Fr Elvis Fernandes
PILAR: His Eminence Archbishop Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferrao, Archbishop of Goa and Daman during his homily at the Eucharistic celebration on the occasion of the 96th Death Anniversary of Venerable Agnelo D’souza, on Monday, at Pilar, urged the devotees to “emulate Venerable Agnelo in your journey of faith”.
Cardinal Ferrão, President of Conference of Catholic Bishops of India, presided over the Eucharistic celebration along with Archbishop Anil Couto (Archbishop of Delhi), Bishop Alex Dias Sfx (Bishop Emeritus Diocese of Port Blair), Fr Nazareth Fernandes Sfx (Superior General, Society of Pilar), Fr Joseph Fernandes, Sfx (Central Delegate Superior, Pilar Society), Fr Randall Barretto Sfx, Deacon Denzyl Pereira Sfx, Deacon Lelwin Pereira Sfx , Deacon Randall D’Souza, Sfx and 45 priests as co-celebrants.
“Our Call to holiness begins on the day of our baptism. Through baptism, we received our Faith in the triune God and we became the Children of God, brothers and sisters of Jesus, living temples of the Holy Spirit. Therefore our Journey of faith begins on the day of our baptism,” said Cardinal Ferrao.
Quoting the teachings of St Paul, His Eminence said that “on the day of our Baptism, we became sharers in the death and resurrection of Jesus,” and that “we have put on Christ and in Jesus we have become a new creation”.
Reflecting on the Gospel reading of Jesus encountering with His disciples on the road to Emmaus, His Eminence exhorted the congregation to deepen their relationship with the Eucharistic Lord by spending time with Him, proclaiming his teaching through personal life and enriching one’s spiritual journey.
Archbishop Dominic Lumon (Archbishop, Imphal Archdiocese, Manipur) presided over the English Mass, while the other Masses throughout the day were presided over by Fr Ivo Fernandes sfx (Director, Fr Agnelo Seminary, Batim), Fr Edson Fernandes (Parish Priest of Nagoa-Salcete), Fr Milton Rodrigues Sfx (Professor, Fr Agnel College, Pilar), Fr George Nandiyala Sfx, Fr Miguel Pereira (Pastoral Institute, Old Goa) and Fr Nelson Sequeira (Patriarchal Seminary of Rachol).
Speaking on the occasion, Fr Nazareth Fernandes, Superior General of the Society of Pilar, said devotees often inquire about the process of beatification. “The process of beatification is a lengthy process and the miracle which was attributed to the intercession of Ven Agnelo, and was sent to Rome, is now studied by the doctors,” he said. The Superior General also recalled what he has informed last year that the process of the case has begun, and requested the devotees to pray unceasingly during this period.
Fr Ivo Fernandes was the liturgical commentator and Fr Diogo D’Souza Sfx (Professor, All India Mission Seminary, Pilar) animated the liturgy. Fr Russel Fernandes Sfx (Director, Pre-Novitiate, Pilar) led the liturgical choir. Fr Joseph Fernandes Sfx (Central Delegate Superior) thanked the gathering.
Venerable Agnelo de Souza, a priest from the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman and a distinguished member of the Society of Pilar, was born on January 21, 1869, in Anjuna. The process for his canonization is presently underway in Rome. Novena masses, conducted in both Konkani and English, took place from November 11 to 19, dedicating each day to specific intentions such as youth, family, priests and religious, children and vocation, civil leaders, mission, sick, environment, and laity. These novena masses were also conducted in Hindi, Tamil, and Malayalam. A night vigil service was conducted by Bro Edmund and his team of Crusaders of Jesus with Mary.