SOCIETY OF PILAR HAS SIX NEW MEMBERS
After completing a year of Novitiate, 6 Novices made their temporary commitment on Wednesday, 24th May 2017. The ceremony took place in the Pilar Monastery Church at 10:00 am. The 6 new members were welcomed in the Society by Rev. Fr. Francis Carvalho, sfx – Superior General and the Members of the Society of Pilar present with a warm fraternal embrace. They are Lastern Dias (Sanguem), David D’Souza (Anjuna), Cleosam Angelo Vaz (Marcela), Sailesh Suresh Gavit (Nagar Haveli), Maria Irudhaya Subinson (Tamil Nadu) and Arvind khalkho (Chattisgarh).
“Called to taste and surrender to Christ’s merciful love as did Ven. Agnelo” was the theme for the celebration. Fr. Francis Carvalho, sfx; Superior General was the main celebrant. Fr. Hilario Fernandes, sfx; Chairman of Formation Commission and Fr. Romualdo Gonsalves, sfx; Director of Novices were the co-celebrants.
The Six new members will now, proceed to Nagpur to pursue their Philosophical Studies at St. Charles Seminary and Graduation at St. Francis de Sales College, Nagpur. We wish them all the best!
MISSIONARY SISTERS OF OUR LADY OF PILAR
The Archbishop of Goa & Daman, Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrao announced the Canonical Erection of the Pilar Sisters Association (PSA) into a Society of Apostolic Life of Diocesan Right under the name of Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Pilar on Saturday, 13th May 2017 at 10:30 am at the Eucharistic Celebration presided over by the Archbishop at the Saviour of the World Church, Loutolim. Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, Most Rev Fr. Francis Carvalho, sfx; Superior General and Fr. Remedious Fernandes were the con-celebrants along with more than 75 priests. Pilar Sisters Association (PSA) formed on 8th September 1988 through the inspiration of X General Chapter of Society of Pilar as collaborators to bring the Message of Jesus to the poor and marginalized especially among women and children. Their Mother House is in Loutolim –Goa and Novitiate is in Orlim –Goa. Today, more than 50 Sisters are working with Pilar Fathers in the states of Nagar Haveli- Khanvel, Shelti, Khiloda –Gujarat, Punjab, Bhopal, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Navelim, Uguem, Valpoi, Curtorim, Orlim, Pilar and Salvador do Mundo. On behalf of the Pilar Sisters, Sr. Isabel D’Souza, the President thanked God for the gift of the pioneers, who were open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and allowed themselves to be used as instruments in the hands of the Lord, to lay the foundation of the Association of Pilar Sisters of which has become by providence a Society of Apostolic life. She placed her sincere thanks and gratitude to the Archbishop, Bishop, Superior General; Rev. Fr. Francis Carvalho, sfx, Religious Priests, Brothers, Sisters and People of God. We congratulate Pilar Sisters on the Canonical Erection of their Association into a Society of Apostolic Life. Let us pray for our newly erected Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Pilar. We wish and pray that the Missionary work of Pilar Sisters may bear much fruit.
FOUR PRIESTS FOR THE SOCIETY OF PILAR
Two Deacons of the Society of Pilar were ordained as Priests by Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrao; the Archbishop of Goa and Daman on Sunday, 30th April 2017 at 4 pm in the Mission Seminary Chapel, Pilar. Rev. Fr. Francis Carvalho; Superior General and Fr. Norman Almeida; Rector of the Major Seminary were the con-celebrants along with more than 50 Priests. The newly Ordained Priests are Fr. Senato Peixot (Tilamola) and Fr. Alex Fernandes (Ucassaim) from Goa.
“Called to serve like God with Fidelity, Justice, Mercy was the theme for the celebration. In his homily, the Bishop stressed on the theme and said that they are called to serve, evangelize and proclaim the word of God. A Priest or a Nun in a community is a blessing and the fruit of the deep rooted Faith of the Christian Family.
The remaining two Deacons will be ordained in their respective Parishes - Benson Valiyaveettil (Thrissur – Kerala) on 8th May 2017 at 3:30 pm at Sacred Heart Latin Church, Thrissur and Anthony Samy (Uthumalai – Tamil Nadu) on 14th May 2017 at 5:30 pm at St. John’s Church, Uthumalai.
On behalf of the two, Fr. Alex Fernandes thanked God for this day and expressed his heartfelt joy and gratitude to all who guided them in their formation.
Rev. Fr. Francis Carvalho, Superior General congratulated the newly ordained Priests and thanked their families for giving their sons for the missionary work of the Society of Pilar. The General also thanked all the Benefactors, well wishers and Xaverian Co-operators and friends of the Society. The Society of Pilar rejoiced and welcomed the newly ordained Priests to its Family. We wish them all the best in their active ministry! We request all our friends and well wishers to keep them in your precious prayers that they may be able to fulfill their missionary calling wherever they serve.
APOSTOLATE OF PRESENCE IN MAURITANIA
Fr. Eusebio Gomes, sfx and Fr. Vincent Lobo, sfx are pioneering missionaries in Mauritania, are at present stationed at Kaedi. They are working along with 3 Women Religious namely Sr. Carmen Llorca; a Spaniard, Sr. Celestine Bindia; a Senegalese and Sr. Marie Louise belonging to Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM Congregation), Province of Dakar.
Pilar Fathers also visit Tufunde-Cive, a sub-station under the Kaedi Mission Centre around 85 kms away from Kaedi where Sr. Leontine Daba Ndiasse; a Senegalese, Sr. Honorine M’bamba from Congo and Sr. Hilda belonging to FMM Congregation are working.
They celebrated the Easter Triduum in French, a language in which they are becoming proficient by the day. Here we see them active in their Missionary Apostolate of presence.
We wish them all the best in their active ministry! We request all our friends and well wishers to keep them in your precious prayers that the Missionary work in Mauritania may bear much fruit.
SEMINARY DAY SPECIAL: “DREAMS DON’T DIE”
The most awaited day of the All India Mission Seminary finally arrived on 6th November 2016 with all preparations finding their desired end. The Seminary staff and students who were geared up for the Seminary Day displayed a unique and impressive performance. The programme began at 4.00 pm with the arrival of the Chief Guest Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrao, the Archbishop of Goa and Daman, and the Guest of Honour Fr. Francis Carvalho, Superior General of the Society.
The show commenced with two Instrumental Music pieces played by the Seminary Orchestra, namely SPRING by Antonio Vivaldi from the “THE FOUR SEASONS”, and THE MEXICAN FLEA, conducted by Fr. Max Gonsalves sfx. The Welcome and Annual Address was delivered by Fr. Norman Almeida, the Rector of the Seminary. In his address the Rector presented in brief the Formative Activities that are being carried on in the All India Mission Seminary during the course of the Formative Year. Later the Chief Guest released the book entitled “Venerable Fr. Agnelo, An ardent Pastor” written by Rev. Fr. Cosme Jose Costa, sfx. The book is well documented and systematically gives an account of the pastoral life and works of Ven. Fr. Agnelo De Souza, sfx as a Member of the Society of Pilar.
The focal event of the evening was an English Musical Drama entitled “Dreams Don’t Die” on the lesser known life of Ven. Agnelo written and directed by Rev. Fr. Allan Tavares sfx. It was set to music by Fr. Max Gonsalves, sfx assisted by Russel D’Souza. It was a unique and great performance comprising of a cast and crew of nearly seventy. The Musical was highly appreciated by the audience. Three more shows of the Musical were announced: on 25th November and 11th December at the Ravindra Bhavan, Margao, and on 13th December at the Don Bosco Oratory, Panjim.
The Chief Guest, Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, in his address after appreciating the lovely performance called everyone to be spirit-filled people spreading God’s love, mercy and compassion like Ven. Fr. Agnelo.
Schol. Milagres Fernandes proposed the vote of thanks and the curtains were brought down after the Pilar Anthem. The Seminary Annexe Hall was filled to its capacity comprising of the Parents, Friends of the Scholastics, Religious Men and Women, Priests, Sponsors, Benefactors, as well as Well-wishers of the Society of Pilar. The entire programme was ably compered by Dn. Benson Valiyaveettil, sfx.
NEW GENERAL ADMINISTRATION OF PILAR SISTERS
38 Members of the Pilar Sisters Association (PSA) had gathered from 31st October to 7th November 2016 for the General Elective Assembly held every two years at the headquarters at Loutolim.
In the General Elections held on 5th November 2016, Sr. Izabel D’Souza was re-elected as the President for a second term. Sr. Luiza Fernandes (Loliem- Canacona) presently working in the Mission of Birondem- Valpoi was elected as the First Councilor and Sr. Nancy Barreto (Galgibaga – Canacona) currently with the orientation students at Navelim was elected as the Second Councilor.
Sr. Isabel D’Souza, has a degree in Philosophy and Theology from Jnana- Deepa Vidyapeeth in Pune. She has been the guide of the Junior Sisters and has actively worked in various Missions. She has also been an active member in formulating the New Constitutions of the Association in line with Societies of Apostolic Life in the Catholic Church, which has been sent for approval to Rome.
The services of the outgoing councilors Sr. Nina Lopes and Estelina Dias were gratefully acknowledged by the Members of the General Assembly.
The 28 year old Association is completing the necessary requirements to be raised to the status of a Society of Apostolic Life in the Catholic Church. We pray God willing that our Pilar Sisters may be soon raised to a Society of Apostolic Life.
Let us pray for Our Pilar Sisters Association and for the newly elected General Administration.
FOUR DEACONS ORDAINED AT PILAR
Four candidates for Priesthood were ordained as Deacons by Rt. Rev. Msgr. Derek Fernandes, Bishop of Karwar on Monday, 24th October 2015 at 4.00 pm in the Monastery Church.
The Eucharistic celebration with the theme “To serve with merciful love” was presided over by Rt. Rev. Msgr. Derek Fernandes, Bishop of Karwar. Rev. Fr. Francis Carvalho, sfx; Superior General and Fr. Norman Almeida, sfx; Rector of the Major Seminary were the con-celebrants.
While reflecting on the theme, the Bishop stated that in our moments of brokenness, the Lord wants us to know that through the Gospel of Jesus Christ; we are endowed (gifted) with a treasure. He further stated that a Deacon is a symbol par excellence of service of Jesus and the Church, and that the special duty of a Deacon is threefold service: Service of the Eucharist, Service of the Word and Service of Charity.
In his homily, Bishop Derek Fernandes called them to realize that upon their ordination they are to participate more closely in the Mission of Jesus that is to praise the Father in the liturgy & most importantly the prayer of the Church and to proclaim His word.
While handing the Book of the Gospel to the Deacons, Bishop urged them saying, 'Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach’.
The candidates ordained Deacons are Benson Valiyaveettil (Kerala), Antony Samy (Tamil Nadu), Alex Fernandes (Ucassaim – Goa) and Seneto Peixot (Tilamola – Goa). The newly ordained deacons belong to Delhi and Mumbai Provinces.
We wish the Deacons a fruitful ministry in their respective provinces!
ANNUAL DAY PROGRAMME FOR SPIRITUAL BROTHERS AND SISTERS
The Pilar Animation Centre along with Pilar Theological College organized a Programme for the Spiritual Brothers and Sisters on 25th September 2016 in the Bro. Albert Hall. The programme began with ‘praise and worship’ led by Fr. Salvador Rodrigues. Fr. Jose Costa, sfx was the main celebrant. Fr. Salvador Rodrigues; sfx, Fr. Blaise Mascarenhas; sfx and Fr. Miguel Rebello; sfx were the co-celebrants for the Eucharistic Celebration. An entertainment programme put up by the Pre-novices and Scholastics included Plays and Instrumental Music. The Spiritual Brothers and Sisters were satisfied to see God’s blessings in the lives of the Seminarians and assured them of their prayerful support until they reach their Missionary goal.
The Inter-Religious Dialogue Cell of the Pilar Theological College organized an Inter – Faith Meet at the St. Francis Xavier Higher Secondary School, Siolim - Goa on 6th August 2016. The Theme for the Meet was “Together Let’s Build a Human Family”.
The programme began with the lighting of the lamp followed by talks on the theme given by the following Speakers: Mr. Madhav Bhide spoke on theme from the Hindu perspective, Maulana Abdul Mubin Asari from the Muslim perspective and Rev. Dr. Lyndon Rodrigues sfx, from the Christian perspective. The talks were preceded by the readings from the respective scriptures. The entire programme was highly appreciated by the staff and students. The Principal of the Higher Secondary School extended an open invitation to organize the Meet in the future as well.
ONWARD MARCH FOR PEACE AT FR. AGNEL CO-ED SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL, BHOPAL
“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
The world is in need of Liberation, need of Peace and harmony. Peace is a Vital Virtue and a Virtuous Vitality; Peace Works, Wise Wonders and is a Workable and Wonderful Wisdom. Where there is peace there cannot be violence and where there is harmony unity is obvious. Peace and harmony are two wonderful states that exist in nature and universe or to put it the other way they are the two natural and universal states. The very reason as to why we debate on these two states is that they have been damaged and therefore have created lack of peace and harmony which are problems for the whole of humanity socially, psychologically and physically.
Fr. Agnel Co-ed Senior Secondary School, Bhopal organized a public meeting in collaboration with National Peace Movement which was largely attended by peace loving masses of Madhya Pradesh. People who attended were from various places of Madhya Pradesh, namely Sehore, Dewas, Ujain, Sonkatch, Berasia, Indore and other places.
The National Peace Movement (NEP) executive members and delegates were welcomed by the host School to the beats of the Marching Band. All people gathered in Fr. Bento Martins Hall for the meeting which started at 11.30 am. The Lamp was lighted by the dignitaries followed by an audio-visual Prayer. Fr. Varghese Allengaden garlanded the portrait on Saint Teresa of Calcutta, to pay reverence to the recently canonized saint a Queen of Peace. Fr. Richard Couto, sfx, extended a warm welcome to all the dignitaries which included Principals Teachers, Social workers, Rotarians and people from different walks of life. He said, “We are all peace loving people and we should spread the message of peace to this ailing world quoting Saint Teresa’s words that peace begins with a smile.” His main motive was to tell the world that peace and happiness is the need of the hour. He congratulated all those people who came from miles away and attended the meet.
During the meet all the executive members addressed the crowd and spoke on the topic of peace and prevention of conflicts. They said that peace should be our focus and priority. The chairman and the PRO of NEP also announced the forth coming National Peace Summit in Goa in coming January and requested the people to attend it to spread the message of peace. All dignitaries were honored with shawls.
THANK YOU, TEACHER!
On 10th September 2016, with grateful hearts the students of the Pilar Theological College (PTC) while acknowledging the efforts made towards their formation felicitated their teachers, spiritual directors and confessors with a cultural programme in Br. Albert Hall of the Seminary. The Chief Guest was Fr. Freddy Lobo (Director of Diocesan Center for Liturgy).
It was an entertaining evening beginning with the singing of the three popular songs Choti si asha, Ajib dastan and Ye dosti “A cappella”. The song “European Skies” was very creatively synchronized and executed to the accompaniment of guitars, violins together with the sounds emanating from basketball, bell, vegetable cutting board and knife, and cycle pump. The most creative item was the “six on one guitar” performed by six Scholastics with each one simultaneously playing the rhythm, lead, bass and percussions on the same guitar. A short English play titled “The Bet” conveyed the message that life is more important than any amount of money.
The highpoint of the evening was the presentation of cultural dances from all the four Provinces of the Society of Pilar. The Mumbai Province Scholastics performed the Tarpa of Nagar Haveli, Dandiya of Gujarat and Kholi dance. The Kolkata Province Scholastics preformed the Singpho Dance of the Singpho tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.
The Goa Province Scholastics presented the Tamil harvest dance which is performed before the Sun God for blessings. The Delhi Province Scholastics performed the typical Punjabi Bhangda Dance.
Before the end of the programme, the Chief Guest Fr. Freddy Lobo on behalf of the Professors, appreciated the Scholastics for their gratitude manifested through their creativity and exhorted them to carry their creativity along with them in their priestly ministry after their Ordination. The programme was ably compered by Scholastics Joe Fernandes and Amal Reegan.
BIBLE COURSE FOR LAITY
The Laity Course (The Five - Sunday Course) began on Sunday, 7th August 2016 with great enthusiasm and with special interest on the part of those people who attended it. A good number of lay people are attending this Course. The First Year Students of Theology are involved in organizing the Bible Course for the Laity. The Biblical Course began with the Prayer service led by the Students of the First Year Theology.
Rev. Dr. Lyndon Rodrigues, SFX welcomed the lay participants and quoting Bishop Fulton Sheen reminded them of the need of a well-informed laity who could help the “Bishops to be bishops and the priests to be priests”. The theme for the First Sunday was “Faithfulness of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” to God. The Resource Person for the First Sunday course was Dr. A. R. Royan (an Aeronautics Engineer and an expert in Biblical studies) who keeps the participants engaged with his lively teaching and singing.
RE-ORGANIZATION DAY OF SOCIETY OF PILAR
The Society of Pilar rejoices as it completes 77 years of its Re-organization on 2nd July 2016.
The day was spent in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in imitation of Our Founder and Re-organizers who did a similar thing before launching forward and putting their hand to the plough on 2nd July 1939.
On this occasion our Society is blessed with 4 Professed Members who made their Final commitment in the Society during the Eucharistic celebration in the Monastery Church. They are Benson Valiyaveettil (Kerala), Antony Samy (Tamil Nadu), Alex Fernandes (Ucassaim – Goa) and Senato Peixot (Tilamola – Goa).
Fr. Francis Carvalho, sfx; Superior General was the main celebrant. Fr. Norman Almeida, sfx; Rector of Mission Seminary and Fr. Hilario Fernandes, sfx; Chairman of Central Formation Commission were the co-celebrants.
In his homily, The Superior General thanked God for his immense blessings on the Society as it completes 77 years of its Re-organization. He was happy to announce that Two Pilar Fathers – Fr. Eusebio Gomes, sfx and Fr. Vincent Lobo, sfx (Members of Delhi Province) will be stepping on African Soil for a pioneering Mission in the Diocese of Nouakchott in Mauritania. He further said that theirs will be an Apostolate of Presence in that Muslim country. The Superior General urged Members to be prompt to answer the call for Pioneering challenges in the Mission.
In the evening, the Traditional Football Match between the Priests and Scholastics was played on the Seminary ground. Of course, the young energetic students of Theology triumphed over the Priests.
The day culminated with a dinner for all the members of the Pilar complex at the Mother House. Similar celebrations were held in every Local House and Unit of the Society.
INVESTITURE DAY CEREMONY AT FR. AGNEL SCHOOL BHOPAL
The young leaders of Fr. Agnel Co-Ed Senior Secondary School, Gandhinagar -Bhopal took an oath at a grand event held in the newly inaugurated conference hall named after the Founder of the Pilar Society Rev. Fr. Bento Martin on the 12th of July 2016.
The event started with a welcome song sung by the School Choir and the lighting of the traditional lamp.
The Chief Guest for this Investiture day ceremony was Rev. Fr. Atley Gomes sfx; Provincial Superior of Kolkata province. He was accompanied by Rev Fr. Seby D’souza, sfx; Provincial Councillor, Rev. Fr. Franklin Rodrigues, sfx; Local Superior and Rev Fr. Allan Noronha, sfx; Manager of the school.
The other invitees were the parents of the newly appointed cabinet members of the school. In his welcome speech, Rev. Fr. Richard Couto, sfx; Principal of the School described the social and charitable work the Pilar Fathers do in Bhopal. He motivated the students to become torch bearers of tomorrow and urged them to be leaders who will serve selflessly the people who are oppressed the downtrodden, the poor and the needy.
On behalf of the Management, Staff and students he extended a warm and hearty welcome to the Chief Guest and the other dignitaries and parents. The Chief Guest pinned the badges and the sashes to the newly installed cabinet ministers and in his address congratulated the newly installed leaders and asked them to get inspired by the vision and life of Fr. Bento Martins and Ven. Agnelo, who led humble and exemplary life serving the humanity selflessly and urged the students to gain knowledge and wisdom from this temple of learning and have fear of God, respect for their parents, teachers, elders and love for our motherland- India. He further said that leaders are the role models who inspire their followers and motivate them to climb the ladder of success. The program concluded with the singing of the national Anthem.
AGNELITE DANCE AND MUSIC CARNIVAL
Fr. Agnel. Co-Ed Senior Secondary School Bhopal organized a Dance and Music carnival, under the banner of Fr. Agnel Academy to mark the closure of a month long intensive course in dance and music. The event was a grand success as it was a blend of music and dance. The students performed dances of various kind like kathak, bharatnatyam, fusion, jazz and contemporary.
The budding musicians also exhibited their talents by performing on the violin, guitar and the synthesizer. The parents and the audiences appreciated the performances and supported the young artists with thunderous applauds after every scintillating piece. In all it was a wonderful event in the
city of Lakes, Fr. Agnel Academy organized under the able directorship of Fr. Richard Couto sfx., the Principal of Fr. Agnel Co-Ed Senior Secondary School and the mentorship of Mr. Prashant yadav and Maestro Rio Fernandes. The chief guest of the event was Mr. Sayed Badshah popularly known as Saiba a well settled and an established International dance choreographer from Mumbai. Prizes, certificates and Mementoes were presented to all the participants. The event concluded with the singing of National Anthem.
SOCIETY OF PILAR HAS EIGHT NEW MEMBERS
After completing a year of Novitiate, 8 Novices made their temporary commitment on Tuesday, 24th May 2016. The ceremony took place in the Pilar Monastery Church at 10 am. The 8 new members were welcomed in the Society by Rev. Fr. Francis Carvalho, sfx – Superior General and the members of the Society of Pilar present with a warm fraternal embrace. They are Denzyl Luis Pereira (Verna), Lelwin Pereira (Verna), Shailesh Gopal Jadhav (Nagar- Haveli), Alok Anup Minj (Jharkhand), Pritam Lakra (Andaman), Savio D’Souza (Vasco-da-Gama), Wilson Godad (Kolhapur) and Randall James D’Souza (Mumbai).
“Called to Experience, Live and share Christ’s love was the theme for the celebration.
Fr. Francis Carvalho, sfx; Superior General was the main celebrant. Fr. Hilario Fernandes, sfx; Chairman of Formation Commission and Fr. Romualdo Gonsalves, sfx; Director of Novices were the co-celebrants. In his homily, Superior General stressed on the Scripture Verse, “You did not choose me, but I chose you.”
The Eight new members will now, proceed to Nagpur to pursue their Philosophical Studies at St. Charles Seminary and Graduation at St. Francis de Sales College, Nagpur. We wish them all the best!
UNDERSTANDING WHAT WE CELEBRATE
The Society of Pilar were blessed with Four Missionary Priests on 2nd May 2016 and on this occasion, “Understanding what we celebrate”, a Book written by Fr. Tony Fernandes, sfx – (Professor at the Pilar Theological College) in English and Konkani was released by Rt. Rev. Theodore Mascarenhas, Auxiliary Bishop of Ranchi.
In a very simple language, this book systematically explains the various parts of the Holy Mass and the significance of each part, so as to enable the participants to ‘understand what they celebrate’. This book is a small attempt to help Catholics to really understand what they celebrate, love it and make the Eucharist very meaningful in their lives.
This booklet will enable our people to deepen their understanding of the Holy Mass. May it inspire us all to be the Bread Broken for others, like our Lord Jesus Christ. Congratulations to Fr. Tony Fernandes, sfx.
8 NEW PRIESTS FOR THE SOCIETY OF PILAR
Four Deacons of the Society of Pilar were ordained as Priests by Rt. Rev. Theodore Mascarenhas; Auxiliary Bishop of Ranchi on Monday, 2nd May 2016 at 4 pm in Pilar. Fr. Francis Carvalho; Superior General and Fr. Norman Almeida; Rector of the Major Seminary and over hundred Priests were present for the ceremony. The newly Ordained Priests are Fr. Diogo Roger D’Souza (Morjim), Fr. Myron Tolintino Siqueira (Socorro), Fr. Daniel Joy Narakaden (Parra) and Fr. Selfron M. Gracias (Cansaulim) from Goa.
‘Set apart to Live, Love, Liberate’ was the theme for the celebration. In his homily Bishop stressed on the Scripture verse “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news.”
The remaining four Deacons will be ordained in their respective Parishes –Vincent Pravin Lobo (Ambernath) on 7th May at Fatima Church, Ambernath; V. Jacob Shally (Tamil Nadu) on 8th May at 5:00 pm at St. Paul’s Church, Malayapur, Chennai; Jai Prakash Ekka on 9th May at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, Noatoli, JK; and Maria I. Arul Selvan (Tamil Nadu), on 10th May at Thirukalyana Matha Shrine, Pothakalavilai.
On behalf of the entire group Fr. Selfron Gracias thanked God for this day and expressed his heartfelt joy and gratitude to all who guided them in their formation. Rev. Fr. Francis Carvalho, Superior General congratulated the newly ordained Priests and thanked their families for giving their sons for the missionary work of the Society of Pilar. The General also thanked all the Benefactors, well wishers and Xaverian Co-operators and friends of the Society.
On this happy occasion, “Understanding what we celebrate”, a Book written by Fr. Tony Fernandes, sfx was released by Rt. Rev. Theodore Mascarenhas.
The Society of Pilar rejoiced and welcomed the newly ordained Priests to its Family. We wish them all the very best in their active ministry! We request all our friends and well wishers to keep them in your precious prayers that we may be able to fulfill their missionary calling wherever they serve. Long live the Society of Pilar!
VAVRADDEANCHO IXTT NEWSWEEKLY CELEBRATES 83 YEARS
Vavraddeancho Ixtt; Konkani Newsweekly of the Society of Pilar organized its Annual Awards’ Ceremony on 13th February 2016 in the All India Mission Seminary Hall. The ceremony commenced with the lighting of the traditional lamp. The celebration included the felicitation of the Award Winners for their contribution towards Konkani Literature.
The following persons were awarded: Fr. Lactancio Almeida Memorial Award 2015 was awarded to Ms Jasmine Rodrigues Estibeiro from Nuvem as an excellent writer of V. Ixtt. Shennoi Goembab Memorial Award 2015 was awarded to Dr. Jayanti Naik from Quepem for her Research work and compilation of Folk Stories. Dr. Jose Pereira Memorial Award 2015 was awarded to Dr. Prakash .S. Parienkar for his immense Research work on the Madhei River. Fr. Nicolau Pereira Memorial Award 2015 was presented to Miss Teffany Maria Gama from Sancoal for securing highest marks in Konkani for M.A at the University Examination 2014-2015. Fr. Nicolau Pereira Memorial Award 2015 was presented to Miss Shashikala Redkar from Mapusa and Miss Utkarsha Raikar from Porvorim for securing highest marks in Konkani for B.A at the University Examination 2014-2015. Best Parish Bulletin Award 2015 was presented to the team of ‘Prerna’, the Parish bulletin of St. Diogo’s Church; Guirim, Sangolda.
Chief Guest, Mr. Premanand Lotlikar, Director of Dalgado Konkani Academy, expressed his profound concern about the growth and development of Konkani language, and called upon those present to uphold their mother tongue. He also applauded the efforts of Fr. Eusebio Gomes, sfx; the Editor of V. Ixtt along with his entire team for their immense contribution towards Konkani. He further said, “It is the duty of each and every person; especially the Award winners to contribute to the field of Konkani literature.”
On this happy occasion, “Povitr Atmeak Magnnim ani Gayonam”, a Book written by Dr. Gracias Thomas and translated by Fr. Eusebio Gomes, sfx was released by Fr. Dominic Alvares, sfx; Chairman of Central Mission Commission and Secretary of Xaverian Publications.
The Students of Fr. Agnel Minor Seminary, Batim- Goa performed Instrumental Music, both Strings and Brass under the direction of Fr. Saturnino Mascarenhas, sfx and Fr. Leonardo Fernandes, sfx. The Event concluded with the Editor of V.Ixtt; Fr. Eusebio Gomes, sfx proposing the vote of thanks.
CELEBRATION OF FEASTS
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Goa celebrated their annual feast of St. Alphonsa and St. Sebastian on 31st January 2016 at the All India Mission Seminary. Mar Raphael Thattil, the Apostolic Vistator, Santhom Mission India officiated at the ceremony. At the outset there was a procession, venerating the saints. The beat of the drum resounded throughout the Pilar Complex, letting everyone feel the pulse of the celebration. The solemn Eucharistic celebration included the First Holy Communion of children. The celebration wound up with the fellowship meal in the shade of the Seminary garden.
SOCCER FOR MISSION
The All India Mission Seminary, Pilar organized an Inter-Parish Youth football tournament “Soccer for Mission” on 31st January 2016. It was one of the off-shoots of the Seminarians’ ministry in the neighbouring Parishes with the youth of the parishes of Batim,
Goa-Velha, Agasaim, Cortalim, Siridao, Neura, Carambolim, Santana, Mandur and Azossim participating in the same. All in all there were ten teams for football and five teams for girls’ tie-breaker. It started off with a small Opening Ceremony on Fr. Agnel school grounds Pilar at 10.30 am. Finally, it was Goa-Velha and Azossim who made their way to the finals. The parish-youth of Azossim won the finals via the tie-breaker (5-4), whereas Neura and Cortalim girls locked horns for the ‘Tie-Breaker’ finals with Cortalim taking home the girls’ trophy. The venue wore a festive mood throughout the day with youth participating with great enthusiasm cheering for their respective teams. Many well-wishers and donors contributed to the success of the tournament and the proceeds will go to the missions especially for the “A Meal a day” Programme of the Pilar Fathers in the streets of Kolkata. The tournament concluded with the lowering of the Pilar Flag and the singing of the Pilar Seminary Anthem.
PILGRIMAGE TO ANJUNA
The Parishioners of Anjuna, the birthplace of Ven. Agnelo along with the Society of Pilar celebrated his 147th Birth Anniversary on 21stJanuary at St. John the Baptist Chapel, Gaumvaddi, Anjuna. The Eucharistic celebration with the theme “Ven. Fr. Agnelo a radiance of God’s mercy” was presided over by Rt. Rev. Anil Couto; Archbishop of Delhi.
In his homily he stressed on the simple lifestyle of Ven. Agnelo, who was a Good Shepherd and an ardent preacher of the word of God. His sweet, silent gestures and his inspiring homilies would draw people close to God.
He said “We have a special call to become witnesses of Christ and to live a saintly life.” He expressed his wish to see this Son of Goa, raised to the honors of the Altar. He urged the devotees to pray fervently for the early canonization of Ven. Agnelo.
Fr. Francis Carvalho, sfx; Superior General, Fr. Hilario Fernandes, sfx; Vice Postulator, Fr. Anthony D’Silva, sfx; Provincial Superior and Fr. Thomas Gonsalves, sfx; Local Superior were present on this occasion.
Fr. Hilario Fernandes; Vice Postulator announced that Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao has dedicated the coming Pastoral Year to pray for the cause of the canonization of Ven. Agnelo. Fr. Hilario Fernandes explained briefly the process of canonization and urged everyone to pray for a First class miracle.
TAAL 2016 – 4th Interfaith Harmony Events Celebrated in Curchorem
Sanvordem Local House of Pilar Fathers celebrated TAAL, a step towards harmony – 4th Inter-Faith Harmony Event on Friday 29th January 2016 at Guardian Angel Institute of Hotel Management Auditorium, Curchorem – Goa in collaboration with All India Mission Seminary, Pilar - Goa.
Taal, a step towards Harmony an Interfaith Event is based on the pioneering work of the Society of Pilar and the theme for this year was “LET US UNITE FOR A BETTER TOMMOROW”. This initiative, called Muslims, Hindus, Christians and all the people of good will to engage in a dialogue based on common fundamental humane Commandment – The Golden Rule – Do to others what you would have them do to you. It simply means that we Love God, Love Neighbour and love nature without compromising any of our own religious tenets.
Taal, provides a platform where all inter-faith groups and other people of goodwill can show Goa and India what a powerful movement they are in - building bridges of love and harmony.
Taal 2016, the Inter-faith meet began with a welcome address by the Local Superior Fr. Joaquim Rebello. Welcoming the representatives of various Religions and the gathering he said that it is essential and good to come together as there is so much that unites us, binds us and makes us one family of God’s children. He further said that Taal, a step towards harmony must help us to respect one another, serve one another, increase Peace, Justice and progress in the Society. Speaking further he informed the gathering that Pilar Fathers have always been pioneers in the promotion of Inter-Faith Harmony in a systematic manner for many years. At the end he expressed happiness that there are so many good people in this world and this dialogue is alive and is moving forward in a right direction.
Rev. Fr. Glen D’ Silva, a Pilar Priest and an well-known Hindustani Classical Musician along with his group performed singing of Verses 26, 27 and 28 from Kristapurana based on Raag Jait Kallyan. which was well appreciated by the audience.
Among the important dignitaries present for the Event were: V. Rev. Fr. Anthony D’ Silva – Provincial Superior of Goa Province Rev. Fr. Jesuino Almeida, Representative of Christianity ; Shri. Altaf Shah, Representative of Islam; Shri. Jayesh Raut, Representative of Hinduism; Rev. Fr. Patrick Luis, Dean of Sanguem Deanery and Fr. Joaquim Rebello, Local Superior of Sanvordem Local House. Shri. Jayesh Raut, Representative of Hindu Religion said that God is present everywhere and the entire world is a family. Therefore when we harm others we harm our family members and hurt God. He further said that we must go on doing good works in the Society without expecting the fruits of the actions.
Shri. Altaf Shah, Representative of Islam Religion stressed on two important points; Firstly, knowledge of the other Religion helps us to respect the persons belonging to other Religion. He said that all the Religions speak almost similarly on God and spiritual matters. There can be 10% of difference of opinion. He also said that let us not be mere worshipers but let us be educated in each other’s Religions. Secondly, we need to fight against the evils that are affecting the society because they are affecting everyone.
Rev. Fr. Jesuino Almeida spoke on the divisions in Religions because of language. Stressing on the importance of English, one’s own mother tongue and Hindi, he said that all Religions must come together and give holistic quality education to our children thereby widening our horizons and also sustaining our cultural and religious heritage. He also emphasized that more interfaith events should be held in the future.
In his summary of the proceedings, V. Rev. Fr. Anthony D’ Silva, Provincial Superior of Goa Province said that Religions are like different flowers in the garden of the world and one God is the creator of us all. He further said that just like musical instruments, we play our life on the tune set by God and we all need to be helping each other no matter which Religion we belong to. All religions are various understandings of the same reality, God.
There were various items which included Prayer Dance by Our Lady of Miracles Church, Videos based on the theme Well-being and Unity, Soul-searching and heart touching mime put up by Seminarian Benson and his group on Unity. Earlier there was veneration of the Holy Scriptures and singing of bhajans on the theme Peace, Love and Harmony conducted by Students from All India Mission Seminary, Pilar.
The programme Taal brought together the members of different Religions encouraging all to have communal harmony and to build a peaceful environment. Rev. Fr. Jerry Vaz, sfx concluded the event with a vote of thanks.
JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS OF PILAR FATHERS IN THE ANDAMAN ISLES
The Pilar Fathers' fifty years of service in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands was celebrated on 13th December 2016 by the people of Port Blair Diocese with lots of joy. The celebration began in the morning with a solemn Eucharist. The people welcomed Rev. Fr. Francis Carvalho (Superior General), Bishop Alex Dias and priests with garlands from the Carmel School gate and led them to the Stella Maris Cathedral with the traditional Adivasi dance. Fr. General was the main celebrant. The priests entered from all three doors of the church as the Nirmala school girls performed the entrance dance. Fifty 'Diyas' were lit by the Bishop and the celebrants to mark the opening of the Golden Jubilee Day. The main celebrant in his homily appreciated the people who had kept the faith alive even when there were no priests in the Islands. He also said that in all that we do we should try to “put a little more of Jesus” and everything would change as it is evident in the growth of the Church in the Islands. After the post communion an audio C.D prepared by Pilar Fathers was released by Bishop Alex Dias, sfx. After the mass, a well prepared cultural program was staged in the Nirmala School Auditorium. Bishop Alex Dias, sfx was the chief guest at the function. Sr. Linda Mary DSA the Mother General released the Golden Jubilee Souvenir. The Bishop, Fathers, guests, sisters were felicitated during the program. The Day concluded with a Festive meal.
INTER – RELIGIOUS FAITH MEET AT CANACONA
The 27th All Religions Prayer Meet was organized by Vividha Institute, Citizens of Canacona at Chaudi - Canacona on 13th December 2015 at 3:00 pm.
The participants were welcomed at the bus stand and taken in a procession to the venue. The Meet commenced by lighting the lamp. The conference was attended by the representatives of 7 different faiths – Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Bahai and Bhramakumaris.
Leaders of different faiths stressed on Love, Unity and Peace and at the same time reminded the audience to be carriers of religious values of their own faith not only ritual practices but also to explore the similarities of different faiths which can help us to promote unity among the people with different backgrounds.
Fr. Jesuino Almeida, sfx; Former Superior General of the Society of Pilar, speaking on this occasion quoted the Gospel of Mathew Chapter 5:38-39 said: “At a time, when the world is facing a number of terrorist attacks especially in the Middle East, Paris, Europe, USA and attacks on minorities in India, the All Religious Prayer Meet will help to bring peace amongst the different religious groups of our state”.
The different religious groups sang religious songs. Fr. Glen D’silva, sfx sang verses of the Krista Puranna. Buddhist monks sang their Prayers, while the Sikhs sang verses from Guru Granth Sahib.
Posters of different religions placed around the pandal gave a lot of information on different Faiths. Fr. Michael Rebello, sfx organized an Indian Christian Art Exhibition at the venue; especially portraying Jesus Christ as Guru, who enlightens all Human kind.
The Meet ended with the Religious Leaders giving their blessings to the audience.
FIFTY AND TWENTY FIVE YEARS OF PRIESTHOOD
The Society of Pilar once again rejoices and congratulates our dear confreres for their Fifty and Twenty Five years of Priesthood and dedicated service in the vineyard of the Lord. The occasion was celebrated with a solemn thanksgiving Eucharist on Saturday, 19th December 2015 at 4 pm in the Mission Seminary Chapel.
Fr. Galdino Monteiro, sfx was the main celebrant and Fr. Fredrick Rodrigues, sfx preached the homily.
On behalf of the Jubilarians Fr. Ubaldo Fernandes, sfx thanked the Society and also the people who helped them on their Priestly missionary journey.
Fr. Hilario Fernandes, sfx Vicar General acknowledged and appreciated the contribution of each of the Jubilarians for their missionary work and thanked the families of the Jubilarians and the well- wishers. At the same he encouraged those present to motivate missionary vocations in their families.
The traditional feast of the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother was celebrated on 8th December at the Seminary Grotto. The Grotto was adorned with lights to add to the festive mood. In the evening a solemn Evening Prayer was organized by the Scholastics. Fr. Lawrence Fernandes, the LDS of the Pilar Animation Centre, presided over the solemn Evening Prayer. In his reflection Fr. Lawrence called Mother Mary as the greatest support and encouragement specially, in times of trials and turmoil, and he encouraged everyone to imbibe love towards the Blessed Mother.
ANNUAL DAY OF FR. AGNEL CO. ED SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL, BHOPAL
Fr. Agnel Co Ed Senior Secondary School celebrated its Annual Day on 20th November 2015 in a very unique way. It was based on the theme 'Peace, Harmony and Brotherhood' - a call for being human depicting the importance of humanism in one's life and prayer for the peace of India.
Rt. Rev. Dr. Leo Cornelio s.v.d; Archbishop of Bhopal was the Chief Guest for the grand evening. The guests of Honour were Sr. Izabel D’souza; President of Pilar Sister’s Association, Sr. Sybil Almeida and Sr. Estelina Dias. The dignitaries were ushered in by the School Marching Band. Principal Fr. Richard Couto s.f.x welcomed the guests in a traditional manner. The event commenced with garlanding of venerable Father Agnelo and lighting the inaugural lamp.
The cultural program started with a welcome song performed by the School choir followed by thrilling and power packed performance of a welcome dance. The Chief Guest encouraged the students with his words of wisdom and blessings and asked them to tread on the path of truth and become a TRUE INDIAN by maintaining peace, harmony and brotherhood. It was followed by the display of Annual Report and felicitation ceremony. All meritorious students as well as students with outstanding performances were awarded by Chief Guest and Guests of Honour.
The second part of the day was reading of the holy texts by religious leaders. Pandit Mehant Chandrama Das Tyagi represented Hinduism, Mohammed Haji Haroon represented Islam, Gyani Dilip Singhji lead Sikism and Fr. Anil Mathew cmi represented Christianity. All the four leaders prayed together for Peace of our Country India.
The third part of the celebration was a seminar exclusively for the parents which were conducted by Fr. Varghese Allengaden the founder of Universal Solidarity Movement.
In order to showcase the performance of the students and the choreography of the teachers a musical extravaganza was presented to conclude the program.
In short, it was a magnanimous effort of management, staff and students to proclaim peace and religious harmony. The audience which consisted of guests and parents were appreciative of the splendid performances by the students and the development and growth of the school.
- Rio Fernandes, Bhopal
INTER FAITH MEET
The Inter- Religious Dialogue Cell of Pilar Theological College organized an Inter - Faith Meet at the Pilar Animation Center on 17th November 2015. The programme with the theme “Let’s unite for a better tomorrow” was an attempt to appreciate the teachings of different religions and to promote unity among them for the common good. The Meet commenced by lighting the traditional lamp.
The Meet was attended by Brothers and Sisters of three different Faiths – Hindu, Muslim and Christian. Mr. Madhav Bidhe, Mrs. Nazrama Darwesh and Fr. Jesuino Almeida, sfx represented the three faiths as speakers for the occasion.
Mr. Madhav Bidhe in his sharing directed a question to the Christians present, “Have you become another Christ?”. Mrs. Nazrama Darwesh said, “We must learn how to live in unity and harmony in our families. God created us, not to live in isolation, but to live in unity, harmony, and to share love and to serve each other.” Fr. Jesuino Almeida, sfx said, “We need to bring together the people of other faiths, if we wish to see peace in our country and the whole world. Let us remember what Christ taught us and take the example of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Maulana Azad and walk in their footsteps.” He too expressed the need to sow seeds of unity, love in childhood itself.
During the Inter-faith Meet, the students of the Pilar Theological College presented a mime and an inspiring video on religious harmony. At the end of the programme Fr. Hilario Fernandes, sfx; Vice Postulator thanked the people for attending the Meet.
UNITY OF MANKIND FOR PEACE AND HARMONY – AN INTER-FAITH DIALOGUE
Goa International Centre in association with Goa Study Group organized an Interfaith Conference on Saturday, 10th October 2015 on the topic “Unity of Mankind for Peace and Harmony”, to highlight the issues that need to be addressed for maintaining harmony and peace in the country. Welcome speech was given by the Chairman of Goa Study Group and former Union Minister Shri Eduardo Faleiro.
The conference was attended by the representatives of four different faiths – Muslim, Hindu, Christian and Sikh in the state, namely Maulana Zafar Alam Nadvi, Dr. Venkatesh Hegde, Fr. Michael Rebello sfx and Gursharan Singh Chawla. Representatives of various religions stated that unity and understanding among the people of all faiths will bring peace and harmony in the country. In his keynote address Dr. Venkatesh Hegde, a trainer of Art of Living said: “We must find the core spiritual values in our faith which are in other faiths too. The highest value in religion is love. We must respect the values of all religions. Respect the diversity of all religions.”
One of our Member of the Society of Pilar Fr. Michael Rebello, sfx was the speaking on this occasion. Fr. Michael Rebello, sfx said “Since all humans have been created in the image of God, all humans have been created equal and hence deserve our respect and love.” The conference proceedings were compered by Eduardo Faleiro.
NOVENA AND VESPERS OF OUR LADY OF PILAR
The Novena of the Patroness, Our Lady of Pilar began on Saturday, 3rd October with the Eucharistic celebration followed by veneration of the statue of Our Lady. As we know the first Novena or nine days of intense preparation is found in the Acts of the Apostles. The disciples of Jesus and Mary spent nine days in prayer getting ready for the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday [Acts 1/14].
We, Pilar missionaries make this Novena as a spiritual preparation for the celebration of the feast of our beloved Mother. In order to enkindle and sustain their missionary zeal, the members of the Society entrust themselves to the Queen and Mother of missionaries. The people living around the Pilar hillock flocked to the Monastery to receive favours through the intercession of Mother Mary. Each community in Pilar was allotted a day to organize the daily liturgy, choir and Eucharistic celebration during the novena. The novena was marked with thought provoking homilies. On 11th October evening as usual the vespers were held preceded by the traditional procession from the Apostolic School. People participated in the procession devoutly praying the rosary, prayers and hymns. Brothers and sisters of other faiths also participated in the procession to receive blessings of the Blessed Mother. The Pilar hillock was given a facelift with well decorated road and clean surroundings. The Feast day Mass of Our Lady of Pilar began at 9:30 a.m. with a well organized liturgy and choir. Fr. Francis Carvalho, the Superior General, was the main celebrant. The entire Pilar Complex, the working staff and people from the neighboring parishes took part in the celebration.
WORLD TOURISM DAY 2015 -Celebrated at Guardian Angel IHMCT, Curchorem
The Guardian Angel Institute of Hotel Management, Curchorem – Goa celebrated the World Tourism Day on 29th September 2015 with the theme ‘One Billion Tourist One Billion Opportunities’.The Principal Fr. Joaquim Rebello welcomed the gathering and highlighted the billions of Opportunities to be good to one another and to our mother earth. After giving the college success report of achieving cent percent result, speaking on the theme he said “In his latest Encyclical, Laudato Si’, No. 11, Pope Francis invites us to approach nature with “openness to awe and wonder”and to speak “the language of fraternity and beauty in our relationship with the world”. This is the right approach to adopt with regard to the places and peoples we visit. This is the road to seizing a billion opportunities and making them bear even more fruits.” He further said that there are one billion occasions to transform a voyage into an existential experience, One billion possibilities to become the makers of a better world. Laudato Si’, No. 53 reminds us we have one billion opportunities to become “instruments of God our Father, so that our planet might be what He desired when he created it and correspond with His plan for peace, beauty and fullness”. Giving his piece of advice to the students the chairman V. Rev. Fr. Kyriel D’ Souza said that the Society of Pilar is indeed giving billions of opportunities to the students of this institute to build up a professional carrier in hospitality industry. A special News Magazine “The Guardian” was released on the occasion.
2000 AGNELITES LIGHT THE WAY
This year, The United Nations General Assembly which was organized from the 25th to 27th September at New York was a historic one as Sustainable Development Goals replaced Millennium Development Goals. Action/ 2015 is a growing global movement made up of Thousands of organizations, coalitions and partnerships calling for concrete actions and ambitions agreement for people and the planet by the end of 2015. Globally the campaign has united over 27 million people organized by 2000 organizations in 140 countries. In India, Wada Na Todo Abhiyan (WNTA) has been leading this process. SDGs are ambitious goals that will eradicate poverty and inequality and tackle climate change for the next 15 years in India. To support this cause the staff and students of Fr. Agnel Co-Ed. Sr. Sec. School, Bhopal India during the morning assembly organized a prayer service which was followed by lighting of Candles. The Principal Fr. Richard Couto S.F.X. spoke to the students about the goals of SDGs, their importance and how they can affect their lives.
The Agnelites want our leaders to know that they are the young leaders who can light the Way for a better future, a prosperous world and a shining India.
INAUGURATION OF FR. AGNEL BABA DHAM, VADTAL
All roads led to Vadtal on 30th August 2015 at 3.00 pm for the inauguration of the newly constructed Fr. Agnel Baba Dham. After a short procession around the Parish of Vadtal, the con-celebrated solemn Eucharistic celebration begin at 3:30 pm. The main celebrant for the Eucharistic Celebration was Archbishop elect Most Rev. Bishop Thomas Macwan. The celebration was attended by the Parishioners as well as devotees of Fr. Agnel Baba from the neighboring Parishes. A book was also released on the life of Fr. Agnel Baba. The programme came to an end with the common dinner for all. Congratulations to Fr. Martin Alvares, Fr. Rajen and the Parishioners of Vadtal for having organized this event in a meaningful manner.
ROCK WITH JESUS- EUCHARIST WITH THE YOUTH-Fr. Ransom Pereira
The more you advance in age, the more you come to know the Man from Galilee-Jesus. It has been a continuous and growing experience of the man named Jesus, when I interact with the people specially the Youth of today. As I minister to the faithful in Austria- Europe, the young and the youthful minds impress me every time I organize a programme for them. We celebrate this year the 40th Jubilee Year of the Parish Holy Family, where Fr. Brian and I cater to the faithful. One of the Jubilee events was to celebrate a Youth mass in our Church.With the help and support of the Regional Youth Team we celebrated the Youth mass on the 27th September 2015, naming it “ROCK WITH JESUS”. We invited the youth of our Deanery for the Celebration. The Youth Choir ‘Remember Me’ sang for the Mass accompanied with my New Band ‘For Jesus’. We really rocked the Church with songs like, Jesus is the Rock and he rolls my blues away, it is the cry of my heart to follow you, Everyday..... I composed a special song for the day, ‘Rock with Jesus’. The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Franz Ackerl a young Priest from Kremsmunster.The main motivation to celebrated was to attract the Youth in the Church and tell them that the Church is not boring but Alive and vibrant and that Jesus loves them. It was a Wonderful day to interact with the Youth. The Elderly faithful too enjoyed to see the Young faces in the Church, which they seldom see. The celebration ended with a get-to-gather and interacting with the Youth.
INCULTURATED CELEBRATION OF THE NATIVITY OF BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Rabindranath Tagore once expressed that every birth of a child says that God still loves the world. Mother Mary was the greatest gift of God to humankind through whom the Saviour of the world was born. The feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Mother was celebrated in the Mission Seminary with an inculturated Eucharistic celebration. A beautiful Marian statue was placed on the side of the altar adorned with shining clothes and dazzling lights in Indian way. Keeping in mind that the Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is good and holy in other religions, the students of theology of the Delhi Province of the Society of Pilar incorporated some meaningful aspects of Sikh religion in the liturgical celebration. The Chapel was well decorated with colorful umbrellas, flowers and ornamental plants. The entrance to the Seminary Chapel was given a look of a gurudwara signifying the entry into the holy of holies. The main celebrant representing Jesus Christ the fullness of Prophets and Scriptures made a solemn entry into the Chapel. The main celebrant and the faithful washed their feet at the entrance of the Chapel as a sign of cleansing oneself before the worship. This day is also marked as the harvest festival in Mangalore. The people of Mangalore bring fruits of their labour to offer to Mother Mary. Symbolically the scholastics also brought offerings of fruits on the occasion. The Eucharistic celebration ended meaningfully with the distribution of halwa as per the practice of Sikh faithful after their religious celebrations. All the scholastics sought the blessings of heavenly Mother by offering flowers at the feet of the well decorated statue of Our Lady.
REV. FR. IVO DIAS, SFX RECEIVES BEST PRINCIPAL AWARD FROM RAAH GROUP FOUNDATION
Rev. Fr. Ivo Dias, sfx, the Principal of St. Francis Xavier School, Hisar has been honoured for the exemplary contribution in the field of Education by the RAAH Group Foundation on 24th April 2015, at Women ITI, Hisar. RAAH Group Foundation is an NGO which is working for child protection at the National and International level. Around forty names were shortlisted by RAAH Group, including Best Principals, Teachers and Students. All were felicitated at the State Level for their outstanding performance. Congratulations! Keep up the good work.
THE WOUNDED PLANET
The Pilar Theological College presents “The Wounded Planet”, an Educational Film on 21st Century Environmental Crisis in English and Konkani. The purpose of the film is to raise awareness and reflect on the present environmental crisis and promote positive change for the issue at hand.
It is an attempt to stress on the urgent needs to face this crisis. If no efforts are made to improve our situation today, will result in disastrous consequences affecting the lives of millions especially the poor and the future generations.
Recently, Pope Francis in his 2nd Encyclical letter ‘Laudato Si’ with subtitle ‘On care for our common home’ has shown concern for the environment. It is important for all of us to reflect deeply on the message. It is a powerful wake-up call to the world sleep-walking into disaster.
The Script and cover design has been prepared by Bro. Josly Fernandes, sfx who is the brain behind this production. He was guided by Fr. Anselmo D’souza, sfx and the Mission Seminary Staff.
“We are here to heal, not harm. We are here to Love, not hate. We are here to create, not destroy.” Let us do our bit to save the Planet.
FR. AGNEL CO-ED SR. SEC. SCHOOL, BHOPAL CELEBRATES
69TH INDEPENDENCE DAY
Fr. Agnel Co-Ed Sr. Sec. School, Bhopal celebrated 69th Anniversary of Indian Independence. Erratic weather failed to defer the spirit of the Agnelites, who celebrated the day with immense patriotic fervor. The Chief Guest Sr. Rosily Parecattil Provincial Superior of F.C.C. Amala Province, Bhopal was received at the school gate by the Principal Rev. Fr. Richard Couto, s.f.x. The school band under the guidance of Music Teacher Mr. Rio Fernandes welcomed and gave the guard of honour to the chief guest and other dignitaries and escorted them to the dais where the Tricolor was unfurled, as the students along with the school choir and band sang the “Jana Gana Mana….”
This was followed by the March Past and PT exercises. Various patriotic group and solo songs were performed by the students. The Principal delivered a value based patriotic speech wherein he urged the students to be good citizens of India and take our country to the pinnacle of glory. Further, the Chief Guest in her speech congratulated the School Management, the Staff and the Students for putting up a wonderful programme and urged the students to love and respect our Mother India.
Prizes and certificates were distributed to the meritorious students who excelled in academics, sports and cultural activities. Certificates awarded by the HRD Minister Mrs. Smriti Irani for excellence in the field of education were also given away to Fr. Principal and some staff members at the hands of the Chief Guest.
Finally the programme concluded with the National Song “VANDE MATRAM” sung by the school choir.
GURU PURNIMA CELEBRATED AT NETRAVALI SANGUEM (GOA PROVINCE)
Indian people hold great respect for their Gurus. The word itself holds immense importance and stature. A Guru in India is a worshipped individual whose knowledge and wisdom have enlighten us in the journey of life. The significance of this day is that the Guru holds the most essential position in one's life and to give him respect and honor people celebrate Guru Purnima.
Guru Purnima is celebrated by conducting diverse programs and special cultural performances. On 2nd August 2015 the day of Guru Purnima held at Netravali Sanguem. Fr. Glen D’Silva, sfx who has a Master’s degree in Hindustani Music along with students performed an item “Suranchivollokh” meaning knowledge of swaras (musical notes).
The people present for the occasion were thrilled to hear the children singing in perfect pitch, well to the glory of the one and only “Guru” the Lord of all.
LET’S UNITE FOR BETTER TOMORROW
The Inter-Religious Dialogue Cell of the Pilar Theological College and the Solidarity Forum, Pilar, in collaboration with the students of Fr. Agnel Degree College, Pilar, organized an Inter-faith Meet at the St. Francis Xavier’s Higher Secondary School of Arts, Science & Commerce, Siolim. The two-hour long programme with the theme “Let’s unite for a better tomorrow” was an attempt to appreciate the teachings of different religions and to foster unity among them for the common good. Mr. Ramesh Veluskar, in his sharing, stressed that he would not like himself to be called a Hindu – because of his religious affiliation – but a good human being for which he would always strive. Mr. Akbar Khan while presenting his sharing stated that there are different forces in this world – some good while some bad, we need to choose the right forces to promote religious harmony and love among all. Fr. Eusebio Gomes expressed the need to sow seeds of peace love and harmony among the people. During the Inter-faith Meet, the students of third year theology presented a mime-dance, and some inspiring videos about religious harmony. While the students of Fr. Agnel Degree College presented a street play on religious harmony. At the end of the programme, the Principal of the SFX Higher Secondary School Fr. Santow John thanked the gathering especially the students of Pilar Theological College and Fr. Agnel Degree College, Pilar, and their Coordinator Fr. Lyndon. May inter-religious harmony flourish in our land for a better tomorrow!
GLIMPSES FROM PILAR THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE
A few years ago it was said that a preacher of the Word should have the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other. Today communication technology has advanced in a big way and has aided the preacher of the Word. Internet and audio-visuals are the most effective means to make the gospel reach the homes of the people. We now speak of “Laptop missionaries” who have the Bible and the newspapers at their finger tips. Reading the signs of the times, the Society has equipped the Final year students of Theology with the coveted Laptops to prepare them for the challenging task of evangelization ahead of them beginning with their scientific paper to graduate as proclaimers of the Word.
8 NEW PRIESTS FOR THE SOCIETY OF PILAR
Five Deacons of the Society of Pilar were ordained as priests by Archbishop- Patriarch of Goa and Daman, Bishop Filipe Neri Ferrao at the Pilar Seminary Chapel on 5th May 2015. They are Fr. Carson Dourado (Raia), Fr. Russel Fernandes (Velim), Fr. Andy Gomes (Margao), Fr. George D’Souza (Kerim-Tiracol) and Fr. Franky Carvalho (Majorda) from Goa.
The remaining three Members of Society of Pilar were Ordained in their respective Parishes; Fr. Rajan Kumar Soreng from Jharkhand on 12th May in Simdega Diocese, Fr. Shishar Indwar from Jharkhand on 14th May in Gumla Diocese and Fr. Wilson Paul from Tamil Nadu on 21st May in Sivagangai Diocese.
Newly ordained Priests and their families with the Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, Bishop Theodore Mascarenhnas - Auxillary Bishop of Ranchi, Fr. Francis Carvalho- Superior General, Fr. Hillario Fernandes - Vicar General and Fr. Anselmo De Souza- Rector.
SOCIETY OF PILAR HAS 12 NEW MEMBERS
After a year of Novitiate, 12 novices made their temporary commitment on Sunday, 24th May 2015. The ceremony took place in Pilar Monastery Church at 10:30 am, coinciding with the Feast of the Holy Spirit. The 12 new members were welcomed in the Society by Fr. Francis Carvalho - Superior General and the Members of the Society of Pilar present with a warm fraternal embrace. They are Alton Mario Abranches (Verna), Baltazar Fernandes (Colva), Gregory Joseph (Delhi), Jovito Neville vaz (Kalve), Meconcio Fernandes (Sanguem), Salten Monteiro (Cortalim), Valroy Andreson D’Mello (Cortalim), Johnson (Tamil Nadu), Naveen Rajan Lakra (Jharkhand), Rolson Antony D’Souza (Mangalore) and Clive Agnelo Dias (Goa Velha). They will now, proceed to Nagpur for further studies, pursuing their Philosophical Studies at St. Charles Seminary and Graduation at St. Francis de Sales College, Nagpur.
‘SUBHAM JINN’ ASHRAM AT ZUARI RIVERSIDE
On 3rd July, the feast day of the Apostle of India, St Thomas was an auspicious day for Goa Province of the Society of Pilar, as it blessed and inaugurated the Christian Ashram named as Subham Jinn (Life in Abundance) at Moita ward in Agasaim.
The ceremony began with lighting of the lamb. As it was lighted by the distinguished guests, Gayatri Mantra was sung by the Students of Theology of Pilar Seminary. Thereafter Fr. Glen D’Silva, sfx sang some lines from Krista-puran of Fr. Thomas Stephens in the form of a bhajan. Fr. Kyriel D’Souza, sfx, the Provincial Superior of Goa Province in his reflection said that Christ initiated Christianity not in the western life-style and garb but established it in the Asian cultural milieu. He explained the need of having a Christian Ashram in Goa to pray and meditate using Indian forms of worship. Archbishop of Goa Filipe Neri Ferrao while sharing his insights spoke about the venture of Goa Province of having Indian Christian Ashram and of giving to it an Indian cultural flavor. In the installation ceremony that followed Fr. Kyriel put around the shoulders of Fr. Galdino Monteiro a symbolic shawl and installed him as the Guru of the Ashram.
Fr. Galdino Monteiro said the basic vision of the ashram was attaining union with God and experience peace within and in the world. He said the ashram would enable people to grow in God’s consciousness and help them to live life in its fullness, creating equality, solidarity and fellowship among all people. The objective of the Ashram is to promote Indian Christian Spirituality and inter-religious dialogue.
The Ashram is open to all genuine ‘Seekers’ irrespective of caste and creed where everyone experiences hospitality, love and compassion. Beautiful natural surroundings i.e. flowing Zuari River in the background, coconut and other trees in the vicinity are conducive for prayers and meditation and add to the glory and serenity of the Ashram.
MEMBERS OF SOCIETY OF PILAR RECEIVE ‘KALA GAURAV AWARD’
Our Pilar confreres Bro. Eusebio Miranda and Fr. Agnel D’Souza being presented with the Certificate for Cultural Excellence in the field of Literature and Music respectively for the year 2014-15, by Shri Dayanand Mandrekar, Minister for Art and Culture, Government of Goa. Bro Eusebio has been Assistant Editor of V.Ixtt for several years. Fr. Agnelo D’Souza served as a Music teacher for seminarians, and was director of Fr. Agnel Music School, Pilar.
TAAL 2015 – 3ND INTERFAITH HARMONY EVENTS CELEBRATED IN CURCHOREM
Sanvordem Local House of Pilar Fathers celebrated TAAL, a step towards harmony - 3nd Interfaith Harmony Event on 31st January 2015 at Guardian Angel Institute of Hotel Management Auditorium, Curchorem – Goa in collaboration with Solidarity Forum of All India Mission Seminary, Pilar - Goa. Sanvordem Local House Taal, a step towards harmony - Interfaith Harmony event is based on the pioneering work of the Society of Pilar. This initiative, called for Muslims, Hindus, Christians and all people of good will to engage in a dialogue based on common fundamental humane Commandments; Love of God, Love of the Neighbour and love of nature without compromising any of their own religious tenets.
Taal, a step towards harmony Interfaith Harmony event provides a platform once in a year when all interfaith groups and other groups of goodwill can show Goa and India what a powerful movement they are in building bridges of love and harmony. In his summing up Rev. Fr. Kyriel D’ Souza, Provincial Superior of Goa said that “we play our life on the tune put by God and we all need to be helping each other no matter which religion we belong to. All religions are various understandings of the same reality God.” The programme was conducted to bring together the members of different religions in order to have communal harmony and to build a peaceful environment. Rev. Fr. Jerry Vaz concluded the session by a vote of thanks to all those who made the programme a success.
VAVRADDEANCHO IXTT RECEIVES DALGADO KONKANI ACADEMY AWARD
Dakgado Konknni Academy based at Panjim on 23rd March 2015 organized a program at Institute of Menezes Braganza Hall in Panjim to felicitate the eminent personalities who have contributed to the Konknni literature, heritage and culture in various fields. The following persons were awarded: Dalgado Literature Award to Mr. Tomazinho Cardozo for his contribution to Konknni literature; Dalgado Cultural Award to Mr. Mario Menezes for his contribution to Tiatr (Konkani drama); Dalgado Heritage Award to Mr. Francisco Martins for promoting Goan heritage through cultural dances and Carnival floats; Dalgado Journalism Award to Mr. Fausto Da Costa for his contribution to journalism; Dalgado Institution Award to Xaverian Publications Society for its Konkani newsweekly ‘Vavraddeancho Ixtt’; Dalgado Youth Award to Fr. Luis Xavier Gomes for his services to Konkani and Dalgado Book Award to Bonaventure D’ Pietro for his book ‘Sankoll.’ Chief Guest, Shri. Francis D’ Souza, deputy chief Minister of Goa said that discarding differences of script and all other differences, all Konkani Organizations should come together to develop and promote Konkani language in order to preserve the Goan heritage.
‘Vavraddeancho Ixtt’ for the last 82 years has been serving the readers of Goa defending the rights of the people. Originally it was founded to protect human rights of the workers. During the Goa’s freedom struggle, it has played a greater role by instilling the spirit of nationalism in the minds of the people of Goa. Currently the paper makes the readers aware of the social evils affecting the Goan Society and acts as a whistle blower whenever there is corruption in the government and other departments. Fr. Dominic Alvares, the secretary of Xaverian Publications Society and Fr. Eusebio Gomes, the editor of Vavraddeancho Ixtt jointly received the Award. Mr. Premanand Lotlikar, the president of Dalgado Konknni Academy thanked the government for helping to set a new office and for financial aid. Fr. Luis Gomes, who promotes Konknni Wikipedia, requested the government to provide personnel for its upkeep. Mr. Vincy Quadros, the secretary of DKA proposed the Vote of Thanks and Mr. Agnelo de Borim compered the program.
VAVRADDEANCHO IXTT NEWSWEEKLY CELEBRATES 82 YEARS
The Roman Konkani newsweekly Vavraddeancho Ixtt (Workers’ Friend) published from Pilar Goa has completed 82 years of spreading the word of knowledge and news in the field of Konkani journalism. It has always fought courageously against injustice and contributed towards nationalism and patriotism. During the Portuguese regime, the government was suspicious about this journal. The head of ‘Visado pela Commicao de Censura’ department many a times used to disapprove and cancel the planned write-ups for publication. This journal supported boldly the cause of Goa’s liberation to the distaste of Portuguese authorities. Therefore Governor General Antonio Vassalo e Silva had suspended the journal for 3 months in 1961 from 12 August to 12 November. To celebrate the milestone and give away its annual awards, the V. Ixtt organized a programme at Animation Centre Hall at Pilar on March 12, 2015. On this occasion an Indian Christian Art Exhibition presented by CBCI Office for Social Communications, New Delhi and organized by Fr. Dominic Alvares was inaugurated by Fr. Lawrence Fernandes, the Superior of Animation Center. V. Ixtt team presented awards to some renowned Goan persons who have contributed to the promotion of Konkani literature. Fr. Lactancio Almeida Memorial Award was presented to Fr. Almir de Souza from Saligao as an outstanding writer of V. Ixtt for the year 2014. Shennoi Goybab Memorial Award 2014 was conferred on late Prof. Dr. Madhavi Sardesai from Margao, a posthumous award for her contribution towards Konkani literature. Her daughter Ms. Asawari Nayak received it on her behalf. The newly established Dr. Jose Pereira Memorial Award 2014 was presented to Mr. Marcos Gonsalves from Raia for his contribution to culture. Fr. Nicolau Pereira Memorial Award 2014 was presented to Fr. Luis Xavier Gomes from Shirodda, for securing highest marks in Konkani of M.A. Examinations, 2013-14 and Ms. Prajoti Diksha Naik from Velsao for securing highest marks in Konkani of B.A. Examinations 2013-14. Best Parish Bulletin Award for 2014 was presented to the team of ‘Noketr’ (Star), a parish bulletin of Mother of God Church, Majorda Goa. Chief Guest Mr. Chetan Acharya, President of Konknni Bhasha Mandal in his speech said, “Each language has its own richness, but the wealth that lays hidden in Konkani language cannot be traced in any other language. Ms. Anishka Vernekar from Fr. Agnel College, Pilar, Goa compered the program.
PILAR MUSIC SCHOOL – PORVORIM
The Pilar Music School of Porvorim and Badem villages celebrated ‘Musical Gait’ - Annual Day programme at the beautiful river front Open Auditorium in Penha de Franca on Saturday, 28th February 2015. One could see the children smartly dressed holding their musical instruments and performing different items before their eager parents and guests. The evening began with a popular Choral ‘You are my Song’ conducted by Russel D’Souza, music instructor of the School. Fr. Ivo Fernandes, Manager of the Music School welcomed the gathering and gave the brief report of the school. Mr. Roque Lazarus, awardee of the Yuva Srujan Puraskar 2014-15 and Chief Guest, in his address appreciated the parents for allowing their children to learn music. He further said that music was an apt discipline to harness oneself with the creator. He had a word of advice for the management to make available the facility to the children of learning other instruments especially the wind instruments. Rev. Fr. Kyriel D’Souza, Provincial Superior of Goa Province of the Pilar Fathers was the Guest of Honour. Rev. Frs. Agnelo D’Souza, Max Gonsalves & Glen D’Silva were the special invitees. They were felicitated with a shawl and citation. Regent Jeevan Mendes proposed the vote of thanks and the programme concluded with the Music School Anthem.
FR. AGNEL NIKETAN DAY
Fr. Agnel Niketan Day was held at Fr. Agnel High School Hall, Pilar on 1 March, 2015. The day began with the Eucharistic celebration. The main celebrant was Rev. Fr. Joseph Fernandes, and concelebrates were Rev. Fr. Aulerio Rodrigues, Fr. Anthony D’Silva, Fr. Salvador, Fr. Richard Crasto and Director Fr. Andrew Silveira. This was followed by a beautiful and meaningful cultural programme. Mrs. Angela Pereira, Proprietor of Estrela Fisheries was the Chief Guest and Rev. Fr. Aurelius Rodrigues, and Rev. Fr. James Pereira was the guests of honour. The cultural programme began with a prayer dance. Fr. Andrew Silveira Director of Fr. Agnel Niketan welcomed the guests and enlightened the gathering on how Fr. Agnel Niketan is a home away from home and an abode of love and security of nearly 100 boys from various family backgrounds, religions, and orphans. He made the gathering aware of the life and activities of the boys in Fr. Agnel Niketan. A beautiful and meaningful cultural programme of songs, orchestra, Fusion Dance, Hip-Hop, was staged. An English Biblical skit, ‘The Forgiving Father’ gave a clarion message that God is a loving and forgiving Father. The guest of Honour Rev. Fr. James Pereira in his key address congratulated and lauded the efforts and humane task undertaken by the Director Rev. Fr. Andrew Silveira and his team for the pursuit of excellence and holistic development of the boys under their care. He appreciated the talents that the boys showcased in their activities and on stage. He exhorted the boys of the Niketan to explore, enhance and excel in their God given talents and skills. Prizes were awarded to the outstanding boys for their excellence in academics, art, music, co-curricular activities, sports and discipline. Master Cyrus Andrade was awarded as the best student of the year 2014-2015. A unique feature of the day was that every boy participated in the cultural programme and received a prize thus proving that everyone is talented in one field or the other. Bro. Trevor Pereira proposed the vote of thanks. The programme was compered by Masters Jackson Rodrigues and Dylan Rodrigues. The day ended with a community meal for everyone present for the occasion. During the meal Jackson, Abner, Jovino and Melvick entertained everyone with lively song renditions. The Niketan Day was enjoyable and much appreciated by everyone.
BIBLE COURSE FOR LAITY
The theme “People of God” of the second session of the Bible course for the Laity invited everyone to have an experience of God and to deepen their faith in Him. Indeed it is a relevant topic for the season of Lent which enlightens many to have an appropriate answer for their personal quest. The Laity Course has been planned for each of the four Sundays of Lent with a set topic. Liberation, Covenant, Atonement and Memorial are the four topics that are being dealt with during the course. The Professor, Fr. Max Gonsalves, makes effort to make the topics relevant to the today’s scenario with hints to make the message applicable to one’s life. Many people who are attending this Course have appreciated the professor for his meaningful lectures and explanations. The Laity Course began on Sunday 22nd February with great enthusiasm and with special interest on the part of those people who attend it.
HUMAN RIGHTS SEMINAR
The Department of Political Science, Fr. Agnel College, Pilar, organized a one-day state level seminar on ‘Human Rights of Women and Children in India’ on 25th February, 2015. The Chief Guest for the Inaugural session was Justice P.K. Misra, Chairperson, Goa State Human Rights Commission. He highlighted the exploitation faced by women in India, especially in rural areas and the violation of the rights of children in Goa, caused by tourism. The resource persons for the technical sessions were Dr. Krishna Hombal, Mysore University, Ms. Vijayshree Irrekar, Senior Programme Managaer, Arz, Ms. Anita Haladi, DM’s College, Assagao and Dr. Ranjana Ferrao, V.M. Salgaocar College of Law. The sessions were moderated by Dr. Maria Rodrigues and Ms. Louise Ann Sequeira. The Chief Guest for the valedictory session was Dr. Krishna Hombal. A total of 92 participants form 9 colleges across Goa participated in the seminar. The seminar was co-ordinated by Ms. Angela Dias e Rodrigues, Head of Department, Political Science.
ANNUAL STUDENTS’ SYMPOSIUM
On 21st February the Annual Students’ Symposium was held at the Pilar Theological College. Three of the students of theology namely Kiran Kumar, Alex Fernandes and Josly Fernandes presented their papers on each respective part of the theme of the academic year “Encounter the Lord, Experience His Joy and Evangelize.” The speakers through their accurate arguments and reflective answers left the audience spellbound. The entire symposium was ably moderated by Rev. Dr. Randal Barretto, sfx. Rev. Fr. Peter D’ Souza, the Chief Guest for the symposium in his speech remarked that the theme although occurs historically as sequence of events is mystically simultaneous in action. He also appreciated the Seminary Staff for the apt theme and the students for their reflective sharing with a vision for better evangelization.
CELEBRATION OF FEASTS
The celebration of the Feasts of St. Alphonsa and St. Sebastian by the Syro.Malabar Catholic Community of Goa has now become an annual feature on the Pilar hillock. This year too, the Feast was celebrated with the usual fervor on 8th February. On this day one gets to witness the rich culture of the Syro-Malabar Church. The day begins with beating of Drums played by a Traditional Kerala Band called “Shinkari Melam”. This year the band also included some women. At the end of the Eucharist, the Statues of St. Sebastian and St. Alphonsa are taken in procession. The ‘Muthu Kudu’ (Colorful Umbrellas) adding beauty and variety to the festival. The celebration ends with a community meal in which all participate.
ECUMENICAL PRAYER MEET HELD AT PILAR
The celebration of the Feasts of St. Alphonsa and St. Sebastian by the Syro.Malabar Catholic Community of Goa has now become an annual feature on the Pilar hillock. This year too, the Feast was celebrated with the usual fervor on 8th February. On this day one gets to witness the rich culture of the Syro-Malabar Church. The day begins with beating of Drums played by a Traditional Kerala Band called “Shinkari Melam”. This year the band also included some women. At the end of the Eucharist, the Statues of St. Sebastian and St. Alphonsa are taken in procession. The ‘Muthu Kudu’ (Colorful Umbrellas) adding beauty and variety to the festival. The celebration ends with a community meal in which all participate.
NINE DEACONS ORDAINED AT PILAR
Pilar: Nine candidates for priesthood were ordained as deacons by Archbishop-Patriarch of Goa and Daman Bishop Filipe Neri Ferrao at the Pilar Seminary Chapel on October 26. From the Nine deacons, eight belong to the Society of Pilar and one for the Diocese of Bethiah in Bihar.
Speaking on the occasion, Bishop Filipe Neri stated that the challenge is not only to believe the word of God but to live it out in our lives, surrending ourselves totally and joyfully to do God’s will whatever be the price whether people accept of betray you.
A deacon is a symbol par excellence of service of Jesus and the Church. The special duty of a deacon is service at the altar, service of the word and service of charity.
Handing the deacons the Book of Gospel, Bishop Filipe Neri stated, ‘Believe what you read, reach what you believe, and practice what you teach.’
The candidates ordained deacon include Carson Dourado (Raia), Russel Fernandes (Velim), Andy Gomes (Margao), George D’Souza (Kerim-Tiracol) and Franky Carvalho (Majorda) from Goa, Indwar Shishir and Rajen Soreng (Jharkand), and Wilson Paul (Tamil Nadu). Chemberleen Berkumans (Kerala) is for the Bethiha diocese which is under the Archdiocese of Patna.
Apart from completing graduation studies, the candidates have completed two years of Philosophy studies and four years degree in Theology. Deacons in the Catholic Church administer sacraments except Eucharist and Confession which are reserved for priests. Unlike the permanent diaconate, for the new deacons it is a final step to priesthood, to be held after completing six months of diaconate service.
Fr. Francis Carvalho, Superior General of the Society of Pilar and Fr. Anselmo De Souza, the Rector of the Pilar Seminary were present for the ceremony.
PILAR SISTERS ELECT A NEW PRESIDENT
Pilar Sisters elect a new President
Loutolim: Sr. Isabel De Souza was elected as the President of the Pilar Sisters (PSA) commonly known as Pilar Sisters at the XXII General and Elective Assembly at their Headquaters in Loutolim held on October, 28.
For the election 34 members of the PSA had gathered from October 23-30 for the General elective assembly held every two years.
Along with Sr. Isabel De Souza (Batim), the new team includes Sr. Nina Lopes (Chinchinnim) and Sr. Estelina Dias (Batim) as the first and the second councillor respectively.
Sr. Isabel, the newly elected president, has a degree in Philosophy and Theology from Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth in Pune. Sr. Isabel has been the guide of the junior sisters and has actively worked in the missions. For the last two years, one of the important responsibilities entrust to Sr. Isabel is the formulation of the new constitution in line with Societies of Apostolic Life in the Catholic Church.
Pilar Sisters Association formed on September 8, 1988 through the inspiration of the X General Chapter of the Society of Pilar as collaborators to bring the message of Jesus to the poor and marginalized specially among women and children. The Pilar Sisters are collaborating with the Pilar Fathers and other religious bodies in remote areas of India.
The Pilar Sisters presently consist of 52 members working in seven states of India viz. Goa, Nagar Haveli, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Arunachal Pradesh.
The services of the outgoing president Sr. Nina Lopes Fernandes along with Sr. Nancy Baretto and Sr. Maria Fernandes were gratefully acknowledge by the members of the General Assembly.
The 26 year old Association is completing the necessary requirements to be recognized under Societies of Apostolic Life in the Catholic Church.