24 Local News

posted Apr 24, 2019, 6:37 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 24, 2019, 6:37 AM ]

Cardinal Gracias expresses pain over Lankan blasts

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, head of the Catholic Church in India, expressed anguish over the bomb blasts in Sri Lanka on April 21. He rang his counterpart in Sri Lanka, Cardinal Ranjith Malcolm, to commiserate, and said the Church in India was "deeply saddened and pained" by the Easter Sunday attacks.

"We offer our prayerful solidarity with the families of the victims and the survivors of the church bombings. On this great feast of hope of the Resurrection, our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka are devastated by this senseless violence. We pray to the Risen Jesus for peace," added Cardinal Gracias.

Dedication of St Jude Church, Malad East

Dedication Mass will be celebrated by H.E. Oswald Cardinal Gracias on April 28, 2019. (Strictly for parishioners and invitees. Entry by invitation only.)

Eucharistic celebration on May 2, 2019 at 7:00 pm, followed by the first Novena to be prayed in the new Church of St Jude. Main Celebrant: His Lordship, Allwyn D'Silva, Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay. (Kindly contact 98202 42151 for invitation passes - 10:00 am - 6:00 pm.)

Thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration on May 5, 2019 at 6:00 pm for benefactors and friends in the new Church of St Jude. Celebrant: His Lordship, Agnelo Gracias, Emeritus Auxiliary Bishop of Bombay. (Kindly contact 98202 42151 for invitation passes - 10:00 am - 6:00 pm.)

Fr Warner D'Souza

Celebrating the Passover Meal

April 10, 2019 saw the Daughters of the Heart of Mary or Nirmala Niketan (NN) sisters helping us observe the Lenten Season in a very special way. They held a Passover Meal at NN; there were 58 guests, including sisters from St Anne's High School and the Fort Convent, as well as members of St Thomas Community and parishioners from Our Lady of Dolours Parish, Sonapur.

This meal was very different from one's idea of a normal get-together meal. The guests were prayerfully led from the chapel, by Fr Austin Norris (of St Vincent De Paul Parish, Khar) intoning hymns along the way to the dining room, that symbolised the new Jerusalem.

Fr Norris brought alive the journey of the Israelites fleeing from Pharaoh, through their sojourn in the desert to the Promised Land. Every item of food held a wealth of meaning. The meal began with 'Kadesh' or a cup of wine and a blessing to celebrate Israel coming out of the clutches of Egypt. At the same time, Fr Norris linked the washing of the disciples' feet by Jesus to just before the Passover Feast.

Then followed the telling of the Passover story: the unleavened bread (i.e. without yeast), as there was no time to lose, if they were to flee from Pharaoh. For us, naan took place of the unleavened bread, a few stalks of lettuce were the crops of the earth and a few strips of karela or bitter gourd were the bitter herbs. These were eaten along with some salty water into which the lettuce leaves were dipped and some date chutney for the karela. During this time, we listened to readings from Exodus and Deuteronomy.

Before the Feast began, everyone washed one another's hands and prayed at the same time. After the washing of the hands, the following rituals were observed: Matzah (eating of the unleavened bread), Maror (eating of the bitter herbs), Korech (eating of the halal sandwich with bits of roasted lamb).

There was also a hard-boiled egg, signifying the hardness of Pharoah's heart, which melted momentarily for a few seconds when he lost his first born son in the plague that beset Egypt. At the same time, the egg also stood for the new life that the Israelites faced after fleeing Pharaoh and Egypt, and what we encounter in the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.

We were thankful for having the Exodus journey brought so vividly to life — a unique experience that took us through the Lenten desert to arrive at the new Jerusalem that Jesus Christ gave us through His conquering of death in His glorious Resurrection.

VILMA DA SILVA

8th BASCA AGM

On Saturday, April 13, 2019, about 230 Executive Committee members of the Senior Citizens' Associations of 57 parishes of the Archdiocese of Bombay met at OL Salvation Church, Dadar, at 9:30 am for the 8th AGM. The day began with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. The main celebrant, Bishop Barthol Barretto, assisted by Fr Valerian Fernandes, SVD led the people in worship. The choir, under the baton of Thaddeus Pereira, lifted the solemnity of the liturgy. The Bishop encouraged all the seniors to live life "Kingsize", to feel loved and wanted, quoting John 10:10 - "I have come that they might have life, and have it in abundance!" He added that Pope Francis considered the Seniors to be "Jewels" of the Church, who gave witness to the youth through their life of prayer, good example, bearing joys and sufferings with a deep faith in God.

After Mass, we went up to the Salvation Seva Kendra hall, where we listened to a digital expert, Mr Neil D'Cunha, founder of Empire Educare, teaching us how to use social media, and avoid the "digital traps". It was a fantastic eye-opener for all of us. The 8th BASCA AGM began with Noreen Vincent, the MC, inviting the President, Maxima Serrao, to give a welcome speech. She thanked the present Committee for their unstinted support, and invited the Secretary, Ms Dorris, to read the Minutes of the last AGM and the activities conducted during the last financial year. Both were approved and passed by the General Body. The Treasurer, Mr Ernest Harrison, read the Statement of Accounts for the financial year gone by.

Next, we were divided into groups deanery-wise, and invited to elect two representatives as Deanery Coordinators for the new BASCA Managing Committee. The 22 members thus elected were led down to the 'Board Room' for election of the Managing Committee. Fr Aniceto Pereira, Spiritual Director of BASCA, announced the following results: President - Christine Thomas (Good Counsel, Sion), Vice-President - Pamela John (St Theresa, Airoli), Secretaries - Clarissa Barrett (St Anne, Bandra), Genevieve Gomes (St Teresa, Girgaum), Treasurers - Mr Xavier Almeida (Good Shepherd, Andheri) and Mr Camillo Fernandes (OL Glory, Byculla).

Fr Aniceto thanked the out-going Committee members for their commitment and hard work for the past three years. He welcomed all the 22 newly-elected Committee members, and thanked them for accepting this responsibility with a commitment to rise to new heights with their hard work and dedication. He encouraged all Executive Members present to come for all the BASCA meetings, and take back the valuable lessons to share with all the Seniors of their respective parishes. He warmly thanked Melwyn Sequeira and Clara D'Souza for their valuable help in organising the sessions and events of BASCA. The AGM ended with a lovely lunch. We appeal to all to visit www.basca.in to be updated about how Seniors can live life abundantly!

COLIN D'SOUZA

Golden Hearts go on a Lenten Pilgrimage

The Senior Citizens, 'Golden Hearts' of Good Shepherd Church, Andheri organised a Lenten Pilgrimage to a few churches in Vasai to pray the Stations of the Cross on Saturday, April 6, 2019. 85 of us assembled on the church Lawns at 6:30 a.m. Fr Prakash Rumao said a short prayer for a safe journey, and then we were on our way. It was a comfortable journey. We prayed the Rosary en route. Our first stop was at St Roque's Church at Gokhivera. Breakfast was served outside the church. We were taken around the Bassein Fort which housed many chapels that are still recognisable, though in ruins. The chapels have façades typical of 17th century Portuguese churches.

We visited seven churches in all. We were given a brief history of each of the churches by Fr Prakash Rumao, and we prayed two Stations of the Cross at every church. Each church was unique in its own way and we could see a touch of Portuguese splendor .We came across many other pilgrims too. We visited St Gonsalo Garcia Church, Barampur, Our Lady of Grace Cathedral, Papdi and the Shrine of our Lady of Remedies, Remedy, among others. We celebrated the Eucharist at Elizabeth Convent after which we were treated to a delicious East Indian lunch. At the end of our pilgrimage, Xavier Almeida, the President of the 'Golden Hearts' proposed a Vote of Thanks.

ANGELA FERNANDES

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

The Retreat House, Bandra will conduct its Summer Vacation Retreat, starting from May 2 evening, and ending on May 10 evening. Contact: 2642 2095/2645 5296. Email: bandraretreathouse@gmail.com

Open Growth Retreat: May 11-12, from 8:30 am – 5 pm each day. Venue: Salvation Seva Kendra, 2nd Floor, Gokhale Road, Dadar (W). Conducted by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Mumbai. Registrations at the CCR Office, Dadar (W) – 2430 3626/2421 0881/99309 40705. Register early.

Ignatian Retreat for Women Religious. Conducted by the Jesuits at Vinayalaya from May 15 (7 pm) to May 22 ( 4pm) at Vinayalaya Retreat House, Andheri (E). For details and registration, contact vinayrethouse@gmail.com or 2687 1975.

St Stanislaus Villa 'Family' Holiday Camp

Camp 1: 5 Days - Wed. 08 May - Sun. 12 May
Camp 2: 5 Days - Wed. 15 May - Sun. 19 May
Camp 3: 5 Days - Wed. 22 May - Sun. 26 May
Camp 4: 6 Days - Tue. 28 May to Sun. 02 June

There is a bus available for those interested. For more information & registration, get in touch with The Parish Office, St Peter's Church, Hill Rd, Bandra. Tel: 2645 9474/2642 3098 Or WhatsApp 'CAMP FORM ' to Fr Gerard C. Rodricks sj 92232 62524.