Goa Mission Congress Day II


Setting the tone for the second day of the Goa Mission Congress, Most Rev. Alwyn Barreto, Bishop of the neighbouring diocese of Sindhdurg, stressed upon our task to respond to God’s love with our own love of humanity. In the homily he delivered in the mass he presided over he said: "As the Father sent his son into the world to manifest His love so Jesus sends us to manifest the same love to humanity." Later he added that, "in order to manifest this love we are called to experience it."

The day was marked by sharings of the people of different walks of life describing with joy the challenges they had to face whiles living up to the demands of faith. Caroline Colaco a lawyer, lecturer in Law College and a Judge in the Consumer’s Forum Tribunal expressed the difficulties she had to face while fulfilling her duties according to Christian values as she is a Lawyer in Criminal Cases, a field almost barred for women, she felt embarrassed in this position. It is her faith in Jesus and commitment to Christian values that strengthened her to face all those difficulties. Even a piggy bank collector like Camilo Noronha who also shared on this occasion referred to the challenges whiles performing his duties in spirit of faith. Prakash Chaudhary and Chandrika Thorat from Nagar Haveli shared in Gujarati. Servo Fernandes, former Assistant Director Transport, and presently member of the Task Force of Traffic related about a case when he was drawn to the Court by a Bus Driver who was charged, though he won the case with the Judge commending his action.

In the second session of sharings Zira and Olencio Almeida related how their faith in Jesus encouraged them to face the situation when the former had a fall and was told she would never be able to move her lower limbs and she would be totally dependent on others; she also related how she overcame her suicidal tendencies and now her faith in Jesus and Mother Mary and the support of the family members have restored to her the zest of life in spite of the situation in which she is. Manubhai Zavalia an officer of the forest department in Nagar Haveli, who shared in Gujarati related how he did not retaliate to the smearing campaign against him. He said that the words of Jesus "…..because of me you will be persecuted, your reward is great in Heaven" inspired him for this courageous attitude which was appreciated by the community. In this session also Jovi Fernandes shared about the difficulties he had to face even from the people who had elected him for the local panchayat. Also Babubhai Andher from Nagar Haveli and Cirilla Fernandes shared on this occasion.

In the evening members of different communities such as Muslims, Parsee and Hindus spoke about their relationships with the members of the Christian community. Whiles some of them experienced cordial relationship others referred to some unpleasant incidents while they too had fond memories of their dealings with the Christians. Syed Rizvana, Roxana Singh, Nissar Mohidin, Madhav Bhidde, Sumitra Dessai shared about these experiences. Sumitra Dessai spoke about the memories she had in the dealings with Christians around her and in the educational institutions. While expressing her pride in being Hindu she did not regret in having Christian friends. Madhav Bhidde also recalled how Christians respected him being a Hindu even though at a later stage he had sad experiences which could have contributed towards cracking this relationship.

Latter in the evening the Cultural Committee of the Goa Mission Congress under the direction of Sr. Jennifer, s.f.n., staged the history of the journey of faith in Goa, beginning with the implantation of the seed by the foreign missionaries and its growth to the present day.