels are a part of the whole history of salvation. The Pope defends the existence of angels. They are the messengers of God from the time of human creation.Angels have always been at the service of the Chosen People. They played an integral role in the Saviour's ministry. They will serve the Church till the end of time.
                         When we travel through this world and into eternity, the angels are our constant guides and protectors. Saint Basil once said : " Everyone of the faithful has beside him an angel as tutor and pastor, to lead him to life. "
                          " Guardian angels," come in many forms into our mundane lives. Our burnout levels differ - but, when you stop to think, some of the most potential moments in our life of suffering and stress is often brought to a sudden, unexpected stop, when someone solves your traumatized  experience. It was your " guardian angel."
                           Guardian angels deserve respect. They guide and protect you, and when you believe in God, His angels will protect you against the wickedness of the devil.
                                                             by  Melvyn Brown
One of the miracles of Indian democracy is the freedom to struggle to keep the faith. You can't help but wonder what might have happened if the clergy failed in their spiritual formation. Ministering to the Catholic fold, many men-of-the-cloth confront
their own weaknesses from time to time.
                          A recent report read : The Church today needs priests with a sound human, cultural and spiritual formation, said Pope Benedict XV1.
                          " The quality of the clergy depends on the soundness of their formation,"said the Holy Father in his talk to seminarians at the Capranica College, the seminary of the Diocese of Rome.
                           Keep a spiritual journal, keep it brimming with love, faith, life values and prayer. It is an unwritten truth that loneliness and fear can strain and strengthen belief in the Creator and oneself.God's steadfast presence is unique. He is always there. He sees you fall, and when you turn to Him, He helps you to rise.
                           In addition to their studies, seminarians must receive an " integral formation, centered on the spiritual dimension, " whose " pillars are the daily sacrament of the Eucharist and the sacrament of confession. "
                           A parish appointment can often be a place which challenges your faith,hope and commitment. Priests are further stressed when sermons have to be given and lived up to. Bad things are happening to good people, and it is once again, an unwritten rule to confront the evil and to be firm in resolve.
                           Pope Benedict XV1 has said with a kindness and kinship so readily apparent in his spiritual leadership : that the Church has opted for a " sound human, cultural and spiritual formation, open to the needs proper to times and places."
                           Would this stress you : The Holy Father is considering to publish a document that will permit  Catholic priests the right to celebrate Mass according to the pre-Conciliar 1962 Missal.
                           The old Mass is not " anachronistic " , it is  " timeless. "
                                      Grappling with faith under stress is to be regarded as fighting with the demons of temptation , greed, fear,loneliness and doubt. The seminarian today will be the priest " trained to wear the armour of God " tomorrow, for His greater glory.                                    



                                                                        by  Melvyn Brown

The Catholic Church never relents from asking us to ponder on our Christian faith. David Ben-Gurion, the late Israeli prime minister once said : Ours is a country built more on people than on territory. The Jews will come from every where: from France, from Russia, from America, from Yemen ...... their faith is their passport....

Guidelines however are required, and an honest label to roam within the parameters of belief in the faith. Ask the scholastics at Roman Catholic seminaries if they have an inkling of the demands and effectiveness of the purpose of faith. Most of them lose credibility when tackled with no other option than to face reality in defining faith. The word 'faith' is a noun. It would mean reliance or trust. It is a word found in a religious doctrine. Belief is a promise, connects to loyalty and sincerity.

The purpose of religious faith is based on the hope of a life beyond life, of reward, peace and eternal bliss with a new form of existence. Faith in God. Faith in the role of salvation. Faith in one self to trust in promises and, above all, the faith to believe in prayer, as in faith healing. To have unrestricted access to matters of faith which concerns the spiritual growth and basic foundation of inner healing is only available to a few selected ones. This is a privilege or is it ?


                                                by   Melvyn Brown

 Pope Benedict XV1 has urged the need today for priests with a sound human, cultural and spiritual formation. " The quality of the clergy depends on the soundness of their formation, " said the Pope in his talk to seminarians.
                         You are probably familiar with the growing weakness in the surge of faith during sacred festivals and services in the church. Times when togetherness can directly measure the effects of devotion in prayer, confession, rituals and in belief.
                         Aside from such enhanced moments in our Christian lives, nobody doubts that our faith can eclipse the pain, terror and bad-values surrounding us. The syndrome of opinions, behaviour and emotions however, is beginning to rattle in the cupboard of our present-day consciousness.
                         The intricately laid out pattern of belief, trust and devotion of past generations is now being reexamined. To many young Catholic women, abortion becomes an option. The Pope is not always the revered father-figure of Christ on earth.Confession is becoming a headache as youth shy away from priests they have no trust in.
                          The postwar Catholic world, from the end of World War II to the early 1960's kept sliding down the path of aimless dreams , forgotten spiritual values, complex notions that peace was hidden in abstract cults, that pity and compassion could be found elsewhere. What happened to Catholics in Europe had a strangely haunting effect in parts of the Third World , where the Catholic faith had always a zealous following.
                          Attendance in churches keeps going down throughout Europe. The time was suddenly ripe for the invasion of Satan and his hoards, filling up the vote banks abroad so they could infiltrate and destroy the Christian God's domain through politics, through their physical presence, through their own warped ideas and visions.
                          The last bastion of the Catholic faith is supposedly here in Asia and the Far East. Converts to Christianity are  strengthning the floodgates of our belief, and conventional wisdom keeps the barricades from falling into the hands of spiritual terrorists.
                           The surge of faith today needs an inoculation of power-prayers, the Rosary, unwavering trust in God and a new scenario of worship. Seminarians and novices are the key to the future of a stronger and more stable church. They must reach out to higher spiritual needs ; TO BE GUIDES, MESSENGERS OF TRUST, PEOPLE OF PRAYER, COMFORTERS WITH COMPASSION, finally, they must radiate Christ in their mission.               
                           The Pontiff went on to say, in studies, seminarians should receive an" integral formation, centered on the spiritual dimension, " whose " pillars are the daily sacrament of the Eucharist and the sacrament of confession."
                            The last bastion of the faith will not fall and will never exist.

Corpus Christi Procession
St. Xavier's Calcutta




                                                        by Melvyn Brown

                I believe in Easter. Easter is forever.

                I believe in the Son of God who died, was buried and rose from the dead.

                I believe in the Message of Easter, and in the person of Jesus.

                I believe, like Him, we too shall rise again.

                I believe because I know that Easter is the single and greatest story the

                                                                world has ever known.

                I believe that Christ proved to mankind once and for all that He was God.

                I believe in Easter not for the reasons people give, but for the knowledge I

                                            share with millions of others before me, who knew the

                                            Resurrection of the Son was and always will be the truth

                                            of our faith.

               I believe in the Spirit of Easter, the Spirit of the Father, the Son and the

                                                                                                      Holy Ghost.

               I believe that Easter is the ultimate festival in the Christian faith.

               I believe in all the events which led to the crucifixion and the eventual

                                  return of Jesus to the body and to His flock.

               I believe that Easter proves God loves us.

               I believe that Easter is the symbol of new life, a beginning, a profound 

                                            ecstasy to salvation. It is only because I believe that

                                            God makes all things possible. Easter makes our

                                            Christian lives have meaning. Easter means hope.

                                             Easter means redemption. Easter is the final word of

                                            God to all believers. Easter is the spring of eternal life

                                             the gateway to heaven, the ladder to reach the holy

                                             presence of Almighty God.

              I believe in an Easter of forgiveness.

              I believe in an Easter of peace.

              I believe in Easter as the sanction, which breaks all the hate and exudes

                                             the promise of paradise. Easter signifies renewal. 

                                             Easter radiates the glory of things to come. Easter 

                                             is the power which makes our faith unique. Easter

                                             is the bond we make at birth as the people of God.

             I believe in Easter above all else.

Mental And Physical Spirituality

                                                                                             by Melvyn Brown

                           There is no spiritual vacuum. Faith transforms. It creates an

ascendancy of healthy moral and social values. Belief is a rich and marvelous experience open to all, and not only to the mystic. Call it faith or belief, the spiritual dimension within exerts its potential to do good beyond our mundane understanding.

                            Two forms of spirituality exists: Physical and mental.

                            Physical spirituality is the advocacy of action in prayer and  performance for the creator's attention. Prayer beads contribute to most cultures a form of hysical activity - sometimes for concentration ; for rhythm to thought ; for the "power" attributed to vibrations. In Hinduism , Buddhism, Islam and Taoism, prayer beads prove their potency.

                            The triumph and fulfilment of prayer in physical spirituality comes on bended knees, raising the arms, using the voice in psalms, chants and song; the  sound of ringing bells in temples, churches and places of worship add to this form of holiness. Burning of candles, incense and joss sticks no less.

                            Dance plays a significant role as well. The Hindu temple dancers. The fertility dances of Egypt, the rain dances of Africa ; dances to invoke the Gods for every temporal want, from an abundant harvest, to worship of the almighty. In China, since its constitution was amended in 1982 to permit freedom of religion - the spiritual form of dance is being revived.

                            The art of physical spirituality is to mobilise energy, prayer and piety  into the web of material creativeness : into paintings, sculpture, designs for houses of prayer ; wood carvings of statues from the bulwark of the early years of

Christianity. Stone figures in Hindu temples are earlier than the millenniums even before Egypt built golden figures of their Gods and pharaohs. Taoism and the chinese form of physical spirituality is preserved in images of semi-precious stones : in jade, amber and crystal (the more commonly used stones) Chinese craftsmen were the early masters of the clay figurine. They all practised physical spirituality.    

                              Mental spirituality is non-rigorous, yet equally demanding. It debunks the feats of shamans - and in a less show of attention performs an epiphany of sincere dialogue with the universal forces. There is a wave of theology to prove mental spirituality or for that matter, the concept and existence of God. "Believe,"said the man Jesus, "and all things are possible." True.

                             Belief in mental spirituality will attract the power of good always. Prayers are petitions. Practised by mystics,monks, priests and maulanas across the earth.Religion is no longer the opiate of the masses. Religion in the form of mental spirituality compounds a way to cleanse sin and evil without the harsh realities of physical transgression. There is no mind-bending struggle with the power of mental spirituality. It is basically a simple act of putting manual effort to spirituality visions.

                              The simple message in mental spirituality is to harness the floodgates of belief that there is a god who is responsible, loving and ever prepared to forgive and assist us in our honest and sincere desires. Never think negatively. Let it be known that spirituality in deed and thought never lost a soul.


                                                                                 By  Melvyn Brown

                                Tell anyone who doesn't live inCalcutta that the country has a destitution syndrome and you're likely to be faced with shock,if not smiles. Sickness,aging and dying in the population is dramatically misguided in policy decisions,considering the status quo and the vast potential in mass advances in business,welfare,medicine,arms and industrial productivity. The performance to help the rich grow richer is always efficiently maintained as a way of life and a standard of living.

                                  In the midst of all these harsh realities Mother Teresa,founder of the Missionaries of Charity worldwide, became an icon of peace,hope and love, the most unlikely refuge and shelter for the broken spirit of men, women and children across the globe. She had no deadline to meet, only to care, comfort and rescue the poorest of the poor. Observers insist that her will and stubborn determination to generate compassion from those "who have,for those who haven't" was the driving force,which brought incredible relief from the most unexpected quarters.

                                   With breathless excitement I once went with Mother Teresa's group of volunteer-workers, and the media to Raigarh. It was a welcome experience to witness Mother in person, to receive her blessings, and to observe the love and hospitality she received wherever  she went. I was there as a freelance journalist ,reporting for the Herald.

                                   At this point I knew that a scrupulously prepared,emotionally sincere writer has the fortunate blessings, as I had, of being in the presence of  a spiritual gem. Mother Teresa knew the stress of tireless self-awareness and by her gesture and _expression could relay a volume of happiness and hope around her.

                                   The scattered accolades of leading personalities who had known Mother Teresa turned out to be a scoopful to preserve as part of the saint-to- be's history. I recall the words of Dominique Lapierre who said, ' I feel orphaned. We have lost our mother. Mother Teresa's spirit has to be kept alive." Adams Hopkins, American journalist had written in the Telegraph, "Here was a a woman who merits the grief of all of us for she took upon herself the sorrows of humanity.'

                                   The famous Indian photographer, Raghu Rai, had this to say about Mother Teresa : "She lived truth 100 per cent of the time. She would help everybody if she thought you needed it. But she could be tough, even with the poor if she thought that they were playing a game with her..."

                                     Khushwant Singh, the columnist could not resist the urge to comment on Mother Teresa. "I found her a singularly unimpressive looking woman with no charisma but nerves of steel and a heart of gold..."

                                     The Missionaries of Charity had expanded into Europe and America, Africa and Australia. It was the misery of Calcutta that built up and sustained her reputation; it induced the rich and the powerful to give her money and the benefits of patronage.

                                     Mother Teresa's relentless ascent to sainthood has proved the power of prayer and that the struggle to do good will always be a beacon of hope and vision for this new millennium.



                                              By Melvyn Brown

                            Roman Catholics around India don't get many chances to celebrate. So when someone decides to make a breakthrough with the openness to talk about the Catholic conservative organisation ‘Opus Dei’ and their mission to teach  holiness to Catholics, they are jubilant.

                           The organisation was approved  by the Pope in 1982 with a special place in the Catholic church. The founder of ‘Opus Dei’, Jose Maria Escriva promoted the vision of an apostolate to teach Catholics to work towards holiness. It was the yardstick which drew 87,000 members from across the world. In 2002 Escriva was made a saint. 

                               Pope John Paul 11 admired ‘Opus De’i for their mission in prayer, silence and healing spiritual dilemmas. It was John Allen, the author of a book on ‘Opus Dei’ who first publicly said the groups influence was not as strong as people imagined.

                               Adding salt to the wound, along came Dan Brown's book The ‘Da Vinci Code’, and it portrayed an unfair image of ‘Opus Dei’. Brian Finnerty, spokes-person for Opus Dei said. "What we're trying to do is take advantage of the interest to explain what the real ‘Opus Dei’ is all about."

                                ‘Opus Dei’ is practical in its charitable works, and aids hospitals, social centres and schools in America and Africa. In Manhattan they have a 17-storey building and people are asked to visit, or reach for colourful leaflets to know more about plans and projects. There are offices, conference rooms and accommodations for their members. Finnerty said, " Not at all like a monastery..."

                                 The book "The Da Vinci Code" portrayed ‘Opus Dei’ as a cult, recruiting members and keeping them as strangers to their families -This was wrong, and only helped to further unrest in the minds of Catholics. The novel has been " condemned" by the Roman Catholic Church.

                                 In May 2006 the movie of the book will be released. Opus Dei is deeply concerned and determined to overcome the "unblessed image" painted by the author. 

                                                                           Melvyn Brown 

                                   A  CONCERTO  TO  CRIPPLE  THE  FAITH

                                                             by  Melvyn Brown

 We are witnesses today of all the telltale signs of a dark plot eerily reminiscent of another "Jesus bashing" breakout ‘Jesus in Kashmir’, His miracles supposedly done with cannabis; did He exist or was it a myth; the Da Vinci Code; the fading-away of religious instruction being taught in schools; the movement to remove the Cross ( a symbol of Christianity) from the walls in Christian institutions.

                     Someone is trying to discredit our true faith, in a transparent concerto to devastate the temerity in our belief. They are peddling doubts, ideas that can cripple the mind of young believers, downloading dissent which grows like a virus in the hearts of followers. Who is this someone ? Are we putting our Christian values in danger? Is it time to retrace our steps - and overwhelm the enemy, in a Christian and old-fashioned way; faith above all else. Prayers,processions and vigils to coordinate and destroy this pariah of perdition.

                    Unfazed in knowing that no Christian reaction can be strong enough, the brain behind this concerted effort to use mercenaries for its purposes is evidence of the pen being mightier.

                     An atheist in Italy puts a small-town priest on trial for asserting that the Son of God had existed 2000 years ago. The Italian judge has since dismissed thecase. The atheist is being prosecuted for possible slander.

                     The recent bestseller on the so-called secret life of Jesus has since been torn-to-pieces, and declared as a work of fiction. It purported at first to be based on facts in the media causing irreparable harm to innocent minds.

                      The media has the freedom to explore any topic if it will help to better circulation and readership. The media is used around the world as a vehicle to inform, cultivate, care or cripple ideas. There is very little we can do to stop it - we could use the media to promote what's right, just and correct. Discretion is always the better part of valour .

                       The concerto to cripple the faith must be met with the honesty of truth and trust.

                                                                    - Melvyn Brown 




                                             By Melvyn Brown



                     What we need in society today, is change. Change for a world united in peace. Change in the script which calls for peace and hesitates to implement it. We need peace on all fronts:political, religious, domestic, industrial, you name it, we need it. The umbilical cord of deceit tied around the neck of greed and corruption should be wasted away.. Enough is enough.

                      The accumulation of wealth is an illusion of success. You may not believe this. How much money does an individual need? Enough to live a peaceful, happy,well-invested life. Not to dream of excessive owning, having, wanting,more,more and more. Peace is found, eventually on the pyre of disgust and illusion.

                       Have a good home by all means if it frames your attitude. Have the opportunity to help others. Good people are selfless and shine in the face of adversity.You can be rich, not filthy rich, or you will have less regard for the fallen or the poor.

                       With the advent of men like the new Iranian President, Ahmadinejad, who wishes :"Israel must be wiped off the map". What would happen to all the good men, and especially all the men who desire to accumulate wealth endlessly ? Because, a single nuclear explosion could also engulf more than Israel in its wake. A chain-reaction will wipe out not only Zionism,but also Islam from the world.

                       Enough is enough.

                       Let people make their own choices based on their own practical decisions and beliefs.No more talk about, peace corp.,peace prize, peace treaty -enough is enough.....


                                       Melvyn Brown


                         How Franciscans of  Assisi  Lost  Their  Autonomy

                                                                                 by Melvyn Brown

  Imagine a community of mendicant friars with a vision to make the shrine of St. Francis of Assisi the world -centre of inter-religious dialogue ,and pacifism. Now imagine them dashing off to Rome to plead for autonomy. That was basically the reality.

                         The hype began when Pope Paul VI n 1969 granted autonomy to te friars. The Umbrian hills showcasing the shrine of the saint became renowned overnight for peace marches, and for peace conferences (1986 and 2002) Pilgrims were welcomed in millions every year at the burial place of St.Francis.

                         The Franciscans rapidly turned the shrine and their efforts into a bold an colourful institution in the Catholic Church. They had built a bridge between the Church and society.

                         The first conference had the participation of native American and African animists, including Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist leaders. With conservative Catholics this did not go off well.

                          Cardinal Ratzinger at the time was Pope John Paul II's theological adviser, said, "this cannot be the model" for ecumenical dialogue. Ratzinger could not forgive the excesses of the first day of prayer which brought together leaders with Pope John Paul II.

                          The "mockery" had forced the Pope's hand and the friars had broken their agreement. It had gone too far when African animists were allowed to slaughter chickens on the altar of the basilica of Santa Chiara, and American Indians danced in the church.

                          Since that inter-religious meeting in 1986 Cardial Ratzinger had a

bone to settle with the friars.

                           Vittorio Messori, a Catholic commentator said, " The Church as a long memory. Joseph Ratzinger has had an account to settle with the friars of Assisi.....Ratzinger has not forgiven the Franciscan community for the excesses of

the first day of prayer of religious leaders," which included Pope John Paul II.

                           When Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI he took the decision to put Assisi under the control of the local bisop, a cardinal, and Cardinal Ruini, a

strong conservative leader of the Italian Bishop's Conference.

                            Franciscans lost their autonomy and the " fort of dialogue has fallen," said Livia Turco, an ex-member of the opposition Democrats of the Left.

                            No longer will the Franciscans be the bridge between the Catholic Church and society.


                                             Melvyn Brown    


                           THE  WAY  WE  ARE

                                                                by Melvyn Brown             

                          The more experienced in the ways of the world know what to expect and maybe what not to where people are concerned. If we celebrate the way we are, the seriousness of human nature will be emboldened and become a testament to the vagaries of human life.

                          Homo sapiens have alternating wavelengths which shortens in some and increases in others. Elementary psychology today determines that a person performs on the patterned structure of his environment and influence. If this summation is heeded then people, who refuse to change, are not intentionally guilty of their irrational actions.

                          Phil McFadden,chief scientist at Geoscience Australia once said,

"One of the problems is that if you tell untrained people,"Listen - there's a tsunami coming," half of them go down to the beach to see what a tsunami looks like."

                          For the past several decades human actions and their reactions have ruptured; based largely on the overflow of  mistaken ideologies that provoke hate, anger and death as redemption. Massive doses of violence around the world are recorded for research in order to investigate their underlying motives. While this effort has its own scenario, the horror of recurring suicide-bombers moving around like zombies is always a nightmare for a cultured and civilized society.

                           This is not the way we are.

                          We are good people. We tolerate and endure. We do not believe in genocide. We cannot bear the barbaric act of executions. We never insult our friends and neighbours. Terrorism is a cowards way to prove a point. Invasion is disgusting. The spirit of man and his visions can never be blown-up, battered, threatened or massacred.     

                           I am somewhat of a skeptic. But the teachings I grew up with taught me to trust people, to accept their misgivings, to overlook their wayward behaviour and to pardon those who are sorry for their misdeeds. I was also taught to know when to draw the line with die-hards. Yes, to turn the cheek once, twice but not

everytime. To be kind, to be polite, to be passionate, to bear only as much as a ravaged heart can take.

                           Life is a gift, believe it. Life is beautiful, accept it. Life contributes to a profound sense of love and peace.

                           No one has the right to destroy life. No one.

                            And that's the way we are.


                                                                                   - Melvyn Brown  


                            The  Second  Crucifixion

                                     by  Melvyn Brown

                      The new wisdom of opening up the life of Jesus to a transfusion of oddities and absurd misconceptions in the media is becoming a major and festering issue with Christians worldwide.

                       The latest trauma is in an article by Chris Bennett in the drugs magazine,High Times, titled "Was Jesus a Stoner?"  He quotes scholars  to  back his claim that cannabis was used in Judaic religion.Used in anointing. In incense, and what not.

                        Duncan Campbell, the reporter from Los Angeles,had his own misgivings when he wrote in The Guardian, "Bennett argues that Jesus anointed his disciples with the oil and encouraged them to do the same with other followers..."

                          The unmistakable and mischievous fact about classical mythology in other beliefs could be accepted as harmless - not in Christian theology. Christianity is highly motivated in history, thought and ancient truth, which is, perhaps, unfamiliar territory to both Bennett and Campbell.

                           Suddenly, in this millennium Satan and his cohorts have grown a strategy of dark insurgency to demean Christ and the Catholic establishment. From the books on "Jesus lived  in Kashmir" to the present day "Da Vinci Code", these are not a good proxy for the millions outside the faith who would be

stained by doubt and disbelief. Fanning of resentment in this clever campaign to discredit a faith known to be unchanged, documented stubbornly by countless prophets down the history of the Old Testament, giving in a perfectly consistent statement after statement the predictions for the coming of Jesus - and how He would be born, live,perform and die for the salvation of mankind.

                    Today the canvassers of hate, grumpiness and terrorism will never defeat the Christian faith, even with those who have made a "bad xerox copy"  of Christianity with attachment to their own cults cannot wipe away the tears from heaven.The second crucifixion of Jesus in the media has made the Christian faith stronger in its momentum to sail through another millennium.

                              If the ingredient called "Kaneh-bosem" was used for miracles in healing - by all means go ahead and use the cannabis extract and heal the blind, the lame, the changing of water-to-wine, the re-patching of a cut-off human ear, and of course, bring back the dead to life. Try it.

  - Melvyn Brown 


                                   Reality Versus Compassion

                        Pope Benedict Calls for a New World Order

                                   by  Melvyn Brown


                      In his first Christmas address Pope Benedict called for a "new world order", to unite against terrorism. "A united humanity will be able to confront the many troubling problems of the present time : from the menace of terrorism to the humiliating poverty in which millions of human beings live...Do not fear; put your trust in Him...." 

                        We know of them around the world as "midnight's children". We know that they spearhead attacks with the sole aim to destroy and to become homicidal martyrs. We know that their women are viewed as mothers, sometimes as chattel and in an amusing way as icons, prepared to end their lives in the name of 'honour' and 'faith'.

                         Now, that is reality. A word normally linked to brotherhood, violence, avant-garde. Their self-imposed pressures for spiritual and physical cleansing has  of late, become an increasing sign of frustration among their kind. Sacrifice is not the path to success, some among them view it as counterproductive.

                         Reality has been focused on oppression. Reality is their norm to degrade society and to forbid postrevolutionary dreams. Reality is when the streets are teaming with women police and lawyers in flowing gowns.There is no alternative paradise, or angels for them in the afterlife. That there is only subservience forever is the raw reality gradually dawning on the tightly woven brotherhood.

                         Some answers may not be logical in the face of reality. To make an enduring peace one must disperse with the mistaken calling for slaughter and battle - in the firestorm of reality.

                         We know them too well, in the circle of our friends, in the neighbourhood, in business and in social parlance.

                           Let us give them compassion. Let us show them compassion. For  God's sake , we can break their backs with compassion.

                           Compassion is the answer for a new world order.


                                                                               by Melvyn Brown   


A  Black  Christmas  Tree ,  God  Forbid

                                by    Melvyn  Brown
                           Most disturbing news this week was a lead article in the Telegraph from London, no less, pushing the style-conscious to put on a Black Christmas, party dress and black artificial trees.
                           In the tradition of a "Christian Christmas" there is not an ounce of elegance or  sophistication in a black Christmas.
                           Having a Black New Year would be the more appropriate, as the year past and present is labeled with death, destruction and deceit - worldwide. Mourn for your loved ones, mourn for your children's future, mourn for your precious life in an uncertain world.
                           Put up a black-bell to ring in another year of sorrow. Have black balloons to burst, and black party caps, not forgetting black bugles to blow. Does that sound morbid ? Of  course, it's disgusting.
                           The ramifications to use the colour black as a style-in-fashion falls to a small coterie of blind design connoisseurs.
                           Since creation the good angels were always dressed in white and Satan and his hoards were depicted in black. White apsaras, black demons. The white flag of truce  and the black for violence. A white Christmas.....yes. White is clean. Black is dirty.
                           Now, for a non-satiric take on the colour black. It all began with the stealth  campaign of one terrorist to disorient the world as enforcer of peace, justice and understanding which emerged much before 9/11. The slow and determined destruction of a worldwide system propagating "love where there is hate" was orchestrated in reverse to a cerebral hemorrhage, where the symphony lay bleeding in black with a new ideology in the slogan, "hate where there is love".
                           Black. The colour is pitted against everything good. Black is the reflection of Satan's intelligentsia. The world has always found a fissure in the colour black, closely aligned with hate, sorrow, mourning, evil, sin, death, tragedy and as a portend for corruption and infamy.
                            The Black arm-band of grief, the black flag of protest, women under subjugation are dressed in black, the black border round the orbituary, the black scarf and a dozen other black symbols in a litany of divisive disgust for this mundane life.
                             The stealth programme today has cunningly sniggered into the Christian  faith. We are told in a report that the style-conscious people in London are pushing for a black Christmas in the tree agenda. Not true. Artificial black trees may be the thrill of a few mad men, but it will stick out like a sore thumb to the rest of the Christian world.
                             Before they experience the conquest of a black Rome _ we should make Rome and the senile world wake up to the call of the present Iraqi tenet to not only wipe out Israel, but the entire global village including themselves. God forbid.

Calcutta Corpus Christi Feast

  Photo and Text by Melvyn Brown

                         Although the local press did not make much of the annual Corpus Christi (Feast of Christ the King) and procession - this year, the Year of the Holy Eucharist, proved to be one of the finest in the history of the event here in the city.
                          The special concelebrated Mass out in the open field at St.Xavier's College brought together over seven  thousand Ctholics from all the parishesin the metropolis. It was a colourful event in the best possible tradition of a Roman Catholic offering.
                            A  breathtaking sight beheld onlookers as they closelywatched the grand open-air altar enthroned with an enormous Italian painting of Christ and his followers (see pic.).
                            The Archbishop of Calcutta, Lucas Sarcar, and the Vicar-General, Michael Bhaju concelebrated Holy Mass with half-a-dozen priests at the altar. It was a glorious moment for the Church to witness so many Catholic communities worshipping under a united banner with pastoral tenderness.
                              The hymns, the prayers, the beautiful and inspiring homily was the ultimate arbiter of our Catholic faith.
                               The parish groups,youth,elders, priests and nuns from many congregations led the well-organised procession into the street, and returned to the floodlit grounds of the college to conclude the momentos 2005 Corpus Christi gathering with the theme : Stay With Us Lord.
                                    -Melvyn Brown


A  Handful  Of  Angels

                                      by  Melvyn Brown
                  In  today's world, peace isn't what it used to be. Riding out the storm in a bad situation is always enmeshed with a mindset of melodramatic ideas which splurge on tolerance, patience and understanding.
                  The Human Rights people, the Greenpeace advocates, Aid organisations and the
United Nations,no less, are a handful of angelsleft to assist a wounded, tortured and crippled world.
                  Earthquake refugees in Islamabad are being surreptitiously observed by world leaders. How can help reach them before the cold winter takes more lives. Food, tents, immediate evacuation is the need of the hour.
                  Paris in flames. Angry young Arabs and blacks have pulled the ignition switch on their frustration and fears.The French have an overriding duty to come forward and act with charity, fellowship and mercy towards their immigrants.
                  Jordan's suicide bombings have broken the good reputation of the country's credibility. The Prince of Jordan takes charge to make tough decisions.
                   What can a civilized world do when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian, wants an Islamic jehad extended to the Mediterranean. Will US counterterrorism solve the problem? Quite likely. Will Zarqawi get his way ? No. Poison kills poison. The surge of violence will  destroy itself.
                    Violence on the internet chatrooms and mobile phones need men and women to track down the perpetrators in an effort to do justice. Saarc has a new report on anti-terror in its present agenda.
                     A handful of angels, essentially a small band of good people who fight the evil hoards in society.
                     A handful of angels profiled as leaders of democracy.
                     A handful of angels in your neighbourhood, in and among your friends, are all we need to bring about change. To bring about peace in our beautiful world.
                      In the grim chapters of modern terror are the al-Qaeda, their leader Osama bin laden; Abu Salem, the nearest thing to the gang that blew up Mumbai. Salem is wanted for bombings, murders, matchfixing, extortion and what not. Dawood Ibrahim, the prime accused of the Mumbai blasts, and an evil host of others.
                       A handful of angels can close this chapter. Believe it.
                                                                                                _ Melvyn  Brown


Peter  Sarstedt  in  Calcutta by  Melvyn Brown

                          If  you want to stir up silence at a get-together or better still a party -try talking about the Anglo-Indians. The issue has always been at the corner of the center-table, or pushed to the edge of polite conversation.
                          The subject was put to the test, recently when Peter Sarstedt paid a brief  visit to Calcutta.
                           Famous on the global music scene,ever since his song "Where do you go to my lovely?", hit the number one in the UK  in the 1960's.  The song won the Ivor Novello Award for 1969, along with David Bowie's "Space Oddity".
                           Peter is an Anglo-Indian, and proud to be one -even when he travels abroad. His memories are a delightful collage of school days in Sherwood College,Nainital, not forgetting Victoria College,Kurseong.
                            "The freedom of Calcutta always gladdens my heart ...",he  adds with a broad smile, " home is where your loved ones are."
                            In 1973 Peter and both his brothers,Kane and Robin teamed  up on a hit musical album, "Worlds apart together".
                            Throughout the 1970's Anglo-Indians moved out of India in a mass exodus . Everyone imagined the good old days were about to end. It never did.
                             Anglo-Indians, like Peter Sarstedt and his family are survivors. The community,especially in Calcutta and Bangalore are growing in numbers. That matters,indeed.
                                                             by  Melvyn Brown 

            A Judicious Government Working for Peace

                                     by  Melvyn Brown
                        In this new millennium the gloom hasn't yet filtered down to the roots of our heritage and culture. If it had, and that would be a startling discovery for the common man who is mostly concerned that the situation in the country is "getting worse".
                        That is the ordinary and sanguine attitude of many Indian citizens. The economy is "getting worse". The impoverished and unemployed situation is "getting worse". The threat of long-standing promises going sour is "gettingworse".Misconduct,crime,corruption,acts of rape, demeaning the value concept of women, attempts to destabilize the nation,powerful individuals who undermine the law,folks who strongly support the wrong visions of foolish leaders who use religion to uncharacteristically subvert the pillars of wisdom to suit their cockeyed dreams of world domination, all this is "getting worse".
                        Our resolve should be to turn things around although the issues at stake are crucial to making things better.Strong reaction to better legislation for truth, honesty and understanding could dramatically find innocent victims receiving the hard-end of the cause.
                         The justice system and the government must agree to try desperately hard to weigh and measure the wrongs. They should both learn to respect each other if peace must be programmed.     
                          Despite being outspoken and honest the government should take advantage of a hardline  implementation on approved issues from the judiciary.
                           The concept of judicious administration should be implemented by government of India. This is a system by which the government will tackle all social issues and concern working in close cooperation collaboration with the assistance of the judiciary. A bridge of communication and interaction should be established between our  justice system and the executive committee of government.
                            In this way the Constitution, the preamble and the fundamental rights  will be respected,honoured and enjoyed by citizens of free India in this new millennium.   
                                  By Melvyn Brown.

Melvyn Brown and Son Talk On All-India Radio
                                                                 by a Correspondent
                                  Despite the current gloominess in the world, the ultimate rewards for sincere hard work and dedication came when Melvyn Brown received a contract from  All-India Radio to talk on the Anglo-Indian history, heritage and culture. It happened on the 14th September at 9: 30 p.m.
                                    And as fate would have it, the request to have an Anglo-Indian poet recite original and creative verses fell on the shoulders of Mr.Brown's son, Warren Brown. Warren has been writing verse for over ten years and has a few of his poems published abroad.
                                     Warren Brown read four of his latest poems with extraordinary passion and lilt. It was loved by every Anglo-Indian who sat by their radio sets that evening.
                                      Melvyn Brown, known as the chronicler of the tribe, put in a marvelous impact with his unveiling of facts that were little known to youth of this generation. Mr.Melvyn Brown devised amusing ways of liberating the Anglo-Indian story with charm in his choice of words and constraints in his fascinating tone of voice.
                                      As a result many are wanting to hear what Melvyn has to say in
 future broadcasts on the community he is so dedicated to.
                                       Melvyn Brown is the author of several books on the Anglo-Indian  community. He is also the editor of  Anglo-Indian the newsletter, Calcutta.
 (Published in The Herald: A Catholic Weekly,Calcutta. September 2005)

Measuring Up in This Generation
                                     by Melvyn Brown
                          By the tightly programmed standards of past generations, our first  reaction
to sudden accountability for " openess" comes off as a surprising provocation.
                          From music and dance,tapping toes in the forties,streamlining victories like that of the conquest of Everest incapsulated in the fifties, the touchingly smooth run of decades began a downhill change with Woodstock and drug-abuse years across the globe.
                          The affront to a scepticalsociety,all that it stood for,was now smacked across the face,ensuing with every type of independence for youth which catapulted to the raw   acceptance of "permissiveness".
                           Today,society in all parts of the world has reached a vociferous state of  extremism. One creed alone has become a perversion of its teachings. There is no final  statement as leadership cannot agree to partisan terms.
                           Everywhere it is a battle ofgood against evil.
                            Who created this state of disfunction? Who brought about this edict of
confrontation ? Is there a force to declare in articulate phrases that the urgent need for a future of peace is to preserve the total good of past generations as more profound than visionary.
                            Let us learn to live. Let us do it today before we burn-up as history. Let us measure up in this generation.
                            To be refocused, we should know the three "F"'s that matter to bailout a package for a brighter tomorrow : Faith,Finance and Family. Hereare a few hard straightliners to help you reach that reality.
                             Faith defines a place for us, to radiate the type of person we are through faith-formation. Faith helps us to be a representative in our human endeavours. Faith alone  can survive all odds. Faith is the only master guide to a universal blueprint for peace. Factions in faith promote wrong paths - wrong missions - wrong interpretations. Divisions very often bring  about downfall.
                             Finance is not a marginal or mirthless issue. It is a serious,high-profile vehicle to take you to the shores of security and peace. Finance reinforces the view that  money is necessary in our mundane life and should never be forgotten. Finance can bridge the human paranoia that makes people cultivate the fear of poverty. Finance should be taken  seriously - and often with proper guidance.
                            Family is a legitimate institution. It is the stubborn legacy of past generations to console, support and weld together its members through all the hurricanes and storms life has a way with relationships. Family is basically the foundation for laying the groundwork of performance. Family values can never be overshadowed by misguided propaganda or protests. The family spirit will always engulf the shrinking horizons of "live-ins"  "abortions", "gay rights","loneliness" and "old age".
                              Measuring up in this generation is not that tough.

Our Magnificent Yesterdays by Melvyn Brown

We grew up in Calcutta when Anglo-Indians were basically happy, carefree and could appreciate the need for simple contrition. The risks of shutting out dissent in family and among friends was always a policy to argue and adjust. Life was truly an admirable issue among us.

Flurys, Magnolias, Blue Fox, Waldorf, Sky Room and the much talked about Trinca's brings tears when one thinks about the music, the instinctual cabarets and the "grossly dynamic" addiction everyone had towards caring, sharing and enjoying the silken freedom of walking home with friends after two in the morning.

Daybreak after a Saturday- night party was always fun and full of memories. One of the finest Anglo-Indian bands played at Golden Slippers, a block away from Nizams scented tea and kati-rolls . The Grand Hotel was one of the most popular places for dances and dinners. But, Anglo-Indians would splurge in the Rangers Club and The Grail.

Everything was dust cheap. From a loaf of bread to a basket of fruits. From movie hall tickets to wine, cigarettes and newspapers. Anglo-Indians were aplenty down most of the street corners and on weekends you would hear music floating out of open windows. The hay-days for tailors and their memsahibs were really unforgettable years, when skirts, blouses, dresses with frills were the correct and proper-wear for Anglo-Indian ladies.

The New Market was not only a landmark but the heart of a vibrant city - the very nerve centre of the Anglo-Indian people,and they visited the market in a dedicated ritual as you would going to church. Baldwin's the pork shop, Nahoums, D'Gama, Wyse were the regular bread and cake shops. Unique and of a metaphorical kind were the little cubicles selling American ice-cream and cold drinks ;everyones mama from Chinatown to Bow Barracks took their children and grand-children for dollups of ice-cream and cold drinks : The establishments were still there in the 50"s and late 60's. The New Market rode on a youthful crest of laughter and sunshine. We would be thoroughly rattled to race in and out of the "Cheap-Jack" shops lined up at the stern of the butter-range.

Entally Market has for generations been known for its wonderful spiced sausages and 'red meat' pork. Every Anglo-Indian family took pride in its special lunch and dinner on holidays with servings brought from the pork and fish range. Rice women would come in from nearby villages with sacks of the finest quality rice. Corruption was an unknown word and you would always get a fistful more after weighing the amount you needed. The network of shops catering to every need will always be remembered.

Across the road was and still is there, the Roman Catholic Church of Saint Teresa of Avila. People from remote corners of the city visit the church where at one time they were either married, baptised or had some relative's funeral service held.They called it 'the church at Moulali'. The church where Louis Vivian Derozio was a parishioner. The church is still there.

"Yesterday, all our troubles seemed so far away...." Lyrics of a song which haunts the soul of Anglo-Indians in all corners of the world. Nostalgic. Indeed. In those days of 'wine and roses' our people were an altogether lovable race.Epicurean no doubt,but loyal, trustworthy and dependable (that was before the discos, drugs and dirty businesses).

I remember the summers of hope and the winter holidays as they moved into a colourful tapestry of spring, new life and new hopes for the thousands of Anglo-Indian families who decided to immigrate across the globe. The heart-strings pulled no doubt. But,it had to be done. I remember the mass-exodus happening in a silent wave of sighs and tears. They moved out for 'the better life' and they made it from what I know from most families, who always return to their Motherland for brief spells of comfort and solace.

Calcutta was my base. My root. It still is. And I can only flashback to scenes of the past which have lightened my burdens of today, sometimes.

From the roller-coaster years of Rock music, ballroom dancing to Rock Hudson, Doris Day and thebig cowboy westerns. The yesteryears in Calcutta have been well documented and packaged for future generations of Anglo-Indians. You only have to know where to find it .... in the twilight zone.


3 Elliot Road, Calcutta 700016, W. B. India


                                      Peace  Is  A  Human  Right



                                             by  Melvyn  Brown


                   PEACE. The quest goes on. Battles are fought, words are bantered, the self-respect of country’s lost, negotiations fail, the rage and frustration of political rivals drain resources in the guise of peace efforts, innocent people die – and all for peace. Peace is a human right.

                   The struggle for peace is initially an absolute iconic trait of humankind. The need for peace is basic for survival.

                    We feel insulted when there is so much going on in the name of peace. Insulted, for peace is our birthright. Freedom follows. Freedom without peace is to fly without wings. Peace is a straightforward investment for the future. Governments shuffle their rhetoric on the word peace. Religion exists because of its promise of peace. Books are a success when they butter hope into a vision of peace. Enough.

                     Ask any man of science what was out there in the universe before the “Big    Bang” theory. Just peace. The darkness and the void were incidental. Ask anyone with  common-sense what follows after death. Peace. Heaven. Reward and the Almighty are package deals. Ask yourself what would come about after a nuclear blast. Peace. Devastation and annihilation are mere after effects.

                       Peace as a human right has been and is still being battered by homo-sapiens. The world is a sanatorium today. There is no peace anywhere. Monarchy is worried if one bright morning it is wiped out of English life by ignorant and stupid terrorists. Presidents are disturbed of probes and sanctions. Prime Ministers think twice with concern over matters of personal, domestic and national interests. Boards of Directors have sleepless nights wondering when the “take over” will arrive. Wars are fought in a slaughterhouse labeled an  “internal matter” by the rest of society. The United Nations desire for peace ends in the loss of lives for their peacekeeping forces.

                          Do you honestly believe peace is possible in the next millennium ? I think it can come about.

                          First, there has to be a universal cry for peace. Then a World Congress on

       Peace should lay down International laws to maintain peace. Associations, groups, clubs and the media should foster the idea of peace in the world. Peace in the family. Peace among nations. Peace among friends. Peace in industry. Peace in partnerships. Peace all around.

                            To have Graduates of peace, make law enforcers of peace. Professors of peace, should be Speakers and promoters of peace, they should be awarded for dedication to the cause of peace. Peace resorts should provide Peace vacations.

                             Begin by “catching them young” as the saying goes. You can’t change the old who are set in their ways. Teach the Golden word “Peace” to all children. Make peace a subject in schools worldwide.

                             Peace is a human right and no one could shout it louder than Lord Alfred Noble when he created the Noble Peace Prize. Let there be Peace.


                                                                                                By Melvyn Brown.



Mr. Melvyn Brown

3 Elliott Road






                       There is something intensely familiar about Good Friday which engulfs the people of God in every city, town and village ; a day of penance , prayer and absolution. This year, in the city of Calcutta the surge of faith exploded with an open and absolute show of conviction which overwhelmed onlookers and non-christians.

                       Visiting churches on Good Friday morning, a tradition to many Catholics in the city, who make personal vows to visit seven or nine churches as an act of penitential repentance, was vividly seen everywhere.

                         Hundreds of the faithful walked the streets barefoot in a striking performance of grace and serenity doing it "for Jesus ". With the rosary at their side, some singing hymns in small and big groups, moving across the city rousing the lay catholic ministry before anyone could believe this exquisite test of faith.

                        Churches and chapels were witness to a wave of religious "armies of prayer-persons "  blending into the parish processions streaming into the streets and by-lanes. Some large groups following the Cross as their voices in hymns and Hail Mary payers, filled the environment.

                         This year, the Home of Divine Mercy on Elliott Road, Calcutta, India, witnessed over five hundred devotees paying their respects from 6 a.m. to 12 noon. The floodgates of the faith had opened across the city and surprised even the typical disinterested-individual, or the "stay-at-home" Christian. No analyst would be able to touch upon the cord of compassion which tore at the heart of this year’s event.

                         This watershed moment had truly become the spring of new life, the

Promise of an Easter celebration as never before experienced. The message of redemption and salvation had embedded its seal on the souls of Christ's followers.

                         The Mission to spread the Word of God was suddenly furthered and renewed mysteriously. Ms. Susan Mantosh, ( last years AFJ  Millennium Award winner ) at this special time, commissioned and donated eight life-size statues of Divine Mercy to parish churches in Calcutta. Thus Lent, Good Friday and Easter ended on a high note - truly a surge of the faith



                                                 by Melvyn Brown




                                                                               by Melvyn Brown

  I can clearly recall that winter morning in 1957 when Fr.Terence Lewis, my mentor and friend said : "It's only when a man is poor his perceptions turn deep, if not always clear. When a man is comfortable and well placed, his values slip into non-commital statements. A sober, self-confident middle-class man with a sense of stability might have reserved opinions, sheltered thoughts and sudden angry spells.

                          The destitute, in the other hand, live on the edge of the cliff, afraid to even understand or care about the changing environment."

                          If man inherits the earth, he also inherits an indifferent world. Life is woven into a web of continual growth and destruction whereby forming  a colourful 

kaleidoscope in the universal tapestry of existence. Success, suffering, pain and failure is a part of the cosmic bargain when you decide to journey through this planet in a short life-span.

                         Sometimes the marvellous, astonishing and often tragic happenings in life wakes one up to a startling realisation of being born into an area of challenges. Although we come and go and leave behind slices and crumbs for others to pick up along the way - or scatter visions and hopes in their lone orbit - no one is unimportant. Each individual is a precious thread in the tapestry.

                         Most people survive experience. You could enjoy a bittersweet relationship ; a tasteless one; a disastrous life of upheavals and storms, or a life of success and rewards. The common factor, and the bottom line is, no one will have peace of mind. Human life is programmed to be a challenge.

                        Peace of mind is hard to come by. You can't buy it. You can't study enough to understand it. You can't run away from it. The factor of peace does not

equate with the word  security. In the tapestry of existence life is a relative term which is divided and subdivided. Personal peace. Global peace. Domestic peace. Neighbourhood peace. The word peace in human life becomes a living quest.  Peace is a state of mind.

                      Someone once wrote that life is a riddle. Is it? Modern advances in science have assisted men in solving many of life's mysteries. Human behaviour is unpredictable. Psycho-therapists may disagree. Personality disorders affect every-one. There is no immunity from psychosomatic illness. The interaction of conscious and unconscious influences in human behaviour always shadows a person’s individuality; the tapestry turns more dynamic. 


Who is Melvyn Brown?

NOTICE:  'Anglo-Indian The Newsletter' is an individual non-profit venture of Mr. Melvyn Brown, who does not receive any funds from individuals in India or abroad.The work done for the community is a personal non-commercial venture of Mr. Melvyn Brown, who has a deep personal interest in the Anglo-Indian community as well as in the Catholic Church.

This site contains the writings of Mr. Melvyn Brown of Calcutta. An Anglo-Indian Chronicler of the community and Founder & publisher of "Anglo-Indian The Newsletter".Melvyn Brown is also the Founder & Director of the "Ambassadors for Jesus",a Roman Catholic movement, with permission from the Pope, with a newsletter published promoting Catholic Unity.