Goa Church sets up fund for Nepal quake victims

Panaji (Matters India): The Catholic Church in Goa Saturday announced that it would collect donations for the earthquake victims of Nepal.

Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa and Daman has asked all the 180-odd parishes in the tiny southwestern Indian state to make announcements during regular Masses for the parishioners to contribute for the fund.

“We are all aware of the devastating earthquake that hit our neighboring country of Nepal a week ago, leaving presumably some ten thousand dead and several thousands injured, not to speak of the unprecedented loss of property,” the archbishop said in a circular.

A special account has been opened in a nationalized bank in Panaji for the same, The Economic Times reported.

“The extent of the devastation, which has flattened thousands of villages, will not be known until the end of the ongoing search and rescue operations. Huge populations are rendered homeless and are living like refugees and the outbreak of an epidemic seems to be imminent,” he said.

The Church has always risen to such occasions and gone out of her way to extend all possible help to the affected populations, the archbishop added.

The Apostolic Vicar of Nepal, the only Catholic bishop in that country, has requested Caritas India to support and assist Caritas Nepal in the rescue and relief operations, Archbishop Ferrao said. “Caritas India has already begun sending human and material resources to provide succor to the affected people,” he added.

Earlier, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, had appealed the bishops of India to encourage their people, institutions and people of goodwill to help the Nepal victims.

The Church in Goa has been generous in the past, when natural calamities of this nature have created havoc in the lives of entire populations. Time has come to rise up again to the call of distress, the Goa prelate said.

“We call upon our pastors as well as superiors of religious institutions to announce the contents of this circular at Sunday Masses and regular meetings and thus enable everyone to take part in this drive of the Church in Goa to bring relief to our suffering brethren in Nepal,” the circular said.

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