By Lissy Maruthanakuzhy
Panaji, August 17, 2019: When Robin D’Souza and friends thought of beginning a cable TV channel in Goa to promote Gospel values, it seemed an impossible dream at first.
“The impossible dream has become a reality now,” D’Souza, who oversees the day to day function of the project, told Matters India early August, 20 months after they launched the channel.
The retired Cost-Accountant, who has worked and travelled widely across the world, reminisced the months passed by. “When some of our colleagues heard about our new idea they said, ‘it might last for six months.’ Our hearts were saddened but it did not deter us. We had our goal clear in our mind.”
According to D’Souza, who spends 12 hours in the studio, the staunch support of Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa was a good foundation. “So we started out in faith,” he said.
However the setting up of a full-fledged studio, dedicated for evangelization was a great concern. “Where would we get the content to run 24×7 local TV channel CCR TV, where would we find the resources –human, technical and financial? Again we left everything God’s hands,” he recalled seated in the studio.
CCT TV was inaugurated on December 4, 2017, after much time spent in prayer and discernment.
Robin and team did think much before setting up this dream project. Is it necessary to have a local TV channel? Or should we buy time on the existing Channel? Having our own channel will give the opportunity to give programs of our own choice including religious programs.
Says Archbishop Filipe Neri: “CCR TV is undoubtedly one of the best things that has been happening in the life of the Church in Goa. It looked like an impossible dream when it started, for some at least. It is the brainchild of the resolute team from Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Goa. We look forward now to a bright future in the service of the church and especially of the CCR movement.”
Praising its achievement in the short period the archbishop said, “With a 24-hour presence in the broadcasting world and a constant search for new features and programs, CCR TV helps us to delve into the richness of the Word of God, to deepen our knowledge of the teachings of the church, to engage into sound theological reflection and to grow in our life of the Spirit. The programs also help the faithful in learning ways of living integral human values, based on the Gospel values.”
The Patriarch affirmed, “By its presence in social media like Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp and Twitter, CCR TV is trying to take the message of the Kingdom of God into human hearts and families spread around the globe.”
Father Maverick Fernandes, Director, Carita–Goa, finds CCR TV “a bold initiative” in Goa. “I believe the goal of CCR TV to reach out with good information by presenting encouraging news and views has been met. It is gaining its space in the realm of the communication media in Goa.”
The priest further said, the channel is “significant, as it is the need of the hour to provide information about events and celebrations within the Catholic community to those who do not have facility to participate due to mobility issues.”
According Father Olavo Caiado, former director of the Diocesan Centre for Communication Media, “CCR TV maintains the highest standards of journalism, in accordance with the directives emanating from the Vatican Dicastery of communications. It also covers an appreciable gamut of programs oriented towards family and society.”
Cyril John, chairman of National Service Team of CCR in India, calls it “A modern day miracle.” “With the CCR TV coming into existence, there is a resurgence in miraculous occurrences and events, as in the time of the first Christians,” he added.
The soft spoken D’Souza said, “We had one goal in mind—to make CCR TV channel a conduit of God’s Word. We desire to give glory to God alone through our ministry.”
With a smile he went on, “We have worked with passion, gave our time, our resources, our energy, everything that we had to make the dream come true. When a Christian takes up a seemingly impossible task and then puts every ounce of energy to accomplish the task, passion and determination in our heart are strengthened by the Holy Spirit. That is our experience.”
D’Souza had been promoting the Gospel values through books for many years before launching into TV. “I began with distributing the William Barclays’s Commentary. I would spend a good part of my salary on buying books and distributing them. I bought all the books published by the Pauline Fathers and Sisters in India. I would collect books from other publishers too and make them available to public through various meeting venues.”
During the 40 days of exposition of the relics of St Francis Xavier in Goa, D’Souza and team were present at the venue with a display of books.
“CCR TV came into existence because a few of us felt impelled to share what we received from God with the general public. We thought we would spread the Good News with a half hour program on TV and we were gradually led to having a 24X7 TV Channel. It is a challenge,” D’Souza added.