NT NETWORK - April 26, 2010

In service of others

The very large number of lay faithful from the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, who have been coming to Pallotti Home over the last 25 years have experienced a tremendous renewal of faith and rekindling of charity in their Christian lives; many of them thereafter have dedicated themselves to the service of humanity and the Church.

The visionary, Rev Fr Toni Kolb SAC, the then Delegate Superior was solely responsible in bringing the Pallottines to Chicalim. In 1979, when the Philosophical Institute was shifted from Trivandrum to Casa Pallotti in Assagao, Goa, the Apostolic Boys from there were shifted to a rented house in Chicalim, along with their Superiors, Fr Henry Keiffer and Fr Arogyadas Kottana. Meanwhile Fr Toni Kolb scouted around for a plot of land to build a house of Apostolate, where all sections of people, including the poor, could come for personal renewal, in keeping with the ideals of their founder, Vincent Pallotti. Finally, Fr Toni was able to buy the present plot of land with financial assistance from the Sacred Heart Province Germany, and blessed the Foundation Stone in October 1979.Without further delay; construction began under the supervision of Rev Fr Paul K. The House was officially blessed by Most Rev Raul Gonsalves, Archbishop of Goa and Daman on April28, 1985.

Even before the final completion of the house, retreats in Konkani and English began to be organised. People began to throng here from all over despite the initial lack of facilities. Fr Henry Keiffer’s whole-hearted support and acting as their Spiritual Director further encouraged these retreats.

In the beginning when the charismatic wave in Goa was strong, the number of people who flocked here for these retreats were more than could be accommodated. To accommodate all of them in the house, a retreat house was built with the sole purpose of encouraging people to come here, to renew their faith and love of God. The purpose has wonderfully benefited thousands of faithful, especially from the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, for the last 25 years. It’s gratifying to see even now, how many educated and well-placed people in society, as well as the faithful from the farming and fishing community come here for spiritual renewal, in keeping with the mission of the founder of the order, Vincent Pallotti

The Pallotti Home has been host to many activities like the Goan Charismatic Renewal Movement and have regularly organised initiation retreats, inner healing retreats , growth retreats, intercessory retreats, leaders’ camps, local and national conventions, and seminars for various groups thus reaching out to thousands of laity in their formation, renewal of faith, and apostolate and mission in the Church; they have also worked with other lay associations like the Association of Crusaders for Jesus with Mary,  Couples for Christ, marriage encounter, neo-cathcumanate, Focolare movement, Archdiocesan  commissions, organising workshops at different times and for different age groups.

It’s the small deeds that count towards making a task successful. A very special mention has to be made of the selfless and faithful services of three dedicated and committed Helpers of Pallotti Home. Ms Deodita Aguiar the main chef, Ms Jesuina and Mr Mariano Fernandes who have all been dedicated workers.

Rev Fr Hans Peter Becker, the present Provincial, and all the Provincials, Bursars and Mission Secretaries of the Sacred Heart Province Germany have played a pivotal role in all this. During their tenure, late Fr Henry Keiffer and Fr Anton Nenzl contributed substantially towards the works of the Pallotti Home, with donations from their own family members as well as personal benefactors, friends, and well-wishers in Germany. It was with the financial assistance from the German Province that the major renovation work of the Pallotti Home was undertaken in 2006 – at the cost Rs 25 lakhs.

Here’s what Rev Fr Wolfgang Dutzi SAC, Mission Secretary wrote in his message on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of Pallotti Home Retreat Centre: “Our Province and many benefactors in Germany who contributed to the construction of the House are now deeply satisfied, that the seeds which were sown 25 years ago by our Confreres have borne such rich fruits!”