Vox Nostra  |  Wishes  |  Obituary

The Laity Commission of the Diocese of Udupi organised a one day training workshop for all the newly elected Vice-Presidents and Secretaries of the Parish Pastoral Councils at Bishop’s House, Udupi on February 24, 2017. The forenoon sessions were organised for the Secretaries who came from the different parishes of the Diocese and the afternoon sessions were for the Vice-Presidents.  It was well attended which is evident from the presence of 43 Secretaries and 46 vice-Presidents.

Session with the Secretaries

The workshop was inaugurated by the Bishop of Udupi, Most Rev. Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo. Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Gonsalves extended a warm welcome to the Bishop, the resource persons and the participants. The Deacon, Br. Rohan led the gathering to prayer after reading a passage from the Gospel according to St. John wherein Jesus compared Himself to the Vine and all of us, His followers to the branches. Br. Rohan shared his reflections and concluded the prayer session with a prayer.

In his introductory words Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Gonsalves extolled the efforts of the Bishop of Udupi in promoting lay leadership in the diocese. He also introduced Rev. Fr. Herald Pereira, the director of SCC Commission and the Co-ordinator for 18 Commissions of the Diocese, and Mr. Cyril Vas, the Resource Person for the day.


In his address to the gathering, the Bishop highlighted the mission of Christ to preach the word of God, to bring liberty to the captives and to serve the downtrodden. Jesus fulfilled the mission in His life and finally laid down His life for us all. He chose the 12 Apostles to carry on His mission. Today we are called to carry on the same mission of Jesus. The purpose of the workshop is to make us aware of our roles and responsibilities, to learn about our tasks and to be well equipped to serve the parish community.

Rev. Fr. Ferdinand’s invitation to all participants to introduce themselves to others. This was followed by his presentation on the role of the Laity according to Vatican II document. He motivated the participants through several examples and pictures. He explained the key ingredients of the document of Vatican II, viz. Lumen Gentium and highlighted the dignity of the Laity. He placed before the audience good examples of several Lay Catholic leaders who bear witness to Christ in the world of politics, business and justice. He placed on record their service to the humanity by upholding the values of Christ, the values of righteousness, peace and justice.

Mr. Cyril Vas shared from his vast experiences in both spiritual and social fields. He highlighted several aspects of our Christian life which would inspire and motivate the participants. He stressed the Person of Christ as the Centre of our life and all actions. He urged the Secretaries to work with commitment, dedication and play a responsible role in the parish with joy. He laid great importance on the Teaching of Christ that through love and sacrifice, understanding and forbearance, patience and cooperation, we can achieve a lot of success in our families and parishes. Mr. Cyril explained the roles and responsibilities of Secretaries in detail in a way that all present could understand and digest.

Bishop Gerald Lobo made a detailed presentation on how to write reports of the parish Council meetings. He emphasized the need to use uniform way of writing and maintaining reports as per universal standards. He requested the Secretaries to render their service with a deep spirit of faith knowing and believing that they have been chosen not only by people but by God Himself to render their selfless service for the good of parish. His simple and clear way of explaining every detail of the art of writing a good report facilitated everyone’s learning with ease and comfort.

There was a feedback session in which several asked questions and clarified their doubts.

Mr. Robert Menezes proposed the vote of thanks. The Bishop led the Angelus and blessed all present.  Lunch was served to all present.

Session with the Vice-Presidents

The afternoon session was organised for the Vice-Presidents. A total of 46 of them participated in the workshop. As in the morning, Br. Rohan led the group to prayer. Rev. Fr. Ferdinand welcomed one and all. The Bishop shared his message highlighting the work of Christ. We need to carry on the mission of Christ through evangelisation, education, health services and social services. He urged the Vice-Presidents to take responsibility in keeping all the records related to parish property. Taking their call to serve as coming from God Himself he requested them to serve for three years with dedication.

Rev. Fr. Ferdinand shared his inspiring ideas on Vatican II and Lumen Gentium. He placed the examples of several lay leaders before them to motivate them to be good leaders. 

The participants were served tea and snacks.

Mr. Cyril Vas shared his experiences in bearing witness to Christ. He also explained the roles and responsibilities of Vice-Presidents and motivated them to render their service with joy. He highlighted the aspect of lay leadership in the Church by being vigilant and bringing in fresh air in the Church community.

Mr. Leslie Arouza made a beautiful presentation of all the important aspects of 18 Commisions. He asked the Vice-Presidents to play a proactive role of overseeing to ensure that timely work is done by all commissions.

There was a feedback session in which several asked questions and shared their opinions.

Mr. John Richard D’Silva proposed the vote of thanks. Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Gonsalves thanked all for their active participation.

The session was concluded with a song of thanksgiving to the Lord.

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