PASTORAL LETTER 2010
Invalidating the claims that ‘a prophet is not accepted among his own,’ let us work to give Joseph Vaz a very special place of respect and love in our hearts. It is indeed important that we are acquainted more deeply with his life and work. The more we read and reflect upon his life, the more our ties with him will grow, our devotion for him will increase and our experience of Jesus — whom he had made the centre of his life – will deepen. The uniqueness of the Good News is that we do not hide it within ourselves, but share it immediately with others and make others’ life happy and rich. While celebrating this Son of Goa who left us such an outstanding example, let us take up the special task of sharing with one another the light of his brilliant life in this Pastoral Year lined up with special jubilees.
‘Go into the whole the world and preach the Good News.’ Carving this command of Jesus in his heart, St. Paul had sighed ‘woe to me if I do not proclaim the Gospel !’ (1 Cor 9:16); Blessed Joseph Vaz made Paul’s sentiments his own and worked diligently to become the worthy missionary that he was. Let us all, the disciples of Jesus, but specially the priests and the religious sisters and brothers, pay due homage to him by following in his footsteps.
The Goa Diocesan Synod, celebrated in the year 2002, challenged every Christian faithful to be the leaven of a new society. Three hundred years ago, Blessed Joseph Vaz embraced this challenge courageously. If we are to give today a meaningful and fruitful response to this challenge, following his example, we need to renew our personal, family, social as well as parish life. Let us then take up the values he witnessed to and adopt a new vision in our life.
While thanking God for this year of jubilees, let our humble prayer be: Loving Father, in Your generosity, grant that Joseph Vaz, Your humble servant and son of Goa, be officially proclaimed as a Saint. And may we, zealously following his example, witness to Christian values in every life situation.
May our Diocesan Patron watch over us and help us to be enthusiastic witnesses of Jesus. And may our Triune God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – bless you and give us all a grace-filled new Pastoral Year.
Archbishop’s House, Panjim, Goa, Solemnity of the Pentecost, 23rd May, 2010.
(+ Filipe Neri Ferrão)
Archbishop of Goa and Daman
You shall be perfect and without blemish with the Lord your God.