By Lissy Maruthanakuzhy
Panaji, October 22, 2019: A laity-initiated television channel in Goa has won praises for reaching out to millions across the globe with message of hope and love
CCR TV — A Channel of God’s Love is a Catholic TV channel “reaches out to where the priests and religious cannot go,” says Father Saturnino Dias, a former official of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences.
“This is the century of the laity and the courage the CCR TV to undertake this challenging mission is commendable,” the Goa archdiocesan priest told Matters India.
“I believe that laity, with due respect given to the hierarchy, can help in continuing the mission of the Church in evangelization,” he added.
The channel was inaugurated by Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa on December 4, 2017.
Robin D’Souza, one of the founding members, says the channel is a the initiative of a group of lay persons “who were and are actively involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement.”
Father Dias says everyone wants a place “where our Catholic faith could be expressed publicly and people could follow.”
The priest cited the celebration of the Eucharist as an example. “Many sick and home bound benefit from the Mass being telecast every day. It helps them connect their spirit with God in prayer,” he added.
Narrating the origins of the channel, D’Souza said the CCR have been managing a bookshop in Panaji, the Goa state capital for some years now. However, they noticed the number of readers of printed books coming down with the advent of E-books that people can read on computers and mobiles.
“We felt the need of communicating in a new way the Good News which had renewed our own lives. We chose television as the medium,” D’Souza told Matters India.
Their focus is to reach out to people of Goa, and Konkani speaking people in India and all over the world. “We have programs in Konkani and English,” he added.
The cable TV distributors in Goa carry the signal all over Goa and there is a simultaneous live stream on an APP downloadable from Google play store.
“We use social media and we have at present besides the website, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,” D’Souza explained.
The channel is a non-profit enterprise and is primarily supported by donations from those who want to be part of this evangelical effort.
D’Souza believes in the providence of God. “When we need funds it just comes in.”
Selvio Fernandes, a Catholic admirer, says the channel’s strength is its committed and professional staff.
Ivy Ferrao, a regular viewer, says she enjoys watching CCR TV even when she is travelling. “I can get the daily telecast of the Eucharistic celebration. God bless you all for your wonderful work.”
Dominic Ferrao, a Pune viewer, is delighted that she can sit watch the program from his home. “CCR TV is a dream come true for me,” he added.
Chrisha D’Souza, an online viewer, finds the CCR TV Youtube wonderfully designed” to attract kids and youth. “It will help them grow in God’s love.”
She wants programs on how to spend time in prayer, how to spend time with each other in family keeping the gadgets away.
Navita Barretto learns a lot from the channel. “I liked the way of praying rosary. It is beautifully recited. God bless the team members of this channel.”
The channel films Eucharistic celebration in various parishes of Goa archdiocese and in the Jesuit house in Panaji.
The programs include daily Mass, Rosary, music videos and Bible study. The channel’s main focus is on Catholic faith in Goa and the people of Goa in various parts of the world.
Jesuit Father Pratap Fernandes, a Kannada scholar and researcher, finds the CCR TV team members mature, balanced, dedicated and openminded.
“Sometimes we can be dedicated but not open and vice versa. They are open to receive new ideas for the betterment of the TV. That is their strength,” said the priest who began collaborating with the team a year ago.
“They work with their heart and mind,” he said commending the team for their willing to undertake the challenging task.
“They have the blessing of the Church. They function as an autonomous body.”
“Many times, the religious and priests do not want to work under laity. But this is the time of laity. I work with them, collaborate with them. They are open to my ideas. I ask them gently when I have a new idea for them.”
The priest’s programs include classes in Konkani. “I also give other programs like ‘Food for thought,’ and nondenominational hymns that anyone can listen to.
“They also telecast on healthcare issues, political and catholic news. They have interview with Konkani writers too.
‘On the third day’ is a program on the CCTV is now working. Hosted by Migual Braganza, it will deal with vegetation.
“They do it free for us. They are happy to do so because they know it is a mission,” D’Souza, the brain behind the project, says.
Denika Sequira, a journalist discusses what appears in newspapers twice a week.