As part of the Centenary Celebrations of the founding of St. Lawrence Parish in Moodubelle, the Parish Council under the able guidance" />
Moodubelle, March 9: As part of the Centenary Celebrations of the founding of St. Lawrence Parish in Moodubelle, the Parish Council under the able guidance of Fr. Joswey Fernandes, the parish priest, has chalked out a number of programmes throughout the Centenary Year. The journey of the pilgrim statue of St. Lawrence to different Wards of the parish is already in progress. In order to build up the parish community from the grass root level, that is the Ward, a training programme of the Small Christian Communities (SCC) was organised in the Parish Hall on Sunday, 7th March 2010 from 9 am to 1.30 pm. Rev. Fr. Gilbert D’Souza, the Director of the Small Christian Communities in the Mangalore Diocese was the chief resource person for this training programme.
Following the 7.30 am Mass, around 200 parishioners from 22 Wards registered their names at the entrance of the hall and had breakfast. At about 9.15 am, the Holy Bible was brought in ceremonially and placed on a specially prepared table with respect and veneration. Meanwhile, the hymn in Hindi-“Vachan Tera Prabhu....” was sung with devotion. Henry Fernandes, the Vice President of the Parish Council read out a passage from the Gospel, thus commencing the training programme by meditating on the ‘Word of God’, which according to Fr. Gilbert D’Souza should be the centre of all our spiritual and social activities.
In his welcome address, Fr. Joswey Fernandes emphasised the fact that in the Centenary Year of the parish it is very important to strengthen the Small Christian Communities. He expressed his happiness that Fr. Gilbert D’Souza, an eminent preacher has come as the resource person to train the gurkars, representatives and other selected members of the wards. He further said that faith is the greatest gift of God and it is necessary to build this faith on strong foundation of the Small Christian Communities.
Fr. Gilbert D’Souza explained the nature and scheme of the training programme and after some time the entire gathering was divided into 22 groups to discuss and find answers to three basic questions: (1) The good things that have happened due to the Small Christian Communities. (2) What developments are necessary for the Ward to become a family? (3) What are the problems and doubts regarding the Small Christian Communities?
After discussing the issues mentioned above, the leaders of each of the 22 groups came out with verities of answers and queries which were presented before the gathering. Fr. Gilbert took up each and every query and tried to sort out the doubts and misgivings of the members. By quoting from the Holy Scriptures and with the help of the slides, Fr. Gilbert traced the growth of the Small Christian Communities from the beginning of the church and emphasised on the relevance of the teachings of Jesus Christ in building up modern Small Christian Communities. He said that rather than giving too much importance to outer observance of the faith, it is necessary to practice the teachings of Christ as found in the Holy Scriptures in our daily lives and towards our fellow human beings in the Wards in particular and in the parish in general.
Fr. Maxim D’Souza read out another passage from the Old Testament and thereafter, the members were split in 22 groups according to their respective wards. They were given a case paper which they had to read and find out the positive aspects in the incident that has been referred in the case paper and suggest what they can do to build up the Small Christian Community in their own Ward. Once again the members had fruitful discussion and came out with meaningful suggestions and action plans that they would take up in their own Wards during the year.
The parish priest, Fr. Joswey Fernandes made an announcement that as Mrs. Wilma Rodrigues has completed five years term as the Convener of the Small Christian Communities in the parish, Mr. Ignatius Monis would take her place as the Convener for the next term.
The entire programme was well organised by the Small Christian Community Animation Team of the Parish led by Sr. Hilda. Mrs. Hilda D’Souza and Sr. Hilda anchored the entire programme in an excellent manner. At the end, Mrs. Meera Lobo, Secretary of the Parish Council proposed the vote of thanks. The training programme ended with lunch.
On the whole, the participants in the Small Christian Communities Training Programme benefitted quite a lot through the useful input that was provided by Fr. Gilbert D’Souza and the group discussions that were conducted which brought forth a number of new ideas and suggestions to strengthen and improve the Small Christian Communities in the parish especially during this Centenary Year of the foundation of the parish (1910) dedicated to St. Lawrence.
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