Basilica to remove volunteers posted to check indecently dressed

The word has gone out through the guides and others that one needs to dress modestly when entering the Basilica, said the rector.

Panaji:  The Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa is planning to withdraw volunteers posted outside the historic church to offer a shawl to the ‘inappropriately’ clad. Since they were first posted two years ago, volunteers seem to have achieved the desired result and will now be withdrawn shortly, according to the Basilica’s guardians. “Volunteers do not need to stand there anymore as a rule every day. The word has gone out through the guides and others that one needs to dress modestly when entering the Basilica,” said Fr. Savio Baretto, rector of the Basilica. “The tourists know about the shawls. The needed awareness has been created and tourists now prefer to come modestly dressed to avoid being given a shawl later. The volunteers will be withdrawn soon as the necessary purpose has mostly been achieved,” said the priest. He said when officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) raised fears that posting of the volunteers may affect the inflow of tourists, Basilica officials had made it clear that the arrangement was only a temporary measure. “We have orally conveyed to ASI as well that it is not a permanent feature. I am happy now that we do not get the kind of skimpily-dressed tourists, mostly foreigners, as before,” said the Basilica rector. “I am not comfortable with the giving of shawls myself. But then no other church gets people dressed like that,” he added. He admitted that the volunteers posted were often from parishes in villages of Goa and what they had to say was often lost-in-translation when handing out a shawl to a foreign tourist. The move of posting the volunteers had received wide appreciation from Goans from across the religious spectrum and the Basilica had been heaped with such mails in 2011, the Basilica rector added. “It wasn’t a code as such, as everyone called it. The main aim behind handing out the shawls was to create awareness that one needs to come appropriately dressed as we have the blessed sacrament preserved in the church and it is the presence of God for us, which needs to be respected,” he said. The church officials said the decision was not implemented overnight, as it might seem to many, but the church had been considering ways of curbing skimpily-dressed visitors from entering the sacred home of God for five years before the volunteers were posted. Source: times of india

Basiica Of Bom Jesus , Old Goa , Volunteers , Fr. Savio Baretto 

Church authorities at Old Goa asked to be vigilant

Old Goa is a well-frequented archaeological and historical site.


Against the backdrop of the Bodh Gaya blasts, the Goa division of the archaeological survey of India (ASI) has alerted its staff and asked church authorities to closely monitor the movements of tourists in and around the various heritage monuments at Old Goa.

Old Goa, as an important spiritual pilgrimage centre for Catholics and other faiths, and as a well-frequented archaeological and historical site, draws thousands of visitors every day.

ASI oversees the conservation and maintenance of the monuments-comprising a few churches, convents and other archaeological remains-at the world heritage complex.

A few, especially the Basilica of Bom Jesus and Se Cathedral are living monuments, where religious services are held. The House of Professed, adjoining the Basilica, is used by the clergy as a residential quarter.

“The church authorities should monitor the movements of each and every visitor within the premises and its surroundings,” said Ramesh S Mulimani, superintending archaeologist, ASI, Goa.

While ASI has written to the local church authorities, its officials also called on the police top brass at the Panaji headquarters and requested for increased patrolling at the world heritage complex.

The monuments are heavily thronged throughout the day by tourists.

The ASI staff and security personnel posted at every site have been requested to be extra vigilant, while the ASI has also appealed to authorities and citizens to extend their cooperation in protecting the heritage properties.

“It is every citizen’s prime duty to safeguard the cultural assets and to ensure upkeep of the monuments for future generations,” said Mulimani.

The church authorities at the Basilica have also made a case for strengthening of the security systems at the church complex.

“A few policemen are sent after some incident, but everything goes back to normal after a few days,” recalled Fr Savio Baretto, rector, Basilica of Bom Jesus.

He added that the necessity of electronic surveillance systems cannot be overstressed.

“There should be CCTVs, but more guards should also be posted,” said the priest.

A proposal for electronic surveillance was talked about some time back, but there was no follow up.

“We are working on a proposal for installing electronic surveillance,” the ASI chief said.

Source: Times of India

Old Goa , Archaeological Survey Of India , ASI 
English: no original description

English: no original description (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Goa church miffed with ASI’s move to remove paintings

The paintings have apparently been taken away for restoration.



The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has angered the authorities of an ancient church in Old Goa for allegedly removing paintings without informing them while carrying out restoration work in the church premises.

The paintings have apparently been taken away for restoration as Se Cathedral is getting ready for the decennial exposition of relics of St Francis Xavier, scheduled next year.

Fr Leonard Correia, parish priest of Se Cathedral, the country’s largest church, wrote a letter to ASI officials last week claiming that the paintings were removed from various corners and altars without informing him or parishioners.

One of the parishioners on basis of anonymity said that the biblical paintings are priceless and there should be some responsibility on the part of the ASI to inform church authorities before removing them.

Fr. Correia in his letter to ASI, a copy of which is also marked to Archbishop Felipe Neri Ferrao of Goa and Daman said that “there is no coordination between ASI and church authorities when such important step is being taken (of taking away the paintings).”

The ASI should have begun the restoration work much earlier as one-and-half year is left for the decennial exposition, considered as one of the biggest religious celebration for Catholics, the parishioner said.

“The slabs are falling. There are places where wall paintings have caved in. ASI should immediately start the work by consulting the church authorities,” he said.

The church is known for its Portuguese-Manueline architectural style. Its construction began in 1562 and completed in 1619.

Source: business standard

Goa , ASI , Paintings , St Francis Xavier , Se Cathedral


Voyages of St. Francis Xavier, a Catholic miss...

Voyages of St. Francis Xavier, a Catholic missionary who preached in Malacca (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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