HOPE AND LIFE ASSOCIATION
Holy Scripture invites God’s people to pay special attention to widows and orphans (Ex.22:22; Deut. 10:18: 14:29; 16:11,14; 26:12). Indeed the life of a Faithful Woman does not end with the death of her husband, rather she receives added strength, courage and grace from the Living God who never dies.
HISTORY OF THE HOPE AND LIFE ASSOCIATION
In 1982, Bishop Bosco Penha was inspired by Antoinette D'Souza who brought the Movement from France after a visit there. Initially there were 4 widows mentored by him. It was called Our Lady of the Resurrection. Observing the spirituality of the widows, Bishop Bosco extended this Ministry to all widows.
In 1985, he held a retreat attended by twenty widows. They felt so renewed, challenged and inspired that at subsequent meetings, numbers began to increase, growing into a Movement. When numbers reached about 200 ladies, Corinne Rodrigues was appointed President of the Movement, and with a team they worked to introduce units in other parishes, beginning with Bandra, Santa Cruz, Chembur, etc. They called it - Hope and Life Movement.
The group was led by Corinne Rodrigues, assisted by an energetic and vibrant group of ladies. They challenged the stifling traditional norms of widowhood, enjoyed house parties, developed a close bond, found new purpose in their life and moved on supporting one another.
Soon this group of ladies urged other widow sisters to put the past behind, and look ahead with Hope to become women of faith and love. In doing so, they would bring abundant life to all widows they meet and interact with. Today over 37 years, under the direction of dynamic Presidents
CORINNE RODRIGUES, from 1986 to 1996
DORA LOBO, from 1996 to 2006
LORNA D'SOUZA, from 2007 to 2017
DR JEANETTE PINTO from 2017 to 2022
together with efficient leaders, the Movement became more organised and came to be called the Hope and Life Association.
It is a blend of spirituality, fellowship, outreach and support. The seed planted by Bishop Bosco in 1985 is today an oak tree with its branches spread over, presently in about 65 parishes, with a membership of about two thousand widows. All leaders and Coordinators have quarterly meetings to take home a general common message forward. Each parish has a leader to animate the group and there is a Coordinator to oversee 5 or 6 parishes in the Deanery.
THE WORKS OF THE OUTREACH
a. Annual half-day Recollections are organised in English, Marathi and Konkani.
b. Annual 3-day Retreat in English is conducted.
c. Parish units visit a Marian shrine every September.
a. Donations received are put into a General Fund of Hope and Life, for which there is a bank Account.
b. Widow's Mite - Every widow gives her mite annually, which is put together and the total amount is sent to an organisation for widows or orphans or any institution for a worthy cause.
c. Every year widows in need of medical assistance are supported. Also, children of widows who are achievers at the SSC and HSC level, receive cash awards and a certificate for their performance.
a. Every parish unit has monthly meetings and social activities, often guided by their Spiritual Advisor. There is sharing of joys, pains, difficulties, struggles, bonding and fellowship.
b. There’s an annual picnic for the Leaders and Coordinators.
c. The Annual day is a big festive celebration event, when all the ladies of the Archdiocese gather at one venue to celebrate the day with the Holy Eucharist, and Entertainment in song and dance. There’s camaraderie friendship, and caring support.
It has a term of 5 years. The present Office bearers are:
Rev. Fr. Vernon Aguiar
CONTACT: +91 9820247443 [Joyce] +91 9619323359 [Rosalinda]
ADDRESS: A-406 Gurukripa, Evershine Nagar, Malad West, Mumbai 400064
The News Bulletin dates back to the 1987 / 88, when typed sheets were given to the ladies every three months, later every six months, and then annually. It contained an update, and important information for the widows. By 1990 the Newsletter was in the printed format.
In the year 2000, Eustace Fernandes designed a logo, and thereafter from 2002, there was a printed annual issue of the Bulletin, which was circulated at the Annual Day celebration. Dora Lobo, Marie Noronha, Carol Monteiro and Lorna D’Souza have been actively involved over the years in the printing of the Bulletin.