Doha: St Francis Xavier feast celebrated with great fervor and devotion

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By Jerald DSouza
Bellevision Media Network

Doha-Qatar, 06 Dec 2017: The feast of St Francis Xavier, ‘Goencho Saib’ is celebrated on December 3 by all Goans with great fervor and devotion wherever they may be. In Doha Qatar, all Konkani speaking people of Our Lady of Rosary Church of Qatar under the banner of Konkani Speaking Community (KSC) and under the guidance of Fr Anand Castelino OFM Cap, the spiritual director of the Konkani community celebrated the feast of St Francis Xavier on 2nd December on a grandeur scale.


The festal Mass was celebrated on Saturday, December 2 at 7.00pm by thousands of devotees gathered at the Our Lady of Arabia Hall. The Holy Mass in Konkani was concelebrated by visiting priest Fr Joaquim Baptist Fernandes from Pilar, Goa diocese and Fr Anand Castelino. Fr Joaquim Baptist Fernandes, the main celebrant in his homily preached on St Francis Xavier - Witness to the Proclamation of God’s Word.


As a preparation to the feast, nine-day novena from November 23 was held and Fr Joaquim Baptist Fernandes preached on various themes which was very much appreciated by the community. On December 1, as a conclusion to 9-day novena, vespers was celebrated with a Adoration of Holy Sacrament, Holy Mass, followed by a procession with the statue of St Francis Xavier and its devotees around the church compound and concluded with novena.


The sponsors were 15 families jointly celebrated the feast. They are (Seby Soares, Agnelo Dias,  Virgillio Olivera, John Nazareth Fernandes, Anthony D’Cunha, Jollen Jolcia, Shane D’Silva, Domascano Santan D’Silva, Carmelina Coutinho, Savia DSouza, Rosario DSilva, Joel Fernandes, Domnick Rodrigues, Well wisher and DSilva and their families.


The offertory procession was held by the sponsors. Sponsors of novena and festal celebrations were honored with a blessed candle and this was conducted by KSC Member, Mrs. Christine D’Cunha.


Parish priest Fr. Rally conveyed his festal greetings to congregation of Konkani community and thanked Fr Anand and Fr Joaquim Baptist Fernandes who were instrumental for the great devotion observed by the people to St Francis Xavier and for the grand celebrations. He invoked the blessings of St Francis Xavier on all his devotees.


In his address Fr Castelino thanked the committee for organizing the event. He also thanked Fr Joaquim Baptist Fernandes for his visit to Doha for this occasion and the wonderful sermons throughout the novenas. He appreciated the Pirgent, Murdoms, sponsors, and all those who worked for this event as well as all the community for coming together to make it a successful occasion. Fr Castelino thanked Mr Domnic for altar decoration and 9-day novenas and feast day flowers provided to altar by Goan Art Tailor.  Bertha Rodrigues - KSC Secretary, proposed the vote of thanks. She specially thanked the priests, sponsors, alter servers, choirs, volunteers, ushers and the food sponsors who cooked food daily and helped in the food sale during the novenas and all who have contributed to the success of the feast.



The stage function which followed had the newly appointed parish priest Fr. Rally as the Chief Guest.  The other dignitaries on the stage were Nerry Alfonso – Vice President Parish Council, Vivian D’ Souza – Vice President KSC, Fr. Joaquim the visiting priest, Fr. Anand Castelino and Seby Soares.


Vivian D’Souza welcomed the gathering and the guests were honored with flower bouquets. He also added a thank you note to Fr Joaquim Baptist Fernandes.  One of the sponsor, Mario Fernandes thanked the parish for giving them an opportunity to celebrate the feast.


Fr. Castelino and Vivian D’Souza, president of KSC felicitated Fr. Fernandes with a memento and a shawl.


Fr. Fernandes spoke on the occasion and exchanged his feelings of gratitude for the wonderful opportunity given to him to preach the 9 days novenas and celebrate the feast with the faithful Konkani Speaking Community in Qatar. He was touched by the love and affection shown by the Doha people and he too has learnt a lot from the people and praised and asked to continue to grow in faith.


Delicious food was served to all present organized by sponsors and was thoroughly relished by all.



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