It was a very proud moment for Goa and Goans, that our dear Archbishop, the Most Rev. Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, Metropolitan of Goa and Daman and President of the CCBI and Patriarch ‘’ad honorem’’ of the East Indies was elevated to the eminence of Cardinal by Pope Francis. He is one of the 21 new Cardinals and is a Cardinal elector in the Consistory with a seat in the Conclave for the election of any new Pope.

For Goans across the world this was a very special occasion of profound religious and spiritual significance — indeed a day of deep piety and of great rejoicing. The sense of legitimate pride is also a catalyst for us all to deepen our spirituality and to enhance our solemn commitment to social justice, religious harmony and universal brotherhood.

Our Spiritual Shepherd will have our prayers to continue his mission of serving humanity with renewed commitment, by focusing on the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden without distinction of caste or creed. His passion for the environment, in the true spirit of Franciscan devotion, will help make our neighborhood — our little corner of the world — a better place for all to live in peace and harmony. May we fervently pray to God that someday he dons the mantle of Peter in Rome.

Let us wish His Eminence, Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrao all the very best on his elevation as Cardinal, with the distinction of being the first ever Archbishop of Goa and the sixth person of Goan origin to attain this noble position of Prince of the Church. May this bring special blessings to all the people of our peaceful State of Goa and to our beloved India.

On a personal note, I was looking forward to being at the Vatican for this historic occasion but couldn’t make it on account of seeking justice against different souls, in that ongoing Silly Souls Café & Bar imbroglio. But in spirit I was very much there.

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