FR ROCKY BANZ: CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF DEDICATED SERVICE TO THOSE IN GREATEST NEED
The Catholic Church has always been committed to the service of the poor and the Archdiocese of Bombay has, over the years, created various bodies to help address the concerns of the poor, the underprivileged and the marginalised. Fr. Rocky Banz has been and continues to be a pioneer in these initiatives of the Archdiocese.
Fr. Rocky is well known for being a resourceful person, filled with the courage of his convictions, striving always to exercise his priestly ministry as a catalyst of hope and an agent of change to those entrusted to his care. Over the years, he has tried new and innovative ways to respond to the pastoral and social needs of the people whom he has been called to serve.
Sustainable development is the pathway to the kind of future we hope to bequeath to the generation to come. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance. With this ideology in mind, Fr. Rocky set forth on his path of social development for the community.
In June 1992, His Eminence, Simon Cardinal Pimenta, appointed Fr. Rocky as Director of Office of Social Work. At that time, this office operated as the Bombay Branch of Caritas India. In June 1997, His Eminence, Ivan Cardinal Dias, gave his consent to register the social work office of the Archdiocese as the “Centre for Social Action”, which continues to this day. Fr. Rocky Banz was then appointed as the Managing Trustee and the First Director of Centre for Social Action (CSA). While still the Director of CSA, Fr. Rocky was appointed as Director of Western Region Social Services Forum till June 2007. In the year 2000, Cardinal Ivan Dias appointed Fr. Rocky as one of the Founding Trustees of the Health Promotion Trust.
Training people, especially the marginalised, and building their capacity so as to make them persons who are self-reliant and confident led to the vision of building a Centre for Capacity Building. The dream became a reality in January 2006 when Sarvodaya, - a Centre for Capacity Building at the Goregaon Seminary complex - was inaugurated and blessed by Cardinal Ivan Dias. This desire to improve the quality of life has always been a key focal point of Fr Rocky Banz’s ministry.
In June 2009, Fr. Rocky completed his term as Director of C.S.A. and His Eminence, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, appointed him as the Managing Trustee and the Director of Health Promotion Trust (HPT), a post that he still holds to date.
Glancing back over the span of 25 years to 1992, in 38 years of priesthood, we are privileged to observe the remarkable dedication of Fr. Rocky Banz in his service to the people of the Archdiocese of Bombay. It is with a grateful heart that the Archdiocese thanks him for this commitment, love and service and we pray that God will continue to shower Fr. Rocky with His blessings.
Ad multos annos.