The Diocesan Family Service Centre in collaboration with St. Xavier’s Higher Secondary School, Mapusa organized a Pro-life seminar “God: Source of life. Preserve, Protect & Defend” on 21st August 2015. It was attended by the teachers and few selected students of 13 Higher Secondary Schools of North Goa.
The Principal of St. Xavier’s Higher Secondary School, Dr. Elvis Gonsalves introduced the Chief Guest, Mrs. Marina Monteiro and resource persons, Fr. Kennet Teles, Dr. Rupali Vernekar and Mr. and Mrs. Herman Pereira. The Chief Guest, Mrs. Marina Monteiro spoke briefly on Pro-Life and shared her own personal experiences.
The seminar began with Fr. Teles highlighting the essence of life. He said life is a precious gift of God and we are created in His own image. A human body is a beautiful creation of God put together. Through creation we co-operate with God. Life is sacred. Unlike animals, we have our own mind and will to discern. Our bodies are the visible images of an invisible God. He focused on Rights to Human Life and Laws against Human Life. He highlighted how there are laws which protect animal life but are not so protective of human life. For example, killing a frog results in jail, but killing human life results in bail. He also emphasized that all religions do not support abortion. The enormous rates of abortions were also highlighted. Fr. Kennet also spoke about the culture of death, its symptoms and fruits, areas to defend the culture of life through promotion of agape love, maternity, fatherhood, chastity etc.
During the second session on Family Planning, Dr. Rupali Vernekar spoke about contraception. The use of various contraceptives such as condoms, birth control pills, Copper T, Female sterilization, Vasectomy, Natural Methods of contraception – the advantages and disadvantages. She described the methods of Natural Family Planning (NFP) and various STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections). She spoke on the symptoms of STI’s in males and females and highlighted HIV as a killer disease. Dr. Rupali ended on the need to stop worrying, fight stress and live a healthy life.
Mr. and Mrs. Herman Pereira enlightened us on how in these modern times, one can still raise a large family. “Where there is a will, there is a way of life”.
The Seminar ended with a group discussion among the participants on the following questions:
- Mention top five reasons as to why parents are having fewer children and suggestions to overcome these reasons thereof?
- What could be the consequences (positive and negative) of Demographic decline in the near future in Goa/India?
- What are the pros and cons of having a large family?
- Suggest ways and means that the media can bring about more awareness on chaste behaviour.
- Do you think the government should offer contraceptive choice instead of chastity education to adolescents through the Yuva Clinics at Primary Health Centre’s in Goa? Yes/No…Why?
- Suggest ways and means by which the government can encourage more births.
Common Question: How would I as an individual (in the family, friend circle, staff members, school, village, society etc..) respond to this challenge of Preserving, Protecting and Defending life?
After reporting from the groups the gathering finalized a mission statement to carry forward the message that God is the Source of Life. We have to Preserve, Protect & Defend it at all costs.
WE THE MEMBERS OF PRO-LIFE IN HIGHER SECONDARY EDUCATIOAL INSTITUTIONS, IN RESPONSE TO THE VALUES AND CULTURE OF LIFE, COMMIT OURSELVES TO PRAYER, EDUCATION AND ACTION IN DEFENSE OF LIFE.
IT IS OUR MISSION TO FOSTER IN OUR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS THE DIGNITY AND SANCTITY OF ALL HUMAN LIFE, FROM CONCEPTION TO NATURAL DEATH AND TO CREATE AN AWARENESS OF THE SAME.
WE ARE DEDICATED TO OBSERVING AND PROMOTING CULTURE OF LIFE AND WE DENOUNCE CONTRACEPTION, ABORTION, EUTHANASIA, INFANTICIDE, SUICIDE AND CLONING.