On June 1, 2022, the Pastoral year of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman was inaugurated at the hands of Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao at the St Francis Xavier Church, Duler. The pastoral letter 2022-'23, of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, was also released on the occasion.
The Pastoral letter was released through the hands of different representatives of the Archdiocese along with the Archbishop. The representatives were Fr Leonardo Pegado D'Souza (Director of Pastoral Secretariat), Fr Leo Fernandes (Executive Secretary of Pastoral Secretariat), Fr Simiao Fernandes (Convener of the Main coordinating team Synod 2023), Mrs Gail Misquita (Co-Convener), Mr Celso (Co-Convener), Mr Deron (Joint Secretary), Mr Bimal (representative of Migrants), Mr Avelino (representative of people with disabilities), Fr Anthony Fernandes (Parish Priest of Duler), Fr Denis Fernandes (Diocesan Council of Priests), Fr Barry Cardozo (Diocesan Council of Bodies), Fr Nathan (Men Religious), Sr Musella (Women religious), Novice Victoria, Seminarian Aaron, Mr Leston (Youth), Derwyn (Catechism children) and Sem Jovial. This was done to symbolise that pastoral work is a collaborative effort.
The annual pastoral letter is meant to aid in the faith formation of the Catholic community.
SUMMARY OF THE PASTORAL LETTER 2022-'23
This year’s Pastoral letter is based on two themes: ‘Follow Me’ (the theme of the Pastoral Year of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman) and ‘For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission’ (the theme of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops October 2023).
The letter draws inspiration from the Holy Bible, the synodal documents of the Archdiocese, the documents given by the Universal Church and the promptings that were shared at the Pre-synodal meeting held in March 2022.
The letter has three main parts: The first one focusses on ‘Communion’ and invites Catholics to live in communion with the Triune God, with fellow human beings and with Creation. To bolster communion with God, the Archbishop suggest three simple means: Prayer, Word of God and Sacraments. While referring to communion with creation, the Archbishop reminds us of our responsibility to shun away from the temptation of harming creation, and our role to renew the face of the earth.
In the second part, Catholics are given the opportunity to reflect on the significant word ‘Participation’. The call to collaborate in family life, in society and in the Church is highlighted. In the family, there is a need to participate with regard to life, to participate in the all-round formation of family members and to participate in upholding human dignity.
In the third part, the faithful are reminded of their ‘Mission’. This Pastoral Year, the archdiocese focuses on strengthening families, revitalizing Small Christian Communities and pastoral visits. Presenting the Holy Family of Nazareth as a model, the Archbishop invites the members of families to fulfill the mission by safeguarding three types of relationships, namely, husband-wife, parents-child and child-parents.
The program concluded with the Archbishop appreciating the hard work put in by the Pastoral Secretariat and its collaborators, especially Fr Simiao Fernandes, who helped prepare the pastoral letter.
Fr Anthony Fernandes, Parish Priest of Duler, and his parishioners felicitated the Archbishop on being chosen by Pope Francis to be a Cardinal. The program ended with the blessing of the newly built Parish Pastoral centre of the Duler Parish at the hands of the Archbishop.