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Catholic Bible Institute

"He Defeated Death" – Holy Week Biblical Reflections by Fr Fio Mascarenhas, SJ on Shalom World TV. Timings for India, starting First Friday (April 3) to Easter Monday (April 13), at 7 a.m. (daily fresh 15-minute messages), repeated at 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Available on: https://shalomworld.org/live

Navi Mumbai Legionaries at the Acies

On Sunday, March 15, 2020, Holy Mass was celebrated at 12 noon, followed by the Acies function at Sacred Heart Church, Vashi. The Acies is a function celebrated by the Legion of Mary at a time closest to the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25), for its members to renew their annual consecration to Mary. It comprises of both an individual and collective consecration. The Latin word 'Acies' means an army ranged in battle array; the Legionaries, as a body, assemble to renew their fealty to Mary, Queen of the Legion, and from Her, to receive strength and blessings for yet another year's battle with the forces of evil.

The church was filled to capacity with Legionaries from across the Navi Mumbai deanery, who came to attend, celebrate and renew their vows of dedication to Mary. In the church, close to the altar, and conveniently placed near the pews was a table decorated with flowers and candles, holding the statue of The Immaculate Conception. In front of the statue was placed the Legion standard - the vexillum; the dove mounted is the emblem of the Holy Spirit, and beneath the dove, a crossbar bears the inscription Legio Mariae. The whole design conveys the idea that the world is to be conquered by the Holy Spirit acting through Mary and her children.

The Mass was celebrated by Fr Leon, Spiritual Director of the four praesidia of the Legion of Mary. In his homily, Fr Leon linked the renewal of the legionaries' commitment with the scrutiny of the legionaries' own lives in the areas of temptation and sin. Legionaries have a duty to share the Living Waters of Baptism with others. He encouraged the Legionaries to reach out to people, through their apostolic works.

After conclusion of the Mass, the Acies ceremony began with the opening prayers of the Legion, followed by the Rosary recited with great devotion, led by Rosina Kadam. A short talk was given by Leo Rodrigues from Queen of Peace Praesidium, CBD Belapur. A procession in pairs towards the Legion Altar had each pair placing their hands upon the staff of the vexillum, and making an individual act of consecration: "I am all yours, My Queen, My Mother, and all that I have is yours."

When all the legionaries had returned to their places, a collective act of consecration to Our Lady was recited aloud by Clare Almeida, and repeated collectively by all the legionaries. The Catena Legionis and the concluding prayers of the Legion were recited, a hymn was sung and the Acies concluded.

I had joined the Legion of Mary last year; this was my first Acies, pledging my devotion to Mary Our Mother! I am constantly in awe of the dedication and commitment of the Legionaries to Our Blessed Mother! Kneeling down before the statue in devotion is a kind of humbling of heart, and I am constantly amazed by a growing faith just by being a part of this beautiful family of God!

Louella D'Souza Cause of Our Joy Praesidium, Sacred Heart Church, Vashi

Women's Day Celebration at Amboli

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The Day was instituted to eliminate discrimination against women, and focuses on helping them to gain full and equal participation in global development.

Women's Day was celebrated by the women parishioners of St Blaise Church, Amboli on Sunday, March 8, 2020. The celebration began with the cutting of the cake by the Sisters of Helpers of Mary and Sneha Sadan. Dn Cedric Rosario gave an inspiring speech on the 'Essence of Women' and emphasised their strength, commitment and courage.

The celebration included games, a group quiz, spot prizes, a dance performance by the boys of Sneha Sadan, and a competition - Dress Code 'The Woman who inspires you'. This year, the trophy for the 'Blaisian Woman 2019-2020' was presented to Ancilla Coutinho. While handing over the trophy, Fr Adrian, our Parish Priest, rightly said that the first letter in her name 'A' stands for "AVAILABILITY".

We thank the Parish Clergy Team and our enthusiastic PPC for a wonderful and enjoyable evening, and making us Blaisian Women feel so special.

Ignacina Rosaline Pereira, St Blaise Church, Amboli