Sep 19 : It was indeed a joyous and memorable event for the entire parish of Infant Mary Church, Bajjodi to receive Bishop of Mangalore, Most Rev. Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha for the Pastoral visit on 16th and 17th September 2021.

The Priests from Infant Mary Parish, Vice President Mr. Prakash Saldanha, Secretary Mrs. Irene Pinto, Coordinator Mr. Joseph Mascarenhas, members of the Parish Council, Altar Servers, Choir members, Sisters of OSS community,  representatives  from different associations,  St. Joseph’s Monastery Friars and brothers, Parishioners along with the 54 Confirmation candidates gathered at OSS Convent at 3.15pm on the 16th of September to receive the Bishop and gave him a warm welcome. The gathering then accompanied His Excellency to the new serene ambience of the well decorated Infant Mary Church, Bajjodi and was welcomed with Flowers by 12 First Holy Communicants dressed in white at the entrance of the Church.

A meaningful prayer service was held in the church where the Bishop gave teaching on Indulgence. Thereafter at 4.15 pm, the Bishop conducted catechism on sacrament of confirmation for the 54 candidates of the parish who were to receive the sacrament of confirmation. At 5.15pm Holy Eucharist was celebrated by the Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha along with Rev. Fr. Rohan Lobo, Bishop's Secretary; Rev. Fr. Charles Serrao, Director, St. Joseph Monastery; Rev. Fr. Lancy Lewis, Rev. Fr. Jocy Dsouza, Rev. Fr. Rudolph Pinto, Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Ivan Dsouza, Rev. Fr. Patrick Lobo, Rev. Fr. Rayan Pinto. During the mass, the Sacrament of Confirmation was conferred by the Bishop to the 54 candidates of the parish. After the solemn Eucharist, the Bishop prayed for the departed members of the parish.

Thereafter at 7.00 pm, the Bishop had a meeting with the Finance committee and Parish Pastoral Council where all the reports of the work done during the past five years were presented and some issues related to the parish were brought to the attention of the Bishop. Bishop interacted with all the members and gave his inputs and suggestions on various issues.

On 17th September 2021, at 8.15am Bishop addressed the entire parish community, conducted catechism for the parishioners on church teachings and then celebrated the Holy mass. Fr. Rohan Lobo, Parish priest Fr. Ivan Dsouza, Fr Patrick Lobo and Fr. Rayan Pinto concelebrated the Eucharist. After the mass Bishop had a meeting with the parents of the religious and the religious heads of the parish.

At 10.45am, the Bishop had meetings with the various associations of the parish - Altar servers, YCS, ICYM, SVP, Legion of Mary, OCDS and Catechism teachers. Mrs. Irene Pinto presented a brief report of five years. All the associations presented their reports for the past five years and the Bishop appreciated everyone for their active involvement in the association activities. Bishop interacted with each of the group with his views, suggestions and advice. The Bishop was then felicitated for completing three years as the Bishop of Mangalore Diocese.

At 3.00pm the Bishop visited the sick of the parish, offered prayers and gave them communion. Later at 3.30 pm, he visited the OSS Sisters convent and interacted with them.  Soon after at 4pm, he participated in the Small Christian Community (SCC) meeting of St. Joseph ward at the church hall under the leadership of Gurkar Mr. John Dsouza. He interacted with the ward members gathered for the meeting and appreciated their interest. Pastoral visit was concluded with a prayer service. Thereafter the Bishop returned to the Bishop's house.

The Pastoral visit was a unique experience for the entire parish, which enabled the people to express their faith and belongingness to the Church. They hope and pray that this visit will enable them to live a committed Christian life in the years to come.

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