A report on the interactive meet between His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias the Civil Services Aspirants
March 1, 2017
“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today!” – Malcolm X
23 young Civil Services Aspirants were invited to attend an interactive session with His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias on Tuesday, 28th February 2017 at the Archbishop’s House, Fort. The event was organised by the Archdiocese of Bombay, sponsored by CitizenCredit Co-Operative Bank Ltd. and was attended by the Chief Guests and the students’ parents, apart from the aspirants.
The session began at 5:45pm with Mr. Roger Pereira – the main host for the evening – welcoming the guests of honour and His Eminence with rounds of applause. In the true spirit of nationalism, all present stood to attention and joined in as the National Anthem played. Mr. Donald Creado – Vice-Chairperson of CitizenCredit – then led the people in prayer.
The Managing Director and C.E.O. of CitizenCredit, Mrs. Geeta Andrades talked about the need to respect and recognize the talents and skills of the youth of our community. She was followed by the Chairman, Mr. Anthony D’Souza, who briefly stated the benefits of taking up a career in the Indian Civil Services, challenging though it may prove.
The Guests of Honour then proceeded to give their own personal experiences, providing insights into the life that these aspirants would have to embrace, should they choose to embark upon the journey. This included both video and live messages. The video messages of Gizel Menezes (current student), Julio Ribeiro and Michael Pinto were followed by talks from Mr. Johny Joseph, AVM Michael Fernandez and Colonel Sunith Cardoso, each of whom shared details of their own respective areas: the Armed Forces (particularly the Air Force), IAS, IPS and the IRS. They recounted the many advantages the journey entails, along with its obstacles. Most significant was the fact that in joining the Civil Services one is exposed to and avails of several exclusive opportunities at a very young age – leading the people, fighting for justice and thus contributing to making the world a better place to live in – which not all their peers pursuing other disciplines could boast of. This journey of growth was a literal life-changing experience for every one of them: they simultaneously changed their own lives along with that of others. Even though they had very unique experiences, they all shared the same end result of feeling fulfilled with both their professional and personal lives. The passion and zeal with which they talked about their jobs was in itself enough motivation for the aspirants.
Following the talks, the session was then thrown open to the audience – both the aspirants and their parents – for a Q&A session. The questions were addressed to the guests of honour, joined by Brian Almeida of Take Charge and Fr. Ryan Alex (Director, Diocesan Youth Centre). The session was taken forward and continued on a one-on-one basis after the event, which allowed the aspirants the opportunity to talk to the esteemed guests personally.
His Eminence was then called upon to share his views on the matter. He spoke about the need for more and more Catholics, in particular, to join the Civil Services, elaborating upon their role as change-makers in society. His suggestion was that the aspirants ought to incorporate the values, service and love that Christ Himself imparted to His followers, reaching out to people and effect change in their lives. His Eminence reiterated the mentors’ advice, quoting them as ideal role models for the aspirants.
Mr. Roger Pereira thanked the parents and commended them for encouraging their children to pursue their dreams. Mr. Leslie Lobo gave a general Vote of Thanks to those present, in particular the guests of honour and especially His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias for taking time out to attend the event.
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