By Fr Richard D’Souza
Dec. 8: The Second day of the annual feast of St Joseph Vaz Shrine was celebrated with great pomp and solemnity here in the Shrine on December 7, 2018. At 10: 00 am Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, the Bishop of Mangalore was given an affectionate and calorous welcome at the entrance of the shrine with the sound of brass band and flowers. At 10:30 am he concelebrated the Holy Eucharist along with the priests of St Joseph Vaz deanary and other guest priests. In his homily reflecting on the theme “St Joseph Vaz inspiration for Holy life”, bishop basing himself on the Apostolic Exhortation of pope Francis Gaudete et exsultate ( Rejoice and be glad) called each one to practice to live a holy life in our day to day living. Infact, holiness is practiced at home. The beatitudes which Evangelist Mathew narrates depict eight faces of holiness. He affirmed that as St Joseph Vaz became the salt of the earth we Christians must give taste to our life and also to that of others. He expressed his wish and prayer that, may the Church of Mangalore give a saint to the Universal church a Saint in the future.
As a Bishop, this being the first visit to St Joseph Shrine, Fr Benjamin Pinto, the Rector of the Shrine along with the Shrine committee and honoured the Bishop. He was presented with a jackfruit sapling which he planted in the garden which is placed at the front of the shrine. There is something remarking about this jackfruit sapling. This sapling is from the jackfruit tree which St Joseph Vaz, the “Holy Son of Goa” used to play under, climb down from the window to visit the Blessed Sacrament in Cortalim Church quietly during the nights. Fr Benjamin Pinto, the Rector of St Joseph Vaz Shrine, V. Rev. Fr J. B Saldanha, the dean of St Joseph Vaz deanary, Fr Felix Noronha, Deacon Shaun Rodrigues, denary priests, guest priests, religious and a sea of faithful participated in the solemn festal mass. Mr Roshan D’Souza, the Vice-President of Parish Pastoral Parishad and Mr Marcel D’Souza, the Secretary were present. Fr Vijay Machado, the director of Mangala Jyothi compered the entire liturgy meticulously. After the mass, food was served for all the pilgrims.