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International Webinar on Faces of Faith in Pandemic and Post-Pandemic

By Ms. Raynah Braganza
Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, FMA, Secretary Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Human Development speaks on the Role of Faith in Pandemic
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Kolkata, Nov. 17. On the 25th Year of the Indian Catechetical Association, in collaboration with the sector on the Dimension of Education to Faith of the Salesian Provincial Conference of South Asia (SPCSA), a webinar on 'Faces of Faith in Pandemic and Post-Pandemic, ' went online from November 15. The international webinar has the presence of bishops, clergy, nuns and lay- faithful from several countries.
The inaugural address presented by Archbishop Peter for Cardinal Rino Fischichella, President, Dicastery of Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation, highlighted the reality of the virus and the importance of reaching out to each other and not running away from burdens and challenges. He called on the participants to fight against the tendency for selfishness.  Instead, live the faith by being a credible witness developing connections through dialogue and service.

The theme, Role of Faith in Pandemic, was introduced by Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, FMA, Secretary Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Human Development. Pope Francis' concern for all affected by the pandemic led him to start the Vatican Covid Commission, she said. She further narrated Pope's instruction to the Vatican Covid Commission, saying listen to the voices of those most affected, connect with others who could respond to needs, communicate stories of those affected, inspire all, food for all, jobs for all and healthcare for all.

Father Francis Vincent Anthony SDB, Rome, presented the Keynote address on 'Life-Experience in the Face of Coronavirus: Implications for Faith Development during and after the Pandemic. ' After sharing the highlights of the responses to a study conducted by him with a group of colleagues at the beginning of the pandemic with respondents from Italy, Spain, Poland and Finland, he stated that the challenges posed by the pandemic and their links to other trials could be opportunities for catechesis.

Archbishop Thomas Macwan, Chairperson of the CCBI, Commission for Catechesis, called on the participants to have strong faith to help them get through the fears and challenges of life due to the coronavirus. The week-long webinar will conclude on November 20.



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