The Social Apostolate group comprises various organisations, commissions and associations engaged in social outreach programmes within the Archdiocese of Bombay. It seeks to present a common front with respect to social issues, while each constituent member continues working within its respective framework. At a Consultation held on 19-20th October 2019 with the theme Reaching Out to the Vulnerable in Compassionate Love, the Social Apostolate resolved to respond jointly on critical social issues and also promote a certain common thrust for the Archdiocese in which all would participate. A Working Group formed post-Consultation serves to provide a roadmap for the Social Apostolate under the co-ordination of Bishop Allwyn D'Silva.
For we are God's fellow workers.
You are God's field, God's building.
1 CORINTHIANS 3:9 ESV
The Church in Mumbai is cognizant that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing social, economic, spiritual and psychological upheavals. This leaves the faithful and especially the poorest of the poor helpless. Aiming to have the Church remain relevant, especially when her children are most vulnerable, the Social Apostolate group initiated a series of brainstorming and planning sessions beginning in April 2020. Our response has been structured under immediate-, medium- and long-term time frames under the five focus areas outlined below.
Information on COVID-19, domestic violence, issues associated with senior citizens and patients of palliative care. It also serves as a guide to directory.
Directory of Health & Safety Services
in MS Excel file format.
This Google document is a collaboration of concerned citizens and different NGOs for important information related to COVID-19. It contains contacts of government officials and helplines, notices regarding relief measures, list of ration distribution centres and shelter homes, helplines for psycho-social support, orders related to COVID testing and list of testing centers, petitions filed by NGOs and other COVID relief related information.
List of services in Catholic Hospitals for non-COVID patients prepared by the Commission for Health of the Archdiocese of Bombay
HOLY FAMILY HOSPITAL - BANDRA WEST
to create a safe and healthy environment for vulnerable sections
• Create and Maintain a Self-Use Directory of Health Services that contains helplines for patients seeking information on COVID-19, Quarantine centres and hospitals, Online services available of doctors and counselors, senior citizens, patients of palliative care and survivors of domestic violence, Services of laboratories and ambulances
• Expand the reach of the initiative via volunteers, home visits and help lines once the COVID-19 emergency is over
to let no one sleep hungry
• Develop a diocesan-level food security policy.
• Initiate a resource mobilisation by end-May 2020 - plan for nutritional needs of special groups
• Co-ordinate at the ward level to identify those in need
• Advocate to highlight / represent issues such as quality of rations
to combat the double whammy of COVID-19 and the slowdown in the economy
• Set up an online jobs portal connecting job-seekers and job-givers (under development)
• Serving the mental health needs of those affected by the lockdown and (un)employment stress / Helplines available in the Directory - click here
• Create a livelihoods, skills and vocation training infrastructure (proposed)
THE CHRISTIAN FAITH BETTER
to go 'beyond Church: take up the priorities of Jesus - building up the Kingdom of God
• Foster social sensitivity and become action-oriented in our local human communities: inculcate a new inclusive mind-set
• Give greater visibility to the CCO as a coordinating platform for social outreach
• Become laity-centered, empowering the lay person, especially women: conduct a study of best practices across parishes
• Let the youth take centre stage: encourage a social or environmental consciousness project in every parish or deanery; involve those already active in the secular space
to espouse Justice, Human Rights, Democracy and Environment
• Be central to formulating the Social Policy of the Church
• Write on issues connected to the marginalised and the pandemic
• Have online panel discussions on relevant issues