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Udupi, 17 Jul 2017: A seminar on “Present Scenario-Challenges and Opportunities of the Catholic Health Care Mission” was held jointly by the Health Commission of Udupi Diocese and the Karnataka Regional Health Commission on Monday, 17 July 2017 from 10 am to 1.30 pm at the Bishop’s House on Monday, July 17.

 

The inauguration of the seminar was presided over by the Bishop of Udupi Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo. The other dignitaries on the dais included: Msgr. Baptist Menezes - Vicar General of Udupi Diocese, Fr. Mathew Pewrumpil - Secretary of Health, CBCI, Fr. Lourdusamy - Secretary of Karnataka Regional Pastoral Plan Implementation Commisttee(KRPPIC), Fr. Santosh Dias - Regional Secretary, Fr. Richard Coelho - Director of Fr. Muller’s Charitable Institution, Fr. Valerian Mendonca - Parish Priest of Mother of Sorrows Church, Udupi and PRO of Udupi Diocese, Alphonse D’Costa -Secretary of Diocesan Pastoral Council, Dolphy D’Souza -Representative of Diocesan Pastoral Council and Fr. Denis D’Sa-PRO of Udupi Diocese and Director of Health Commission of Udupi Diocese.

 

Following the prayer song, Fr Valerian Mendonca, read a passage from the Holy Gospel accompanied by a brief meditation on the passage. Dr Leslie Lewis, MD (Paediatrics) KMC Manipal welcomed the gathering.

The seminar was inaugurated by Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo along with the dignitaries on the dais by lighting the lamp.

Addressing the gathering Bishop Gerald Lobo said that food, clothing, shelter, education and health are the basic needs of all people over the world. According to the Bible, Jesus commanded the Apostles, “go and proclaim the Good News and Health the sick. Jesus not only preached but practiced by being a Mater Physician. He cured the lepers, gave sight to the blind, cure the deaf, the dumb and the lame. He was Doctor par excellence. He cured the physical, Mental, Spiritual as Emotional sickness of the people who came to him seeking health. The Church continues Jesus’ Mission. Hence it is not just proclaiming the good news but also doing good because Jesus went on doing good.. This is one of the reasons why the Church all over the world while establishing its own presence among the people has also started schools and health care centres as part of the mission.

Speaking further, the Bishop said that while promoting the health of a human being, one has to be conscious about the Culture of Death as opposed for the Culture of Life. There are several issues in the field of Bio-ethics and genetics on the pretext of experimentation that harm the health of humans than promoting or safeguarding it.

When Christians try humanizing medicine and caring the sick by showing personal concern and closeness to the suffering, they become for everyone a powerful image of Jesus himself, the healer of bodies and souls. Health cannot be defined from a mere study of the body but considering the whole person in his human vocation and final destiny.

 Highlighting the work of the Health Commission of Udupi Diocese, the Bishop said that with the help of the Health commission, awareness has been created in availing the government facilities of health care sectors. The Diocese is working in providing health cards of KMC Manipal as well as Yashashvini and other government health cards to the people. In 2016-17 out of 15000 people 13000 were enrolled for KMC health cards and have availed a benefit of Rs 3.8 crore.

Fr Santhosh Dais Regional Secretary Commission for Health said that the growing commercialization and tendency to exploit in the midst of sickness and suffering coupled with the dwindling external resources, compels us today to work together. Many of the Christians Health care centres, charitable Hospitals especially in rural areas, do not have adequate doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. Financial constraints prevent our hospitals from maintaining and upgrading this infrastructure and investing in appropriate technology as per the need of the time. Christian hospitals are not in a position to compete with for-profit corporate hospitals which are gradually spreading their roots from big cities to smaller towns.

 

Fr. Lurduswamy Secretary Karnataka Regional Pastoral Plan Implementation committee, Fr. Richard Coelho Director Father Muller’s Charitable Institutions Mangaluru, Msgr Baptist Menezes Vicar General of Udupi Diocese also spoke on the occasion.

Soon after the inaugural session, the seminar was addressed by Fr Mathew Perumpil Secretary for Health CBCI spoke on National Health Policy and Changing Priorities of Catholic Health care in India.

Bishop Gerald Lobo briefly explained the origin, growth and future of Diocesan Pastoral Plan 2015 with special reference to the organization and functioning of the Diocesan health Commission.

Dr. Lawrence D’Souza, Secretary of CESU spoke on the Policy of CBCI on Health and Fr Santosh Dais Regional Secretary Commission for Health presented the regional presentation of Health Commission.

Fr. Denis D’Sa, PRO of Udupi Diocese and Director of Diocesan Health Commission narrated the work undertaken by the Health Commission of the Diocese. 

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