By Fr Richard DSouza
Dec 5 : The fourth/final day of the annual feast of St Joseph Vaz Shrine was celebrated with great devotion on December 1st, 2019. At 9: 45 am Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, the Bishop of Mangalore was given an affectionate welcome. After which he distributed the “murdom” candles to all the donors and to the Parish Pastoral Council recognizing their services for the last three years. At 10:30 am he concelebrated the solemn Holy Eucharist. Being first Sunday of the Advent, Bishop beautifully explained the importance of this season. He reflected on the first and final coming of Jesus. Particularly this season instills in every faithful a strong hope that Christ will come to bring God’s love to everyone. Moreover, he gave us a call to be zealous missionary like St Joseph Vaz who was a missionary disciple and who lived the Gospel concretely.
Fr Benjamin Pinto, the Rector of St Joseph Vaz Shrine thanked the bishop profusely for his constant support and guidance. He expressed his gratitude to all those who worked for the smooth functioning of the annual feast. Mr Roshan D’Souza, Vice-President Parish Pastoral Parishad, Mr Marcel D’Souza, Secretary honoured the Bishop. Pilgrims experienced a spiritual atmosphere through intercessory prayer, adoration and sacrament of reconciliation. Rev. Fr J. B Saldanha, the dean of St Joseph Vaz deanary and guest priests were present. Fr Vijay Machado, Director, Mangala Jyothi animated the liturgy of the annual feast. Meals were provided to all the pilgrims. Around 3,500 people participated in the solemn Eucharistic celebration.
At 4.00 pm solemn mass in Kannada was celebrated by Most Rev. Dr Lawrence Mukkuzhy, Bishop of Belthangady. Concluding mass of the annual feast was celebrated by Rt. Rev. Msgr Maxim L. Noronha, Vicar General of Mangalore diocese. After the Eucharistic celebration, the Shrine flag lowered and then handed to the Rector Rev. Fr Benjamin Pinto. About half a lakh people participated in the four days of annual feast celebration. The dates for the annual feast of the Shrine for the year 2020 were announced : December 3 to 6, 2020.