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posted Mar 19, 2019, 3:29 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 19, 2019, 3:36 AM ]

St Thomas Church Lenten Walking pilgrimage

In a spirit of prayer and penance during this Season of Lent, you are invited to participate in the 39th Annual Walking Pilgrimage beginning from St Thomas Church, Goregaon East on Saturday, March 30 at 10 pm, and ending with the Eucharistic Celebration at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount, Bandra on Sunday, March 31 at 5:30 a.m. Organised by the Legion of Mary, St Thomas Church, Goregaon East. For details, contact 77188 35006.

Quest Programme

The Diocesan Vocation Service Centre (DVSC) is organising a Quest Programme for those discerning a vocation to the Priesthood and Religious life on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at St Pius X College, Archdiocesan Seminary, Aarey Road, Goregaon (E). This will be a unique experience for all participants, as they will also witness the ordinations of four deacons to the Priesthood for the Archdiocese of Bombay. Registrations start at 3:30 pm, followed by a session on the theme: 'The Joy of the Priesthood ' by Fr Joel Fernandes.

You may contact Fr Godwin Fernandes or Brs Melvyn Colaco / Aaron Sequeira at St Pius X College (Diocesan Seminary), Goregaon East (Ph: 2927 1217/1554/1560/ 6891) or SMS 98201 29173 or e-mail: dvscbombay@gmail.com You can also join us now on Facebook at 'Diocesan Vocation Service Centre' to receive regular updates.

A Unique Celebration of the Bible

St Theresa Church, Bandra celebrated Bible Sunday in a very unique way. Through the initiative of our Parish Priest, Fr Jolly SVD, the Word of God was read continuously throughout Saturday, March 2, from 8:45 am to 6:45 pm.

The celebration began with the Eucharist at 8 am. Fr Jolly gave us a brief introduction, after which the Bible Cell animators walked in procession to the altar with the Holy Bible, which was then enthroned with a garland and incensed by Fr Reuben Tellis, Parish Priest of Mt Carmel Church, Bandra. Fr Reuben gave the keynote address in which he stressed the importance of reading the Bible, not as cake for a special occasion, but as bread for daily food.

This was followed by the continuous reading of the Gospels throughout the day. Parishioners participated with great enthusiasm and eagerness. We had about 90 readers in all — some of them first time readers, but who nevertheless read with great devotion and solemnity. The entire event was telecast live on Holy Spirit Interactive TV, and hence there were listeners not only in church, but all over the world.

There were a couple of stalls at the church entrance, selling religious books and Bibles at discounted rates. The celebration concluded with the Eucharist at 7 pm, celebrated by Fr Jude Ferreira from St Anthony Church, Vakola. The Bible Cell animators were given a special blessing after communion by Fr Jolly, and felicitated with a token of appreciation.

Jean and Munira, Bible Cell, St Theresa Church, Bandra

Catechumens in the Archdiocese looking forward to Easter

The very heart of our Christian life is the awareness that we are called by God to be members of Christ's body. Even the early Christians thought of themselves simply as "the chosen ones", "the elected ones", "the ones who have been called" (1 Peter 1:1). Both these concepts had a profound resonance in the Rite of Election of Catechumens, presided over by Bishop John Rodrigues at St Michael Church, Mahim on March 10, 2019.

Catechumens from the 20 RCIA Centres of the Archdiocese of Bombay were declared the 'elect' by the Bishop, to take another decisive step towards receiving the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion – at this year's Easter. In the presence of the Church, these catechumens were invited by Bishop John Rodrigues to take a step further in becoming full-fledged members of the Catholic faith – an invitation which they proudly accepted. The catechumens responded to the bishop's call to Jesus by publicly expressing their desire for the Sacraments and enrolling their names in the Book of the Elect. Bp John Rodrigues personally met each 'elect' later, and congratulated them individually

Ms Shivani, an elect, stated, "The Rite of Election was a celebration for me. Having my pillars, my guides—my animators, my sponsor, my godmother—with me during this Rite made me feel encouraged and confident. It gave me immense joy to know that my animator, my sponsor, my Parish Priest, as well as my godparent, all thought that I am ready to be elected to go ahead with the Sacraments of Initiation during the Easter Vigil. Greeting the Bishop and getting his blessings during the rite made me feel that Jesus Himself is choosing me and welcoming me. After the rite of election, I feel closer to God through Jesus. I am ready to take the next and final step and prepare to be baptised, confirmed and receive the holy Eucharist."

One of the animators for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) programme said the Church believes that no one comes to faith without being called by God. She said, "God initiates, God calls, God converts." Another animator mentioned, "I feel privileged and blessed that God has given me the opportunity to make Jesus known to these catechumens and bring them closer to Jesus. The journey with the catechumens is a very enriching and memorable one. And I experience great joy at the end of every year of bringing them into God's kingdom."

The Director of the RCIA programme, Fr Vincent D'Cruz, along with his team, which comprises of highly dedicated and trained animators from different parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Bombay, carry out the ministry of the RCIA. They journey with those whom Christ has called to 'Come and See'.

Thus, this Rite of Election certainly deepens each elect's personal relationship with Christ and the Church, and strengthens them on their journey which continues during this Season of Lent. The celebration of the Rite of Election was not just a moment of in-filling of the grace of God for the elect, but equally for the 700-odd people who had gathered for the Rite, including the families and friends of the elect, their sponsors and godparents, priests from the parishes of the elect, and the animators of the catechumens.

Br Joseph David, RCIA Ministry
St Pius X College, Goregaon (East)

Basic & Advanced Liturgy Course

The Graduation Day for the Liturgical Ministry Course was held on Sunday, March 10, 2019 at Mount Mary's Convent Hall, Bandra. Mr Maxim D'Cruz welcomed Bp John Rodrigues, the priests, the candidates and their families. Fr Wilfred D'Souza SDB, the Secretary of the Archdiocesan Liturgy Committee, then gave the keynote address presenting Pope Francis' exhortation 'Evangelii Gaudium'.

He strongly focused on moving from a "Maintenance Church" to a "Missionary Church". Fr Wilfred reminded the candidates that each one not only HAD a mission, but must also BE a mission. He was overjoyed at the large number, from different parishes, who completed the course, and was grateful to their families as well.

A few candidates testified how the Liturgical Ministry Course had enriched their lives, and led them to a new purpose and meaning in their Ministry. Bp John Rodrigues presented the candidates with their diplomas. He thanked them for their dedication and perseverance in completing the course, and urged them to enhance and strengthen the Liturgical aspects at their Parish and Community level, with their acquired knowledge. He also thanked the Resource Persons for their interesting and informative sessions.

This year, there were 48 for the Basic Course and 16 for the Advanced Course. The sessions, held once a month, all through the year, were conducted by a dedicated team of 20 Resource persons. More details of the Graduation Day are available on the website: www.liturgycentrebandra.org


Career Guidance and Counselling
Xavier Institute of Counselling Psychology (XICP) is organising a Career Guidance and Counselling programme for students of Standard 10, 12 and University level in the month of April 2019 (April 1, 2, 8 & 9) at St Xavier's College, near CSMT. Prior registration is required. Kindly contact 98206 87576/ 93721 27308 between 10 am and 5 pm.

Adult Vaccination Edu-Programme
An Education Programme on Adult Vaccination will be held on April 6, 2019 at 11 a.m. at Morello Piccolo, 6th floor, Holy Family Hospital, Hill Road, Bandra (W). Free administration of vaccine. Attractive discount on flu and pneumonia vaccine. Call 6267 0555 or 6267 0366 for further info.

Lenten Bible Course: The Catholic Bible Institute will hold its annual Lenten Course at its premises - 56, Hill Road, Bandra - every Friday evening from 6:30 pm to 8 pm, starting March 29. The topic: "Why did Jesus feel abandoned on the Cross?" taught by Dr Renu Rita Silvano OCV & Fr Fio Mascarenhas SJ. To register, call 2642 7648 or 98196 01562.

Inner Healing Retreat conducted by Anthony Lobo and Team, March 28 - 31. Fees: Rs 2000/- per head. For details, kindly WhatsApp e-mail address to 98198 49997 or contact Audrey – 98207 61532/Odette – 98201 42085/Nazareen – 98333 84096/Eugenie 98202 94413/Christina 96199 48199/Ralph 98333 98895.

The Recital of The Passion of Our Lord Jesus:
Presented by The Sahar Beacons on:
Sun. March 24, 2019: Holy Family Church, Chakala after 6 pm Mass
Sat. March 30, 2019: St Andrew Church, Bandra after 7:15 pm Mass Sun. April 7, 2019: Pestom Sagar, Chembur after 6 pm Mass.

"WERE YOU THERE...?" A Retreat to deepen your experience of the Passion of Our Lord. Conducted by the Jesuits at Vinayalaya Retreat House, Andheri (E) from Friday, April 5 (8 am) to Sunday, April 7 (4 pm). For details and registration contact vinayrethouse@gmail.com or 2687 1975.

Lenten Retreat: from Friday, April 12 (7:30 am) to Sunday, April 14 (5 pm) at Vinayalaya, Andheri (E), behind Holy Family Church, Chakala. Conducted by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Mumbai. OPEN TO ALL. Registrations at the CCR Office, Dadar (W) - 2430 3626 / 2421 0881, 99309 40705. Register early.