ARCHDIOCESE                                Archbishop’s House,

           OF                                      P.O. Box No. 216

      GOA AND DAMAN                                Panjim - 403 001

                       GOA - INDIA

PATRIARCHATE OF THE EAST INDIES           Tel: (0832) 2223353, 2225291

                                                    Fax No: 91-832-2224139

                E-mail: archbpgoa@gmail.com




Fifth Sunday of Lent – March 22, 2015


Theme: Animation to Promote Life and Light

Our country has many stories of people turning from rags to riches and they are increasing day by day. Opportunities came their way which enabled them to explore possibilities and take initiatives. Those who have access to opportunities can dream, yes, even beyond their known capacities, when they are sustained either by the community or by well-meaning persons and support systems. 

It is always a special experience to interact with a Down’s Syndrome girl who completes her higher secondary education or to learn that a deaf blind adult, who languished at home for twenty one years, is now able not only to travel with confidence, but also to earn his livelihood. When you marvel at the items produced by an intellectually disabled adult or meet a young girl without lower limbs who earns and supports her family with a teaching job, you begin to wonder what made it click in their life. It is a simple equation. When those who think that they are handicapped are made to realize, through persuasion, motivation and persistence, that ability is a matter of the mind and that one can achieve wonders if one believes in oneself, a miracle happens. Our own Caritas Goa, through its various institutional and communitarian interventions, has succeeded in transforming many lives that would have otherwise languished in a dark room, because they lacked the right kind of help to come out to the light and live. 


Stimulating those on the margin, providing hope to those who feel lost, assisting the struggling and animating people towards transformation of their condition is nothing new in the Church of Jesus.  Pope Francis points out in Evangelii Gaudium (cf.188) that, in the context of desiring to eliminate the structural causes of poverty and promote integral development through solidarity, Jesus commands his disciples: “You yourselves give them something to eat” (Mk 6:37). This is precisely Caritas India’s approach to development in its Second Generation Animation (2G- Animation) programme, in which it aims for social transformation by initiating dynamics in a person or community to bring about change at the structural level. 

Pope Francis further exhorts us to recognize the suffering Christ (cf. EG. 210) in the new forms of poverty and vulnerability, like the homeless, the addicted, the refugees, the indigenous people, the isolated and abandoned elderly, the migrants, the excluded and mistreated women and the unborn. All these are waiting to receive our attention and interest so that they can enjoy the inalienable right to live a life with dignity, i.e. to live in the light.

This year our Lenten Campaign lays emphasis on the power of the people who are strangely capable of effecting a transforming change in their lives while we -- including organizations like Caritas Goa -- play the role of an animator.  In the context of today’s rampant dehumanization due to marginalization, powerlessness and oppression, being the animating figure humanizes development. I invite every person with goodwill to extend support to this cause, by reaching out generously and effectively to the  persons who need a hand to hold on to. 

As we rejoice at all the work that the Church in Goa is carrying out through animation to promote light and life, let us commit ourselves to generously help in this mighty task of social transformation for structural development. 

Finally, I earnestly pray that, through a sincere and charity-filled observance of Lent, we may understand the meaning of the Death of Jesus and come to joyfully celebrate His Resurrection, with hearts and minds renewed.

Archbishop’s House, Panjim, Goa, March 10, 2015.


                               ( + Filipe Neri Ferrão)  

                                                                                 Archbishop of Goa and Daman




Golden Verse

1Korintkarank 7:38

Mhonnttôch aplê ankvar hoklê lagim logn zata to borem korta; ani logn zaina to odik borem korta.