The Simao Effect

The appointment of Rev. Fr. Simon Purificasao Fernandes as Auxiliary Bishop-Elect of the Archdiocese of Goa has ignited hope in the people of God in Goa. As the Church walks together with people of God, the leaders of the Church also are in an intense mood of expectant Joy. The church, thus is getting ready to live another golden moment of its own history. Lord Jesus Christ being our Hope, the coming of the new Auxiliary Bishop promises us a grace-filled time. It is this hope the enlightens our faith and stimulates love among us. Although the gift of the Auxiliary Bishop is of ecclesial nature, it does have deep socio-political as well as cultural ramifications for our society. It will bring what we may call Simao Effect both within and outside the Church to every individual human person and communities at large. Given his human gifts, the new Auxiliary Bishop is in the right position at the right time to unite everyone offering Jesus as the Hope of humanity. The participation in the anointing of Jesus through the episcopal order, the Bishop to be Rev . Dr. Simao has what it takes to be the leader who will open new horizons of hope , faith and love for the Church in Goa.

The strengths of Simao Effect is based on the fact the Bishop-Elect is attuned to the joys and hardship, resources and the needs of the people of God in Goa. Therefore, with him and with the leadership of His eminence Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferrao , the Church in Goa can truly become the ‘Amen’ of Christ to our heavenly Father in the Holy Spirit. It is this ‘ Amen’ through the power and grace of the Holy Trinity that will enable Church in Goa to walk the difficult path of synodality. The synodal journey of the Church in Goa has Simao Effect at its heart. In hindsight, led by grace, we may say that it was divine providence that put Rev. Dr. Simao at the heart of the synodal preparation and celebration under the visionary leadership of our Archbishop Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferrao. Perhaps, we all have the challenge to work together to transform each of our parishes into a synodal parish. Synodal parishes will indeed become God’s channel of life and hope to all. The Simao Effect has a promise to keep and we in the Church has the task to walk this path with our Archbishop and his Auxiliary.

The ministry and charism of the episcopacy of Rev. Dr. Simao offers us a hope the Church in Goa can became ‘a conversation in the Spirit’ learning to arrive at communal discernment as taught by our Holy Father, Pope Francis. The synodal Church, thus, is not just a top-down leadership but is a bottom-up one modelled unto the servant leadership of our Lord. Such a leadership is the life-line of journey of the synodal church vibrantly living its communion, mission and participation. The Simao Effect offers us the best possibility to bring about this renewal of our church and society. Synodality is not novelty alone. It bridges continuity and newness. Simao Effect has the potency to being this comingling between newness and tradition in Goa.

We need the strengths and blessings that Church has received in the past, yet we need to discern the signs of the time and open ourselves to God who continues to gives us the new gifts and Charisms for his Kingdom. This reading of the signs of the time includes discerning of the challenges on our way as well as identification of the seeds of the gospel in our society. Among the several charisms, the new Bishop-Elect is a precious one. As we have begun the journey of synodality with Catholics , we still have to go miles to walk with other Christians and People of other Faiths. Hence, the Simao Effect will trigger energies that will enable us to journey not just with humans but also with the fragile nature of Goa where both people and animals are in conflicts with our rulers. The Simao Effect also widens the horizons of listening in the Church at all levels and empower people who take up prophetic speaking-out both within and outside the Church. The Simon Effect promises us to stimulate dialogue in the Church and Society. This active listening and dialogue already opens us to the mission of Christ in our society. It is in this spirit that we can pray that the episcopal ministry of Rev. Dr. Simon becomes authentic ministry of hope for all in Goa. The Simao Effect is indeed set to be an harbinger of hope to all.

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GREETINGS

Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao