Our solidarity with the Tsunami victims in Japan
To the Clergy, Religious, Lay Faithful and individuals of goodwill in this Archdiocese
Subject: Our solidarity with the victims of the Tsunami in Japan
The colossal destruction unleashed by an unprecedented earthquake and tsunami that hit Northern Japan earlier this month has been vividly portrayed to us by the visual and the print media. We have seen the helpless condition of the countless citizens rendered homeless and even destitute, with all their resources lost. While thousands lost their lives, the life of the survivors is extremely difficult. They continue to need all types of attention, including medical and psychological help, as they limp back towards a distant restoration of normalcy. In addition to this, there is an ongoing fear that the efforts being made to contain a major atomic crisis may not be successful, precipitating further disastrous consequences.
Countries around the world have promptly and generously responded to this unprecedented crisis, assisting Japanese government and other agencies in clearing, rebuilding and rehabilitation. Our fervent appeal to all the citizens of Goa, particularly to the members of this Archdiocese, is to unite themselves in spirit with all those who have fallen victim to this dreadful natural calamity and lift them up to the Almighty, in individual or group prayer. We need to maintain and demonstrate our spiritual closeness with a people who are facing the consequences of such a calamity, with courage and dignity.
Prayer without action is, however, sterile. Joining the other Bishops of the Catholic Church in India, I would like to issue hereby a call also for generous contributions from this Archdiocese towards the physical and psychological recuperation of the victims and the re-building of their lives. Our Pastors are encouraged to organize prayer services and to devise suitable means to collect contributions from their parishioners and send them by cash or cheque to “Caritas Goa.” They are also requested to communicate the contents of this Circular to the religious houses existing in their parish and to their parishioners, especially at Sunday Masses. All these contributions will be sent to Caritas Japan, through Caritas India.
May the Lord inspire us, particularly in this holy season of Lent, to be generous in our response to His call: “When I was homeless you sheltered Me.”
Archbishop’s House, Panjim, Goa, March 30, 2011.
( + Filipe Neri Ferrão)
Archbishop of Goa and Daman