SCCs can transform society: Cardinal Gracias

The SCCs have the power to transform the Church from an inward looking community to an outreaching Church, he said.

Old Goa:

Cardinal Oswald Gracias has said that living a life of love is an authentic living of Christian faith and small Christian communities leading a genuine life can bring about society’s transformation.

“The SCCs have the power to transform the Church from an inward looking community to an outreaching church through a life of love,” Cardinal Gracias said while delivering the homily during the Eucharistic celebration on Nov. 21 outside the Basilica of Bom Jesus.

The celebration also marked the conclusion of the first national convention of small Christian communities (SCCs).

The third-day program shifted back to Old Goa after 2,000 outstation delegates, including bishops, priests and the laity held a day-long interaction with local parishioners at the deanery and parish level in Goa.

The cardinal, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), said SCCs are the primary locus and means of national integration, ushering in truth, honesty, justice, human rights and dignity, good governance, eco-care and eco-justice in society.

The event that brought to a close the Year of Faith for the Church in India saw the faithful from different parishes come in a rally and join the delegates during the closing function.

While acknowledging the Church’s contribution in the fields of education, healthcare and social service, Bishop Thomas Dabre, president of the National Service Team for SCC, challenged the faithful and the leadership to offer resources to the Church for the service of society.

Source: times of india

SCC , Small Christian Communities , Cardinal Oswald Gracias 


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 


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)

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)


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