ASIA/INDIA - Mother Teresa's lesson: Faith as an aid in combating addictions

Thursday, 7 September 2017


Mumbai (Agenzia Fides) - Faith is a decisive force in fighting addictions related to drugs, alcohol, gambling and many others. This is what Fr. Joseph Pereira says, a priest of the diocese of Mumbai who was blown away by the encounter with Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Father Pereira is the founder and director of "Kripa Foundation", an organization which has been committed in India against addictions for over forty years. An encounter with Mother Teresa, during a vocational crisis in 1971, led him to work with the last.
"Mother Teresa called me to help her with people who had fallen in a black hole because of addictions", said Fr. Joseph to Fides. "With the inspiration and assistance of Mother Teresa - continues the priest - together with three patients from the home of the Missionaries of Charity Asha Daan and other street people, in 1981 I started Kripa in the area of the Church of Mount Carmel where I was appointed parish assistant. Since the average age of the people with addictions are teenagers, I mainly seek the support of young people to challenge the phenomenon. Mother Teresa taught us that the best way to help others is to take care of them. And it is thanks to this principle that Kripa has become a worldwide presence for healing".
At 75 years of age, and 50 years of priesthood, Fr. Pereira collected his reflections in the book "Addiction. A spritual paradox", drawn up in collaboration with dr. Ashok Bedi MD, Junghian analyst in Chicago. Fruit of so many years of work and studies between India and America, the book is a set of Science and Faith. Addictions have become a global phenomenon. There are Countries that continue to yield to the legalization of substances believing to be "therapeutic" in some way, but they only open the way for the abuse of altered substances.
With the growing awareness among health professionals, faith is the most important dimension for human health and well-being. In this regard Father Joe's book meets the need for many professionals and healthcare structures to find a lasting solution to this global problem that has become the main cause of all major disorders. At present, the Kripa Foundation is one of the main NGOs of the Ministry of Justice and is present in 40 countries. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 7/9/2017)