On 9th November, the serene ambience of our Church wore a festive look with colourful flags. With hearts filled with glee, the Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Anil DMello along with Parish Community accorded a warm, genial and hospitable welcome to the Most Rev. Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha our dear Bishop with bouquet of flowers and with the Guard of Honour by the symphonic rhythm of Brass Band.
The Parishioners assembled in large number to witness this historic event i.e., the Pastoral Visit by our bishop and proceeded to the church in procession singing the hymn ‘Jezu Borya Govlya’ followed by the ceremony of the pastoral visit, conducted by the Parish Priest. Prayers were offered for Bishop as well as for the Universal Church. Bishop then addressed the confirmands and quizzed them on “Confirmed in the Spirit”, “Confirmed in Discipleship”, “Confirmed in Holiness”.
He then celebrated the Holy Eucharist along with Rev. Fr. Anil DMello and Rev. Fr.Rohan Lobo (secretary to the Bishop) during which he administered the sacrament of confirmation to 56 children of the Parish. In his homily the Bishop reminded the parents of their duties to ensure that these young children are trained in prayer and in the basic elements of the faith that are included in the creeds and vividly explicated the different ways to practise and grow in faith. After the Mass he visited the aged and sick in their homes and prayed for them.
On 10th November, Bishop addressed the entire Parish Community and elucidated the meaning, origin of the terms ‘Church’ and ‘Catholic’. He then spoke about the practical ways to enhance our faith, the ways and means we can be witness to Christ and our calling to attain sainthood. Holy Mass was then offered by the Bishop along with the faithful. The last two articles of Catholic Faith namely, ‘The Resurrection of the Body’ and in ‘Life Everlasting’ were beautifully exemplified in the homily of the Bishop. At the end of the Mass, an honorary citation to the Bishop was read by our Parish Priest Rev. Fr.Anil DMello. After the Mass, Bishop blessed the parish graves thereafter organized an informal meeting with the families of priests and religious of the parish.
His inspiring and invigorating message to the members of each association of the Parish: Altar boys, Marian Sodality, The Secular Franciscan Order, ICYM, The core committee of Small Christian Community, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Catholic Sabha and Choir group was indeed commendable. Bishop met members of the Parish Pastoral Council and articulated their role in the progress of the Parish.
Then at 3.45 pm Bishop visited the Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross Convent. Thereafter at 4.30 pm he attended SCC meeting in the Holy Family Ward. At 6 pm the Parish Priest Fr.Anil DMello, Brother Ivan Cordeiro, Parish Pastoral Council Members and the faithful bid farewell to the Bishop.
It was an awesome experience to have our shepherd amidst us for two days and indeed the visit of the Bishop to our Parish was a blessing.