Mangaluru: In a resounding call to action, Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, the Bishop of Mangalore, launched the “Anti-Drug Month” awareness campaign today at the Bishop’s House in Kodialbail, Mangalore.
The campaign, which aims to combat the menace of drug abuse, is a collaborative effort led by the Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPP), in association with five vital commissions of the diocese: Family, Youth, Education, Health, and Media & Communication.
Bishop Saldanha marked the inauguration of this crucial initiative by symbolically emptying a canister filled with an assortment of drugs into an incinerator fire bin, freeing a baby doll submerged within it.
Bishop Saldanha delivered a passionate message, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the drug crisis in the city. “If we are insensitive to the present crisis of drug menace in the city, we will be criminals,” he stated. “When we join forces with the government and the police department, working for the same cause, it becomes easier to battle this fight. Our families with drug abuse cases, youth and children are suffering. I call upon you to respond to this initiative, transcending all borders of caste, creed, religion and language and work together to bring about a positive change in society.”
The campaign, bearing the slogan “Say No to Drugs – Embrace Life,” will span the entire month, from September 1 to 30, encompassing diocesan parishes and educational institutions. Luvi J. Pinto, the campaign’s convenor, highlighted the extensive efforts planned to raise awareness among the Catholic Christian community in the Mangalore diocese.
Several programs and activities have been lined up, including:
– Inauguration at the parish level on September 3, 2023.
– Special Sunday Liturgy on September 3 at all parishes with dedicated prayers.
– Distribution of flyers in Kannada and English to every person in the diocese.
– Displaying banners and the Campaign Logo, designed in three languages, at every church premises and educational institution campus.
– Special prayers during the Monthi Feast Novena Mass until September 8.
– Sunday Homilies aligned to deliver the message of the campaign during the Eucharist.
– Educational lessons on drug abuse’s consequences and preventive measures during Sunday Catechism Classes for young children and youth.
– Parish organisations to organise various competitions, including slogan contests, short films, and social media reels for the general public.
– All parishes and organizations organize events conveniently such as walkathons, rallies, dress parades, drills, bands, marches, musical evenings, and short street plays to boost awareness.
– Advice for all parishes and educational institutions to host awareness programs, seminars, and workshops for youth and parents.
– A special team of 45 counsellors commissioned by the diocese to deliver the campaign’s message consistently at all seminars and awareness programmes.
– Devoting one episode of parish bulletins and monthly magazines to the subject of drug abuse, with youth encouraged to contribute articles and materials.
– Sharing posters and materials produced by the Diocesan Commission for Social Communication across social media and WhatsApp.
Very Rev. Msgr Maxim Noronha, Vicar General, Dr John DSilva, Secretary DPP, Convenor Luvi J Pinto, Roy Castelino, PRO, Clara DCunha, the managing trustee of TELOCA Addiction Recovery Centre, Mangalore, Rev. Fr Anil Alfred DSouza, Secretary, Commission for Family, Rev. Fr Antony Shera, Secretary, Commission for Education, Rev. Fr Ajith Menezes, Secretary, Commission for Health, Rev. Fr Ashwin Cardoza, Secretary, Commission for Youth, and Rev. Fr Anil Ivan Fernandes, Secretary, Commission for Media and Communication were present for the launch.
All the commission secretaries opine that the “Anti-Drug Month” campaign serves as a rallying cry for the community to unite and combat the pressing issue of drug abuse, transcending boundaries and working together for a safer and drug-free future.
News and photos by:- Canara Communication Centre