Basilica to remove volunteers posted to check indecently dressed

The word has gone out through the guides and others that one needs to dress modestly when entering the Basilica, said the rector.

Panaji:  The Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa is planning to withdraw volunteers posted outside the historic church to offer a shawl to the ‘inappropriately’ clad. Since they were first posted two years ago, volunteers seem to have achieved the desired result and will now be withdrawn shortly, according to the Basilica’s guardians. “Volunteers do not need to stand there anymore as a rule every day. The word has gone out through the guides and others that one needs to dress modestly when entering the Basilica,” said Fr. Savio Baretto, rector of the Basilica. “The tourists know about the shawls. The needed awareness has been created and tourists now prefer to come modestly dressed to avoid being given a shawl later. The volunteers will be withdrawn soon as the necessary purpose has mostly been achieved,” said the priest. He said when officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) raised fears that posting of the volunteers may affect the inflow of tourists, Basilica officials had made it clear that the arrangement was only a temporary measure. “We have orally conveyed to ASI as well that it is not a permanent feature. I am happy now that we do not get the kind of skimpily-dressed tourists, mostly foreigners, as before,” said the Basilica rector. “I am not comfortable with the giving of shawls myself. But then no other church gets people dressed like that,” he added. He admitted that the volunteers posted were often from parishes in villages of Goa and what they had to say was often lost-in-translation when handing out a shawl to a foreign tourist. The move of posting the volunteers had received wide appreciation from Goans from across the religious spectrum and the Basilica had been heaped with such mails in 2011, the Basilica rector added. “It wasn’t a code as such, as everyone called it. The main aim behind handing out the shawls was to create awareness that one needs to come appropriately dressed as we have the blessed sacrament preserved in the church and it is the presence of God for us, which needs to be respected,” he said. The church officials said the decision was not implemented overnight, as it might seem to many, but the church had been considering ways of curbing skimpily-dressed visitors from entering the sacred home of God for five years before the volunteers were posted. Source: times of india

Basiica Of Bom Jesus , Old Goa , Volunteers , Fr. Savio Baretto 

Challenge of being Goan Christian discussed

The issues of concern to Goan Catholics are discussed on every third week-end at the Pedro Arrupe Institute.

Panaji:  The challenges of being a Goan and Christian were the subject of a seminar that Jesuit priests organized last weekend at Pedro Arrupe Institute in Goa as part of a regular program to help lay people deepen their faith. Father Victor Ferrao of Rachol Seminary, the resource person of the seminar titled “The Challenge to be a Goan Christian,” told some 80 participants that Goan Society “suffers from a double amnesia.” He helped the participants to theologize in the socio-politico-economic context of Goa. The seminar attempted to blend the Goan and Christian identities. Father Ferrao said Goans—both Christians and Hindus–have a discomfort to deal with their history, especially the colonial dimension of their past, which afflicts them. While Christians do not exhibit any memory of their conversion, the Hindus have forgotten that they have evolved and transformed over time. The priest demonstrated that the term ‘Hinduism’ did not exist in the 15 and 16 century Goa, when Portuguese came and established colonial rule in the region. Goan Christians have their ancestry in the fragmentary religions like Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Nathism, Shaktism, Betal and the Santeri Cult that today have evolved into what we know as ‘Hinduism’. He declared that Goan historiography suffers from Hindu-ology or reduction of everything into Hinduism and has to be freed from it in order to heal the wounded memories of the society. He called for a serious research in the exact origins of the Goan Christians. Scholars have demonstrated Hinduism as a monolithic religion unified only in the 19th century under the British colonization. The Viashnavism and Shaivism merged in Goa only in the 1920s. He called for a “therapeutic dialogue” knowing the truth of history can heal the relations between both the communities. A theology that deals with the colonial past will not only benefit Goa but would also become an antidote to theology in Asia, which somehow has forgotten the colonial side of its history. Goa has a great opportunity to develop a new theology that will respond adequately to the de-historicized condition of our theology both in Asia and India, the priest argued. The issues of concern to Goan Catholics are discussed on every third week-end at the Pedro Arrupe Institute. The next seminar will be organized on “a Catholic response to Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity in Goa” in July 20 and 21. Source: UCAN News

Goan Christian ,Panaji ,Jesuit Fathers ,Pedro Arrupe Institute ,Rachol Seminary   
Goan prawn curry

Goan prawn curry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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