MANGALURU, AUG 29: The second meeting of the Diocesan Pastoral Parishad (DPP) for the years 2023-25 was convened on Tuesday, August 29, 2023, at the Bishop’s House Kodialbail in Mangalore. As the diocese observes the “Family Year,” the focus has been drawn towards addressing critical concerns such as housing for the homeless and tackling the rising issue of youth drug addiction.
The DPP, functioning as the consultative entity for pastoral care within the diocese, dedicated significant attention to addressing homelessness and drug abuse among young individuals. Various strategies were discussed to combat these challenges and steer them towards positive outcomes.
Rev. Fr Anil Ivan Fernandes, the director of Canara Communication Centre, displayed a documentary titled “Family Year: Diocese’s Response to Homelessness.” The documentary spotlighted the progress achieved by the Diocesan Housing Project, spearheaded by the CODP as part of its Golden Jubilee celebrations.
The documentary highlighted the project’s triumphant outcome, underscoring the allocation of funds for the construction of 77 new houses and the repair of 44 houses across 73 parishes.
Speaking about this achievement, Fr Vincent D’Souza, the director of CODP, attributed the project’s success to the noteworthy contributions from various sources, including the Diocesan Lenten Campaign, generous parish donors, and the significant involvement of Mr Michael D’Souza, a distinguished NRI businessman who collaborated closely with the diocese in this noble initiative.
Fr Vincent further emphasised that the estimated cost of Rs 8 Lakhs per house, covering an area of 661 Sq.Ft, should not be underestimated. He affirmed that the project’s realisation relies on the collective efforts of parish human resources working in collaboration.
Mr Michael D’Souza, accompanied by his team, presented an overview of the overall development that could be achieved during the Family Year. He put forth several proposals aimed at family growth, including the completion of 500 houses for the homeless, extending medical benefits to families, supporting youth on higher education and self employment and providing financial support for families with a third child. Expressing his commitment, Mr Michael pledged continued collaboration and support to the diocese to realise these plans. The discussions were moderated by Mr Roy Castelino, PRO of the Diocese.
The latter part of the meeting delved into the topic of “Impact of Drugs on Families,” with the social worker Sr Anna Maria BS addressing the attendees. Mrs Clara Dcunha, the managing trustee of TELOCA Addiction Recovery Centre, Mangalore, emphasised prevention strategies for drug addiction and outlined pathways to overcome such dependencies.
Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, the Bishop of Mangalore, underscored various governmental initiatives and programmes designed to benefit families and youth. He urged the members to harness these resources to aid families in need.
The meeting was attended by Very Rev. Maxim Noronha, Vicar General, Dr John DSilva, the secretary, and other esteemed members of the house.
As the Family Year unfolds, the Diocesan Pastoral Parishad’s dedication to fostering secure housing and eradicating the scourge of drug addiction among the youth stands as a testament to the diocese’s commitment to its community’s welfare.