By Matters India Reporter
Panaji: Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa and Daman has appealed to parish priests, heads of institutions and other bodies of the archdiocese to pray and help those affected by unprecedented floods in Kerala.
“We are receiving reports from various sources of the media regarding unprecedented rains causing floods and landslides throughout the state of Kerala, with huge loss of property and even of precious human life. More than two lakh (200,000) people are rendered homeless, while water levels continue to rise, causing fear and panic in the whole State,” the archbishop said in an August 17 circular.
“The Church in Goa would like to express its solidarity and sympathy with dying thousands of people who have lost their homes and other possessions. We appeal to all to offer fervent prayers for the hapless victims of this disaster, particularly those who lost their dear ones, suffered injuries and are left with nothing,” the prelate said.
Caritas India, the Indian Catholic bishops’ social service wing for humanitarian work has already joined Kerala government and other agencies to provide immediate relief and assistance to the affected people.
Archbishop Ferrao says time has come to rise up again to the call of distress. Recalling the exhortation of St. Paul, ‘Let love be genuine’ (Rom. 12:9), he urged his people to respond to the new challenge and help the people of Kerala to reconstruct their lives and strengthen their faith in humankind.
“In this hour of pain, we need to reach out to our brothers and sisters in distress, not only through our prayer but also materially. The Church in Goa has been generous in the past when natural calamities of this nature have created havoc in the lives of whole populations,” the prelate added.
He urged the parish priests and superiors of educational and other religious institutions to read the circular at Sunday Mass on August 19.