BIS #7120 Celebrating World Day of the Poor at Dominic Savio’s Wadala

By Mrs Lydia Rodrigues for BISMumbai

Inspired by the message of Pope Francis for World Day of the Poor, the Parish Pastoral Council of St Dominic Savio Church decided to set 10 December 2023 as the ‘Day of the Poor’ in the Parish and organised a programme to mark the occasion. 

A committee was formed to brainstorm ideas, and after careful consideration, the decision was made to provide a sumptuous buffet lunch to the underprivileged. To ensure the smooth handling of the lunch, poor families were identified by the area leaders of the Small Christian Communities (SCC) in advance, and coupons were distributed. Invitees also included people from other faiths.

The event began at 12:30 p.m. with a prayer led by the Parish Priest, Fr Kenneth Pereira. The prayer set the tone for the event and emphasised the spirit of compassion and solidarity with the poor. The programme was well-attended, with about 80 underprivileged individuals coming together as family units in the parish hall. 

The sumptuous buffet lunch provided an opportunity for the attendees to enjoy a hearty meal in a welcoming environment. This initiative aimed not only to meet the physical needs of the underprivileged but also to create a sense of community and belonging. While the church consistently supports the poor through the activities of its various associations, this celebration also aimed to connect with those often overlooked families in the parish neighbourhood. Packed meals were also sent to the family members unable to attend.

The event successfully provided a platform for the parish community to come together and reach out to the underprivileged.  The interactions between the attendees, including those from different faiths, promoted mutual respect and solidarity. As it was observed by the gratitude in the eyes of the attendees, it became evident that this outreach was a reflection of encountering God in the faces of the less fortunate. For many parish members, this marked a heartfelt and meaningful first-time interaction with the poor.

The Parish Pastoral Council expressed gratitude to all those who contributed to meet the expenses incurred and to the volunteers who came forward to prepare the place for the event and to serve the meals, thus making this event a meaningful and impactful initiative.