Christian Think Tank Meet
The Christian Think Tank Meeting was organized under the aegis of the Karnataka Region Catholic Bishop’s Council, at Paalanaa Bahavana (the Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre), Bangalore on 15th September 2017. Besides the Archbishop, nine other Bishops of Karnataka from Belagavi, Balaari, Belthangadi Chikkamagaluru, Kalburgi, Karawara, Mysore, Shivamogga and Udupi were present. The Secretaries of all the Diocesan Laity Commission, Fathers, Sisters and other dignitaries from various quarters and walks of life made their presence felt at this Meeting. While 121 invites were sent out, a strong response of 114 members, made it up for the Christian Think Tank Meeting. Besides many luminaires, Mrs. Margaret Alva, former Governor of Uttarakhand was also present.
As the Meet was introduced by Mrs. Clara Fernandez, she said that a Meet of this nature was carving a history for herself, as this was the first time ever a thought to convene the Christian Minds of this nature and status was ever planned and executed, in Karnataka Church and for that matter first in any other region within India.
The Meet began with a Prayer dance and Prayer after which Most Rev. Peter Machado, the Bishop of Belgaum welcomed the gathering. During which Most Rev. Peter Machado, explained origin and meaning of the concept of Think Tank and how they were gained entrance into various spheres of Organizations and today, even the Church. Bishop Peter Machado also mentioned that this Meet of Christian Think Tank was the brain child of the Archbishop Most Rev. Bernard Moras.
Archbishop Most Rev. Bernard Moras, in his Keynote address, explained that this Think Tank has a prefix “Christian”, which means that Christ is the basis of our thought pattern and action. Archbishop, also elucidated that how earlier Christians were looked upon for everything concerning education, medical and service oriented actions; are today looked down, giving every Christian action a tainted outlook of suspicion. It is against think backdrop, the need for a “Christian Think Tank” was conceived and made it a reality today.
The gathering was led in an erudite way, by Rev. Fr. Jerome Stanislaus D’Souza SJ, the Provincial of Karnataka Jesuits and Mr. John Richard Lobo, current MLA of Mangalore South constituency in Karnataka. While Fr. Jerome speaking on the topic: “Challenges faced by the Church in India with a special reference to Karnataka”, touched upon the need, scope and context of the Christian Think Tank and spoke on the problems facing our country and our response, during his talk. Mr. J. R. Lobo, talking on: “Our Response to the Present day Challenges, Our vision for the Future”, gave statistics of the Christian presence in India and around the world. He also urged the need for spreading and touching the Political, Social and education by Christian presence.
Later after the talks, a Panel Discussion was headed by Msgr. S. Jayanathan was held. A lot of suggetions, questions and inputs were given and the points taken note of. Finally, Fr. Faustine Lobo, drew up the plan of action, during which the need for a core group, to implement this plan of action, was mentioned. The formation of this core group was left to Karnataka Region Catholic Bishops’ Council. Fr. Selva Kumar, the Regional Laity Commission Secretary, delivered the Vote of Thanks. The entire Meet was over with a blessing by the Archbishop and Group Photo.