Mangaluru, Dec 22, 2018: 58th Death Anniversary of the Servant of God Mgr RFC Mascarenhas and Founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany was commemorated in St Sebastian Church, Bendur on the 22nd Dec. 2018 with the Eucharistic celebration.
Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha Bishop of Mangalore Diocese along with 15 priests concelebrated the Eucharist. A large number of people- lay faithful, relatives of the Servant of God, Bethany Sisters, Bethany Lay Associates, staff and students participated in the Eucharist.
Sr Dona BS at the introduction welcomed the gathered congregation and briefed on the importance of the day.
Rev. Fr Gregory D’Souza, OCD preached a meaningful and inspiring homily based on the day’s Word of God. He highlighted like Anna in the OT and B. V. Mary in the NT we should live gratefully and humbly. He recalled the memory of seeing the Servant of God, and focused on how the Servant of God discerned the will of God in his life and like Moses consecrated himself to free the poor, illiterate, ignorant people especially girls of his time and became ‘Father of the poor’. He lived for the poor, for the church and for the Word of God; now he continues his mission through the Congregation of the Bethany Sisters. Fr Gregory emphasised that to be a Christian is to live gratefully and humbly and that is to live for the church as the Servant of God did.
Sr Mariette BS proposed vote of thanks to Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha, the individual priests, especially Fr Gregory D’Souza, OCD for his inspiring homily, relatives of the Servant of God, religious and the faithful for their participation and prayer in honour of the Servant of God. She appreciated the melodious choir that made the celebration eventful. She acknowledged the services of the parochial priests, sacristan and others.
At the conclusion of the Mass Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha, Rev. Sr Rose Celine, Superior General of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany and Rev. Fr Vincent Monteiro the Parish Priest of Bendur laid wreathes on the tomb of the Servant of God. Prayer was made to God to raise the Servant of God to the honours of the altar and the choir sang a Konkani song composed by Rev. Fr Nelson D’Almeida in honour of the Servant of God.
It was followed by relasing of three books: 1. ‘A Treasury of Pearls’ sayings of the Servant of God compiled by Sr Miriam BS. It was released by his Excellency Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha. 2. The Konkani translation of the same book by Mr Gilbert Miranda was released by Rev. Sr Rose Celine BS., and 3. The book ‘Unless the Seed Die’ authored by late Sr Violette BS, now translated into French by Sr Ignatia BS was released by Mrs (Dr) Lourdes Prabhu grand niece of the Servant of God.
At the end all the assembled faithful were served cold drink and snacks.