Looking back at the Journey with St. Lawrence to the wards of the parish

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By Dr. Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Pictures by Anil Alva
Bellevision Media Network

Moodubelle, 18 August 2010: The once in a lifetime experience of moving through twenty-two different wards of the parish that too with St. Lawrence for a period of 23 weeks since 21 February to 31 July 2010 as part of the centenary celebration of the establishment of the parish dedicated to the saint was something that would be cherished by all those who were closely associated with this memorable journey. The idea of this unique spiritual exercise was conceptualized by Fr. Joswey Fernandes, the parish priest of Moodubelle. He had meticulously planned various programmes for the entire centenary year among which the most important was the just concluded journey of St. Lawrence through the wards of the parish.

This epic journey aimed at the spiritual revival in the parish by St. Lawrence through the wards had started on Sunday, 21 February 2010 at 4pm from the church. After the prayer service conducted by Fr. Joswey Fernandes, the statue of St. Lawrence was mounted on a decorated van and taken in procession to the Fatima Ward who’s Gurkar, Mr. Henry Fernandes is also the Vice President of the Parish Pastoral Council.

The statue of St. Lawrence moved in each ward for a period of one week except in St. Thomas I Ward where it remained for two weeks as the second week happened to be the Holy Week. After visiting each ward, the statue of St. Lawrence was transferred from one ward to the other on Sunday evening at around 5 pm. The Gurkar along with the ward members brought the statue in procession and at a predetermined spot transferred it to the Gurkar or Gurkarn and members of the next ward in the presence of Fr. Joswey Fernandes. Thereafter, members of both wards went in procession singing hymns in honour of the saint to the house of the Gurkar or Gurkarn who had received the statue. Following a brief introduction and novena prayers and blessing of the house by Fr. Joswey, usually light refreshment was served to those who had come in procession along with the statue.

In each ward the statue was taken practically to all homes where novena and centenary prayers were recited. On a particular day mass was offered for elder and sick members of the ward. Meanwhile, Fr. Joswey visited and blessed each and every house in all the ward on different days. Usually on Sundays the Ward Feast was celebrated in which most of the ward members participated. In some wards the feast was celebrated on Thursdays during school vacation and in two wards-St. Isidore and Sacred Heart I the Ward Feast was celebrated in the evening.

During the ward feast, entertainment and felicitation programmes as well as some games were organized. Usually, priests and nuns, elder members of the ward, those who have completed 50 or more years of their married life, teachers, retired army and navy personnel, professionals, businessmen, students who have passed landmark examinations such as SSLC, PUC, graduation and post graduation and achievers in various fields were felicitated and honoured.

As far as possible the priests from the church, sisters from the Loreto Convent and guests from neighbouring wards used to attend these ward feasts. Following the programme all the members of the ward would participate in the community lunch. In some of the wards, the members themselves had prepared meals with true community spirit.

After visiting all the 22 wards of the parish since 21 February 2010, St. Lawrence returned to the church on 31 July 2010 in a grand procession from the Sacred Heart I ward. The return procession from Gokal started at 3.30 pm. The statue mounted on a decorated van and accompanied by hundreds of parishioners, band, choir and to the sound of the burst of firecrackers returned to the church at 3.50 pm.

Following the return of St. Lawrence to the church, a review meeting of all the Gurkars and Gurkarns of the wards along with the Vice President and Secretary of the Parish Pastoral Council was held on Wednesday, 3 August 2010 at 5 pm in the office of the Parish Priest to take a review of the journey of St. Lawrence through the wards of the parish. All the Gurkars and Gurkarns were unanimous in their opinion that the visit of St. Lawrence to their respective wards had positive impact on the people in general. They also said that most of the members of the ward moved along with the statue of St. Lawrence from one house to the other and participated in novena prayers and mass. Their contribution during the ward feast was also whole heartedly acknowledged by them.

Fr. Joswey Fernandes expressed his happiness that the project of reviving the parish community by the journey of St. Lawrence through each and every ward was successful. Explaining the reason behind this unique programme of the journey of St. Lawrence through the wards, Fr. Joswey said that during the centenary year of the foundation of the parish of Moodubelle he felt it necessary to build the parish community from the grass root level. According to him, constructing a church building with the contribution of the money of the parishioners is easy; however building a parish community in a real sense of the term is quite difficult. When people come to worship God in the church, they should approach with true spirit of brotherhood and a sense of unity. People should be proud to be a part of the parish community and develop a healthy respect towards each and every member of the parish community. Selfless service to the community in general and the unfortunate and needy in particular are signs of a true Christian.

Speaking further, Fr. Joswey said that in this centenary year of the parish, there is a need to re-establish the bond between the people and God, between the people themselves and between the people and the environment. In order to achieve this objective there was no other better way than through the visit of St. Lawrence to all the wards of the parish.

As he had to visit and bless each and every home in each ward, Fr. Joswey said that initially he was apprehensive of completing the task. In the beginning, as the wards were far off and the distance between some of the houses was quite long, he found some difficulty. But gradually he got accustomed to the exercise. He said that the enthusiasm and devotion of the people towards St. Lawrence gave him encouragement and strength to complete the task.

The journey of St. Lawrence through the wards of the parish gave me personally an opportunity to undertake the project of reporting in detail the various aspects of each and every ward right from a brief information about the patron of the ward, physical description of the ward, information on office bearers-Gurkars, Gurkarns and Representatives, priests and nuns as well as important personalities and achievers of the ward. An attempt was also made to trace the progress of the journey of St. Lawrence from one house to the other and where the saint had rested and also information about the mass for the elder and sick members of the ward. A detailed coverage of the ward feast formed the central part of the report. The send off and welcome of the saint on the evening of Sundays and the procession that followed were worth recording and taking pictures.

1. Fatima Ward

2. John the Baptist - I Ward

3. St. John the Baptist - II Ward

4. St. Isidore Ward

5. St. Thomas I Ward

6. Christ the King (Jesu Rai) Ward

7. Mother Teresa Ward
















The task of uninterrupted reporting of all 22 wards in Bellevision.com as St. Lawrence moved from one ward to the other was a daunting task. In between I went to Dubai and Muscat along with my wife Benny for nearly a month and also went to Mumbai three times. Even during this period of my absence from Moodubelle, the report on the journey of St. Lawrence continued chiefly because of the information that was provided to me by Fr. Joswey and Anil Alva.

One of the most important tasks during the journey of St. Lawrence was capturing the important moments and events in camera. This task was excellently handled by Anil Alva. Whenever he was busy with his professional commitments he would ask me to cover the events and between us we did cover the send off and welcome of St. Lawrence on every Sunday and the processions associated with it. Like the report, the ward feast of each ward was the focus of the pictures as well.

In the course of reporting and taking pictures of the processions and ward feasts, I had an opportunity to visit different wards and regions of the parish which I had not seen earlier. I passed through beautiful landscapes and came across artistic and spacious houses. I witnessed the cooperation and coordination among the members of the wards during the ward feast and while seeing off and welcoming the saint. Entertainment programmes presented by children, youth and even adults and the games that were organized manifested the efforts gone into showcasing the talents of the ward.

After the publication of the report of one ward in Bellevision.com, I had an apprehension of bringing out the report of the next ward in time as considerable amount of information and pictures of different persons had to be collected and processed. However, with the cooperation of the Gurkars and Gurkarns, representatives and concerned members of the ward, the task of covering all the wards went on without a break. I consider this achievement as a kind of miracle.

Fr. Joswey Fernandes

Sigfred D’Souza & Anil Alva

I take this opportunity to thank Fr. Joswey Fernandes who encouraged Bellevision to undertake the project of publishing the report and pictures of all the 22 wards of the parish as the statue of St. Lawrence was taken through each and every ward, all the Gurkars, Gurkarns, representatives and ward members for providing the necessary information and relevant pictures to be published, Anil Alva for his excellent pictures and support, Sigfred D’Souza - the Webmaster for taking the trouble of uploading the reports and pictures on Bellevision.com in time from Dubai, Valerian Alva-President of Bellevision (UAE), Elias D’Souza, Ronald Sabi D’Souza, Wilfred Menezes, Ivan Menezes and all the members of Bellevision (UAE) for their unstinted support for the project and of course all the readers of Bellevision.com who have been keenly following the progress of the journey of St. Lawrence through all the 22 wards of the parish and all those who posted their encouraging comments.

Dr Eugene D’Souza

After completing the journey with St. Lawrence through the wards of the parish, there will be many more topics that will be covered in Bellevision.com related to the centenary celebrations of the foundation of the St. Lawrence Parish Moodubelle such as the history of the parish, brief account of the parish priests who had served in the parish from its inception and contribution of some of the prominent families in the growth of the parish. Bellevision requests the readers to give suggestions so that we can make this Centenary Year a memorable one.


Comments on this Article
Clara, mumbai Thu, August-19-2010, 1:59
Dr Eugene you are the best, with your work i feel i am right there in belle
Benedict Noronha, Udupi Wed, August-18-2010, 10:51
Wonderful diction and presentation. May I request you to put the same matter in C.D.s and arrange one CD for me? It will be a great evangelisation work.God may indeed bless you all who worked for this in many folds. Congratulations and good luck to Dr Eugene Anil Alva - Sigfred and co. 0f Belle vision.
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Wed, August-18-2010, 10:01
Some are masterly fund collectors and build impressive church buildings. Some are innovative thinkers and bond with the community of faithful. To each, his own mission and his own reward. Fr. Joswey s mission would be accomplished if faith is deepened and the Christian spirit continues to live within the community, esp of its weakest and meekest members, about whom we may not have heard much of in the reports. Of course, causing embarrassment to them is not the goal. However, I trust the mission resulted in identifying the poor and left-behind too along with identifying the community weaknesses as well. Follow-up action by the empowered, resourceful and mighty of the community is certainly the next step in this mission. Bellevision Media Team has done its part. Just too well.
Sunil Fernandis, Kuwait Wed, August-18-2010, 10:00
Wishing all the best for all programs those planned during centenary year. St. Lawrence pray for us.
Staney D Souza, Dubai Wed, August-18-2010, 9:44
Kudos to Dr. Eugene, Anil , Sigfred and entire team. Though we are away from native , we felt that we are physically present there during the journey of St. Lawrence through the wards. Soothing pictures and well narrated report. May God bless you all.
Victor Castelino, Moodubelle/Dubai Wed, August-18-2010, 5:44
A very good summery and a beautiful photo album of the events. Pleased to see a vibrant christian community under the patronage of St. Lawrence.
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