March 26 : It was a joyous event for the entire parish of Holy Cross Church, Cordel to receive Bishop Most Rev. Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha for the Pastoral Visit from 20th March to 22nd March 2021. Rev Fr. Victor Machado the Parish Priest, Fr. Lawrence Cutinha, Fr. Shaun Rodrigues, Assistant Parish priests, Dn Ivan Dsouza, Mr. Michael Dsouza Vice President, Mr. Lancy Sequeira, Secretary Parish Pastoral Council, Fr Walter Mendonca SVD along with newly First holy communicants, Altar Servers, ICYM, YCS members, representatives from various Associations of the parish and a large number of parishioners accorded a cordial welcome to the Bishop Most Rev. Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha with a flower bouquet and later through a grand procession accompanied him to the serene ambience of the well decorated Holy Cross Church, Cordel at 4.30pm on 20th March 2021. The parishioners assembled in large numbers to witness this three days’ historical event. After the formal welcome, the Bishop Concelebrated the Holy Mass at 5pm with all the priests of the parish and the Deacon.Therafter he visited the cemetery, blessed and offered prayers. Later at 7.00pm he had a meeting with Parish Pastoral Council and the day was concluded with a dinner with them.

On 21st March 2021, Sunday at 7 am Bishop addressed the entire Parish Community, conducted catechism for the parishioners on church teachings and then concelebrated the Holy Mass, inaugurated the “Amoris Laetitia Family Year “at the parish level with the logo on the theme, " Family: A Gift of God, Cradle of Love and Faith ". The inauguration was done by two representative families of the parish Mr. Stany and Mrs. Shobha Rebello with their children Shain and Sweedal, and Mr. Alwyn and Mrs.Anitha Noronha.

At 9.00 am he conducted catechism for the children followed by Holy Mass. At 10.30 am he met the parents of the seminarians of the parish, Dn. Ronson Pinto and Br. Joel Monteiro. At 11 am the Bishop had meetings with various associations of the parish viz. Altar Servers, YCS, ICYM, SVP, Legion of Mary, Franciscan Third Order and Catechism Teachers. At 4.00 pm he visited the sick of the parish offered prayers and gave Communion. They are Christine Lobo (100years) of Lourdes ward, John Baptist Lobo of St, Jude ward and Mr. Denis Dsouza of Emmanuel ward. Later at 5.00 pm he participated in the Small Christian Community (SCC) meeting at Niddle Lower, Mercy ward under the leadership of the Gurkar Praveen Sequeira. He interacted with the ward members gathered in the ward and appreciated their interest. At 6.30 pm he had a meeting with the Finance Committee members and joined with them for dinner.

On Monday the 22nd March he offered Holy Mass at 6.30 am at Little Sisters of Poor Convent, interacted with the Sisters and met the elderly inmates cared for by the Sisters. Later in the morning he visited the RMI Convent and White Doves Ashram. At 10 am he visited St Joseph Higher Primary School, St. Joseph High School and Sacred Heart School. He interacted with the Principal, teachers and students. At 12 noon visited the Santa Cruz Convent and after lunch the Pastoral Visit was concluded with a Prayer Service. Thereafter the Bishop returned to the Bishop’s House.

The Pastoral Visit was an event of unique experience for the whole Parish, which has enabled the people to express their unity and faith. We hope and pray that this visit will enable the parishioners to live a committed Christian life in the years to come.

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