Goa Church to host SCCs national convention

Registration forms are available at all parish offices or can be downloaded from the website of the Archdiocese.



The Goa Church is gearing up to host the first national convention of small Christian communities (SCCs) next month in front of the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa.
The registration for this three-day event from November 19 to 21 is in full swing and will end on October 8.
Registration forms are available at all parish offices or can be downloaded from the website of the Archdiocese.
There will be no on-the-spot registrations on November 19.
Fr. Anthony Fernandes of the diocesan organizing team said the event would see around 8,000 delegates from all over India, besides a few international delegates.
“The inaugural mass on November 19, will be celebrated by the Apostolic Nuncio, Salvatore Pennacchio, while Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India ( CBCI), will celebrate the concluding mass on November 21,” said Fernandes.
He added, “The concluding mass will also be a grand finale to the ‘Year of Faith’ that began on October 11, 2012.”
The first and last days of this three-day event will be in the pandal in front of the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa, while the second day will be in different deaneries of the Archdiocese.
The program for the three days includes community prayers, talks by accomplished speakers, testimonies, talk shows, cultural exchanges and sharing of spiritual experiences.
Small Christian communities is a grassroots movement of the Church that endeavors to build caring and serving neighborhood communities, thus paving the way for the establishment of small human communities and bringing about national integration.
Goa Church ,Panaji ,SCCs National Convention 


Mannat opposed Devotees passing through 300 years old Path. Now, Mannat comes under scrutiny.







Devotees visiting Mount Mary’s Basilica; at Bandra were prevented from using the traditional Cement road, in use since the inception of BANDRA FAIR. Various group staged a Demonstration on the site on Saturday the 14th, September, 2013 and forced Police to open the passage for public..




Even during last year it was closed and police were forced to reopen it after similar Demonstration. It has been decided that this problem needs to be nipped, once and for all.


This is the first step in that direction.


Let us all be united in our en-devour to protect our rights…and Legacy..


















English: Mount Mary Church of Bandra, Very old...

English: Mount Mary Church of Bandra, Very old Church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




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)


ASI, church lock horns over dress code in Goa

Life may be a beach, but no bikinis in Basilica please

By Cithara Paul – NEW DELHI

Published: 09th Jun 2013 11:02:48 AM

    • Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa
      Basilica of Bom Jesus in GoaIn the midst of BJP’s Goa conclave, the ASI and the world famous cathedrals in the state are once again locking horns over itsy bitsy bikinis that are a common sight in one of India’s oldest sea side destinations.

In the midst of BJP’s Goa conclave, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the world famous cathedrals in the state are once again locking horns over itsy bitsy bikinis that are a common sight in one of India’s oldest and most popular sea side destinations. The cathedrals are under the purview of ASI. The church administrators are opposed to worshippers coming to church in bikinis—a sight rare in other churches of the world. The ASI says it cannot ban the bikini. Caught in the middle is Goa’s BJP government. On the other hand, 4.5 million foreign tourists visited Goa last year; foreign exchange earnings

for the last three years were $43-57 million. The debate in Goa is whether the cathedrals are centres of worship or tourist destinations. The religion versus heritage conflict is mandating a balancing act by the state government between religious sentiments and foreign money.

The friction came to the fore after the authorities of the Basilica of Bom Jesus banned entry of tourists wearing “the” beachwear. Visitors coming to see the church are now screened and if a bikini-clad tourist appears keen on entering the 16th century baroque-style monument, they are asked to cover up with a shawl, provided by the church authorities.

The rules of exposure apply to both men and women.

“We are not stopping anyone from visiting the church. We are only saying that they will have to dress appropriately. One should not forget the fact that they are on holy premises,’’ said Fr Savio Barreto, Rector of the world famous basilica.

According to him, the church authorities were forced to take a stand following numerous complaints from believers about bikini-clad merrymakers ruining the sanctity and decorum of the religious place. “It is our duty to maintain the sanctity of this place of worship,’’ he said, insisting that no tourist had so far protested against the stricture that came into effect this month.

But the ASI is worried that the church ruling could hurt the image of Goa as a tourist destination.

“We are not denying the fact that the Basilica is a place of worship. But the church authorities should not forget the fact that it is being protected by ASI and is also one of the major tourist attractions of Goa,’’ an official said. He added that the ASI had sought the help of the political leadership to “solve” the matter as the issue was “quite sensitive.’’

So sensitive that it has put the ruling BJP government in a fix. “We are aware of the controversy. But it is a sensitive issue and has to be dealt with extra care especially because the state is ruled by a BJP government,’’ said an official with the State Tourism Department.

Goa now has a inflow of 2.6 million tourists every year. The government has already announced its plan to increase it to 6 million in the next five years by projecting it as a destination which has more than just “beaches and pubs”. Last year, revenue from foreign tourists was around `6,000 crore.

This is not the first time that the ASI and the Goan church authorities have locked horns on the same issue. Two years ago, the church authorities had threatened to ban the entry of bikini-clad tourists altogether. Then the matter was sorted out after ASI and church bodies reached an agreement allowing churches to put up signboards on dress code for visitors. However, the move did not work, as tourists continued to come to cathedrals in their beachwear, ignoring the advice on the boards to be appropriately dressed.

“We have been forced to take this decision as the signboards were not taken seriously by the tourists,’’ said a priest of the Basilica, which houses the relics of St Francis Xavier, patron saint of Goa who died in 1552. He pointed out that it is not just the churches which are trying to put a dress code in place. “A number of temples, including the Mangesh temple and Mahalsa Narayani Temple have already been doing this,’’ he said.

But ASI insists that there is no comparison between footfalls in the famous Goan cathedrals and the temples. “Moreover, they are not under the protection of ASI,’’ said the official.

In fact, bikini is an issue not just for religious institutions alone but also for ruling governments. At various points of time, successive Goan governments have moved to ban bikinis from beaches following law and order issues and pressures from local people, only to backtrack. After all, Goa’s positioning in the tourist maps as a beach destination was at stake.

Source: The Sunday Standard

Body of Saint Francis Xavier in a silver caske...

Body of Saint Francis Xavier in a silver casket of Basilica of Bom Jésus in Goa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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