Pastoral Counselling Services

Human Life is not to be lived alone. It is born out of relationships that exist between spouses. It is anchored in the family . It extends from here to the society. To exists in a society means to develop a huge network of relationships with those around.

The frail and fragile nature of every person tends to commit errors and causes undue misunderstandings. To liberate oneself from this great web of misunderstandings and confusions, the Diocesan Family Service Centre offers Pastoral Counselling. The concept of Pastoral Counselling makes people aware of their own shortcomings and proposes them various means and choices to come out of the maze of life and to live their daily chores with respect to oneself and others.

The Counselling Services offered by the Centre are rendered by Specialised Counsellors who are trained to be like Good Shepherds leading and guiding their flock with great care and concern. This is the uniqueness of the Pastoral Counselling Services of the Centre.

The Pastoral Counselling Services are offered to individuals, engaged couples, spouses, single parents, widows/widowers, in-laws and to the families in general.

Counselling Services Offered

Counsellors:

  1. Fr. Jaoquim Fernandes (SVD)
  2. Fr. Dominic Savio Vaz (Diocesan)
  3. Fr. Nelson Rodrigues (SAC)
  4. Fr. Elvis Fernandes (SFX)
  5. Fr. Praveen D’Souza (OCD)

EMPOWERING SELF-HELP GROUP WOMEN

In View of creating awareness on the importance of mental health, Women’s Day was celebrated with women of self-help groups of Mandur VP on the 13th of March 2024. An initiative of the Pastoral Counselling Department of Diocesan Family Service Centre in collaboration with AAM Neura (Sub Health Centre) PHC Corlim.

The Event started at 10.30am with lighting of the lamp symbolizing triumph of Knowledge by Zilla Parishad member Mr Dhaku Madkaikar, PHN Sister Aruna (PHC Corlim), Sarpanch VP Mandur, Mr Prashant Naik, Secretary VP Mandur, Self- help group chairperson Reema Vengurlekar, the event coordinators Dr Reecha Borkar AYUSH CHO (AAM-Sub Health Centre Neura) and Ms Hema Menezes, Pastoral Counselling Coordinator (DFSC) , followed by a welcome song by the Mahilas. The traditional cake cutting ceremony and wishing self by a hug giving importance to self-care and wishing one and other gave a start to the Celebration. The theme ‘Invest in Women, Accelerate Progress “was formerly introduced to the audience with a warm welcome.

To inspire and understand the value of mental health for women who are the pillars of the family and pioneers of the society, an awareness talk on Emotional Hygiene –Be kind to your mind was successfully delivered to the 40 women present for the celebration. A power point presentation defining emotions and hygiene and the importance of nurturing emotional hygiene and caring for emotional wounds as physical hygiene and wounds was presented. Role plays on emotional wounds in the daily life of a child to adult was enacted. Practicing healthy mechanisms like finding activities which help to regulate emotions in a healthy way, practicing mindfulness to live in the present, caring for self, keeping a mood journal was explained. A practical meditation session on body scanning and visionary was a part of the talk. In the end tips to balm the emotional wounds like recognise the emotional pain, being compassionate to self, don’t ruminate, change response to failure, and identify the feeling was presented via pics. To sum up seek help slides to take help from counsellors and doctors from Govt. health facilities at IPHB hospital Bambolim, District hospitals(Asilo& Hospicio) and few PHC’s & CHC’s and psychiatrist OPD at PHC Corlim was introduced. Tele Manas Goa another Govt initiative a free online telecounselling, teleconsultation and teletheraphy available 24hrs service leaflets distributed.

Cooking competition on preparing nutritious food at home and displaying at the venue was an activity which women enjoyed. 16 participants presented healthy dishes namely mixed dry fruit ladoo, moog sprout pulao, raggi idli, millet ladoo, mixed vegetable cutlet, modak, moog ladoo, fennel seeds canji, kheer etc. The judges Dr Yogesh Desai and PHN sister Aruna checked the nutritional value and declared 5 participants as winners who were felicitated by the organisers.

The awareness talk on Nutrition for healthy mind focussed on health as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The power point presentation on difference between mind and brain using metaphor of software and hardware was explained. The mind is a general term the way a person thinks, reasons, perceives, wills, has ideas and has emotion was brought to notice and hence giving importance to dining habits as a family, prayer before meals to express gratitude , love as an ingredient in cooking, eating home cooked food, kitchen hygiene were some of emotional hygiene practices. The role of the main 4 hormones of happiness namely Dopamine, Endorphin, Oxytocin and Serotonin which are active when we take care of our emotional wounds and build our emotional strength and the role of Stress hormones release which lead to anxiety, depression and further to headaches and blood pressure was explained. The key nutrients for healthy mind such as Omega-3, Fatty acids, Vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and hydration play an important role for optimal brain function was explained . The end slide focused on self-care of a healthy women who is a sum of healthy mind and healthy body.

The participants were divided in 4 groups of 10 each for fun activities namely Joy, Gratitude, love and Inspiration. Rogoli design, Ice breakers, Quiz Competitions, team building games were some of the fun activities the participants enjoyed as a part of the Celebration. The winners were given prizes individually and as teams and all the participants awarded with certificate of participation. Feedback was collected from the participants via forms group wise and few individuals who wanted to share input of the programme. The celebration  ended at 01.30pm with a vote of thanks and felicitation of the organising coordinators.

Report prepared by: Hema Menezes

Report of One Day National Level Seminar

The Department of Psychology of Rosary College of Commerce and Arts, in collaboration with Diocesan Family Service Centre, Panjim, organized a One Day National Level Seminar on 5th April, 2023 in the college seminar hall. The topic of the seminar was “Challenges in Family Living in Today’s Changing World”. The registrations began at 8:45 a.m. followed by the welcoming of the dignitaries. Rev. Arul Raj Gali (Executive Secretary, CCBI (Conference of Catholic Bishops of India) Family Commission, Rev. Albano Fernandes, Director of Diocesan Family Service Centre, Administrator Rev. Gabriel Coutinho, Principal Prof. Helic Barretto, Vice-Principal and Coordinator, Rev. Dr. Jeronimo D Silva and Student Coordinator Ms. Faren Fernandes were welcomed into the Seminar Hall marking the commencement of the seminar.

The seminar embarked on a thankful note with a prayer service led by Mr. Abel Lourenco and his team followed by lighting of the traditional lamp. As a token of appreciation, potted plants were presented to the Chief Guest Rev. Arul Raj Gali and Rev. Alban Fernandes. The Principal Prof. Helic Barretto then formally welcomed the gathering. He spoke about the importance of the seminar, highlighting how different families and backgrounds share the same challenges and how we should tackle such problems. He further said that this seminar would provide us with the knowledge and information to deal with such problems.

This was followed by the Administrator’s address. Rev. Gabriel Coutinho voiced his concerns about the alarming divorce/separation rates, and why it is important to establish healthy relationships and work towards them. The Chief guest Rev. Fr. Arul Raj Gali was asked to share his views with the gathering. Student Coordinator Ms. Faren Fernandes then presented an overview of the seminar. Associate Professor Ms. Tanya Marchon concluded the inaugural by proposing the vote of thanks, expressing her gratitude to the dignitaries, management, participants and students by quoting Mother Teresa “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family”.

Rev. Fr. Arul Raj Gali then delivered his keynote address on “Families of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”. He elaborated on what makes families of yesterday different from the families of today and what will make the families of tomorrow so different. He also threw light on how technology was effortlessly able to make families drift apart and how abuses and addictions till date continue to be a home-wrecker. The keynote address was followed by a brief coffee break.

The seminar resumed with a session conducted by Rev. Savio D’Souza, Director of Diocesan Youth Centre, on the topic ; Adolescents’ Involvement in Family Life. He emphasized on trust, family, love and giving time and explained how no family is perfect; each family has different ways of expressing their love. Mr Vijay Borges and Mrs. Ulene Borges from MFC (Missionary Family for Christ) spoke about parental concerns towards adolescents and ways of effectively dealing with adolescents, such as spending quality family time and setting boundaries. The session was followed by a lunch break.

The afternoon session commenced with a session by Rev. Albano Fernandes, the Director of Diocesan Family Service Centre. He highlighted some of the major challenges faced by families today such as no clear vision, generation gap, lack of family time, migration, lack of communication etc. The final speaker for the seminar was Dr. Roshan Nazareth who spoke on health compromising behavior among adolescents such as maintaining unhealthy diets, skipping meals especially breakfast, engaging in risky sexual behaviours, substance abuse, rash driving and mental health disorders.

Ms. Hagel D’ Costa, the special invitee, shared an inspiring insight about her life, how she and her family faced a lot of challenges and how they overcame them with genuine love and care for one another. She also shared how prayer helped her to be the resilient and independent young woman that she is today. This was followed by a short tea break. The valedictory ceremony included reading of the seminar report, feedback from participants and distribution of certificates to participants from different colleges of Goa. The seminar ended with the vote of thanks delivered by Rev. Dr. Jeronimo D' Silva. The Comperes for the seminar were Ms. Sana Jose and Ms. Dewrel Mendes.

Report prepared by: Rev. Dr. Jeronimo D Silva