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Goa priests learn to grow old gracefully

Renewal program infuses a new zeal and renewed vigor

Goa priests learn to grow old gracefully
Priests who attended the program on aging
Bosco de Souza Eremita, Pilar

February 3, 2011

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Some priests in Goa say a renewal program “on aging gracefully” has helped them become less materialistic and more Indian. “My age was making me feel useless, but now, after listening to the talks I have received a new zeal and renewed vigor,” said Father Bosco Rodrigues, one of the 38 priests who attended the 10-day program. The Society of Pilar organized the Jan. 18-27 program for members who were ordained during 1949-1971 and have completed more than 40 years of priesthood. Father Tamaturo Pais, another participant, said the program convinced him not to hanker for authority, but do whatever possible in one’s capacity. “We ought to surrender our position of power, go on with life in whatever level, and be a witness to be united with the Lord,” he added. Father Ubaldo Fernandes, a priest based in Mumbai, said the program helped him understand that the key to good health is not to carry grudges and ill will. The encounter saw priests undergo a neuro-linguistic program. It also provided various techniques in self-healing and relaxation. Redemptorist Father Eric Rodrigues, a speaker, urged participants to remain happy, adopt a sense of humor and forgive others. The neuro-linguistic program helped a priest who limped to walk normally. “All I did was to press my fingers at the right points,” he said. Father Ivan Almeida, who coordinated the program, said it recognizes the importance of the seniors to lead their society “since they have the wisdom and rich experience.” The program, he said, helped the seniors to understand life. “It is the approach to life that makes the difference. Aging gracefully in the Indian approach is vital,” he added. According to him, the materialistically-oriented West makes people to peak at middle age, whereas the life graph always go upward in India, with the goal to reach God. “Our march peaks as we grow old, whereas the Western concept destroys life,” he added. The program asked the participants to be in tune with God in silence so that they can face life’s problems that come in succession, Father Almeida said. Related reports American strengthens Goa Catholics’ faith Pilar Fathers celebrate their status change ID13144.1639
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