Church to let go institutional approach



It was felt during the first convention of the small Christian communities.




(Photo: newsofgoa)


The Indian Church is considering a paradigm shift from an institutional approach to a Church of communion with people following the successful completion of the first national convention of the small Christian communities (SCC).

“This is the beauty of SCCs, as the church is experienced more as a communion than hierarchy. And that is the paradigm shift we want to make from an institution to church of communion,” said Fr. Anthony Fernandes, a Goa diocesan organizing team (GDOT) member.

The event held from Nov. 19 to 21 in Goa brought together the country’s cultural diversity in a unique bonding exercise over faith and other things when a 2,000 outstation delegates participated with about 5,000 local ones.

“Many of the bishops came back with a sense of joy after their personal encounters with people as a result of their visits to the parishes and even parishioners’ homes,” Fr. Fernandes said.

Taking stock of the three-day event, church leaders said the occasion and organization of event was a journey of growth and learning.

Fr Leonardo Souza, GDOT convener, said the presence of Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, CBCI president Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishops and bishops, hundreds of priests and sisters and over 7,000 active lay animators, affirm that SCCs now occupy a central place for a new way of being the Church and that the Church in India intends to promote SCCs as home and school of communion for the 21st century.

It was also a rich cultural interaction as the guests stayed with Goan families and enjoyed their hospitality.

Church leaders said an event of this magnitude with representatives from 140 dioceses from the length and breadth of the country was held for the first time.

“Goa had the privilege of hosting it and it is a big achievement in itself that we were up to the mark,” Fernandes said.

“We carry with us happy memories of gathering all over Goa, celebrating the Eucharist joyfully with people, visiting families, participating in the gospel sharing and exchange of experiences and partaking of a meal with them,” Fr. Souza said.

National services team (NST), which was responsible for the organization of the event, has expressed satisfaction after a post-event evaluation.

“We will have a similar program soon at the regional level,” said NST secretary Fr. Vijay Thomas.

Source: Times of India


Indian Church ,Small Christian Community ,Panaji , Institutional Approach 



English: Alcove with crucifix in Portuguese co...

English: Alcove with crucifix in Portuguese colonial church, Panaji (Panjim), Goa, India. July 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Blessed Vaz’s canonization reaches crucial stage



Archbishop Ferrao expressed the hope that it may happen shortly.





Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa, Daman and Diu has said that the process for canonization of Blessed Joseph Vaz has reached a crucial stage as one of the miracles submitted for his cause has been accepted as worthy of study by the Vatican.

The archbishop conveyed the good news to the small gathering during the Eucharistic service celebrated outside the Archbishop’s House at Altinho on Monday evening.

Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio was present and blessed the statues of Blessed Vaz and Blessed John Paul II that were installed in the compound.

The church in Goa has a reason to believe that the canonization of Blezzed Vaz may not be far and Archbishop Ferrao expressed the hope that it may happen shortly.

Bishop Vianney Fernando of Kandy (Sri Lanka) has communicated to the Goa church regarding the recent development in the canonization process.

Blessed Vaz, a saintly Goan priest who lived over 300 years ago traveled to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) ministering to the Catholics in that country.

A group has petitioned for the expedition of his canonization as a native saint of India and Sri Lanka.

Archbishop Ferrao urged the faithful to pray for the canonization of Blessed Vaz, referring to him as a stalwart of the Catholic faith.

The process to sainthood has different stages.

“A candidate for sainthood is first declared servant of God, then venerable and then blessed. In the final process, he or she is declared a saint and is numbered as a saint of the universal church,” a church leader said.

Following his beatification in 1995, Blessed Vaz was made the patron of the archdiocese of Goa and Daman.

The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka has also been petitioning the Vatican for Blessed Vaz’s canonization through the national secretariat of the cause for his canonization.

Source: Times of India


Blessed Joseph Vaz , Canonization , Goa 



The Sé de Santa Catarina Cathedral in Old Goa ...

The Sé de Santa Catarina Cathedral in Old Goa (Goa, India). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




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 


Media speculate on Pope’s visit next year, at St. Francis Xavier’s Exposition:



The Pope is expected to attend the exposition of St Francis Xavier’s remains in Goa.




New Delhi: 

Speculation is rife in Indian media over a possible visit of Pope Francis to India by the end of next year.

The Jesuit pope “might visit India” in November 2014 and is expected to attend the exposition of St Francis Xavier’s mortal remains in Goa, said

The site based its report on unmanned “sources in the Catholic Church.” It also said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) says it is “not aware of any such plan” of papal visit.

Quoting Archbishop of Bombay Cardinal Oswald Gracias some Malayalam newspapers are saying that the Pope may visit India.

Cardinal Gracias is also the President of Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) and a part of the Pope’s advisory counsel.

In April and July some newspapers quoted officials of Bom Jesu cathedral to say that pope could visit the Goa cathedral, where Jesuit saint’s mortal remains are kept.

The exposition of St Francis Xavier is also happening in Nov 22, 2014 to Jan 4, 2015. The dates were announced on Wednesday.

Next year also marks 50 years since Pope John VI, who had addressed a ‘Eucharistic Congress’ in 1964 in Mumbai.

The last Pope to visit India was the Pope John Paul II. He made two official visits to India during his papacy.

India has about 20 million Catholics, whose supreme religious leader is the Pope.

The earlier visits of the Pope to India were opposed by the right wing Hindu groups like the RSS and VHP.

Source: UCAN News


Pope Francis , Xavier Exposition , India Visit , Bom Jesu 



The Vision of St Francis Xavier

The Vision of St Francis Xavier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)





Dates for St. Francis Xavier’s exposition announced:

The relics will be kept open for veneration of the faithful for 44 days.

File photo (Photo courtesy:


Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa Daman and Diu announced the dates of the decennial exposition of the sacred relics of Goa’s patron saint, St Francis Xavier.

The exposition at Old Goa will be held next year from November 22, 2014, till January 4, 2015.

The archbishop issued the decree confirming the holding of the solemn event, which was last held in November 2004-January2005, in conformity with a long-standing practice followed by the archdiocese.

The relics will be kept open for veneration of the faithful for 44 days.

A committee to prepare for the exposition, which draws hundreds and thousands of pilgrims from various parts of the country and the world, will be constituted soon.

“The organizing committee will take charge of the preparations and draw up the whole plan once it is formed,” a source at the bishop’s place said.

Declining to comment further, the source said it is too early to provide more details, as the committee will work out the modalities.

The sacred relics of the Spanish saint are taken in a ceremonial procession from its resting place in the mausoleum in Basilica of Bom Jesus across the church complex to the more spacious Se Cathedral for veneration during the exposition.

More than 2.25 million faithful, cutting across religious lines, venerated the relics during the last exposition.

The Basque saint was born in Navarre, Spain, on April 7, 1506, and arrived in Goa on May 6, 1542. After missionary work in India and other countries, he died on December 3, 1552, on the Sancian island on his way to China.

Pope Paul V beatified him on October 25, 1619, and Pope Gregory XV canonized him in 1622.

Source: times of India

St. Francis Xavier , Exposition , Old Goa 
English: Vestaments of St. Francis Xavier on d...

English: Vestaments of St. Francis Xavier on display in Bom Jesus Basilica, Velha Goa, Goa. ગુજરાતી: Garments of St. Francis Xavier on display. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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