The Managing Committee of the Holy Cross Oratory organized the traditional Novena Services every evening from 22nd April 2017 onwards culminating in the Feast Day Celebrations on Monday, 1st May 2017. Daily, young Prayer Leaders led the well attended services on the recital of the Rosary [dedicating each decade for a particular intention], the litany of Our Lady of the Rosary, litany of the Cross and litany of St. Roque [patron saint of the Village who had protected the residents from the scourge of the deadly plague that ravaged Bombay]. Boiled gram was distributed by helpful aunties and on Vespers evening ragda puri as a generous treat from an uncle.
On Monday, 1st May 2017, a large gathering of over 350 residents, friends and well wishers gathered in the village center around the altar on a stage, with a backdrop and under a canopy of decorative lights leading to the illuminated Holy Cross Oratory. The Celebrant – Reverend Father Shavito Correia [St. John the Evangelist Church and Judge at the Ecclesiastical Court, Archbishop’s House] wended his way from the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, “Eymard Cottage”, behind the altar server holding aloft the Relic of the True Cross, to the bedecked altar to the melodious strains of that beautiful hymn “The World You ave Made Is A Beautiful World”.Have Made Is A Beautiful World”. Father Shavito, In a very inspiring and thought provoking homily expressed his happiness of being invited and welcomed in Matharpacady Village as he was born and resided in nearby Dockyard, comparing it to Jesus welcome in Capernaum. He expressed his joy at his homecoming to celebrate the 142nd Anniversary Holy Mass for the families in the village and of the neighbourhood. He repeatedly stressed on the many values and benefits of the family drawing inspiration from the holy family of Mother Mary, St. Joseph and Jesus. He spoke of the need of each family member being a conscious and active participant in building and strengthening family bonds by making and finding time to be together, speak and discuss matters with one another, pray together and share a meal as a family. Father Shavito spoke of the both the very visible and hidden dangers posed by the rapid advances of information technology, social media and networking whereby individuals and laity, and even the clergy, are glued to their mobiles and smartphones, and have no tine to share and grow in family needs and relationships and thus sadly have gone astray. He reiterated that at this Eucharistic Feast Mass all of us should pray fervently and invoke the blessings of our Risen Lord to guide us, protect us and bless all our family members to follow in the footsteps of His family. Father Shavito blessed the congregation with the Relic of the True Cross as Holy Mass ended. The President, Mrs. Carole Viegas expressed the deep gratitude to Father Shavito on behalf of the Managing Committee, as well as our thanks to Father Frank Fernandes, Parish Priest, Rosary Church.
Families made their way to the Oratory to kiss and venerate the Relic of the True Cross, and thereafter collect their refreshment box of tasty goodies. Folk mingled around center stage exchanging feast day greetings and settled down for two games of bingo and an endearing entertainment program staged by young children. Feedback from residents and friends said that the Holy Mass and inspiring homily were meaningful and the celebrations most enjoyable.
Tyronne Concescio, Honorary Secretary, Holy Cross Committee
Photographs courtesy : Stan Baptista