Journey with St. Lawrence to the wards of Moodubelle Parish-II

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Report by Dr. Eugene D’Souza, Moodubelle

2.  John the Baptist-I Ward

Moodubelle, 08 March 2010 : The Patron Saint of the Ward - Before we take up the journey with St. Lawrence to the second Ward on the list, it would be appropriate to know something about the patron saint of the Ward-St. John the Baptist. The Gospel of Luke includes an account of John’s infancy, introducing him as the son of Zachariah, an old man, and his wife Elizabeth. The Gospel of Luke states that Jesus was conceived when Elizabeth was about six months pregnant; when her cousin, the Virgin Mary, came to tell her about her news, Elizabeth’s unborn child ’jumped for joy’ in her womb. Zachariah had lost his speech at the behest and prophecy of the angel Gabriel and it was restored on the occasion of Zachariah naming John. According to Luke, Jesus and John the Baptist were related, their mothers being cousins.

All four Gospels speak about to John’s ministry, his preaching and baptism in the River Jordan. Most notably he is the one who recognized Jesus as the Messiah, and on the request of Jesus, baptized him. The baptism marked the beginning of the ministry of Jesus. The Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke mention that Jesus came from Galilee to John and was baptized by him, whereupon the Spirit descended upon him and a voice from Heaven told him he was God’s Son.

According to the Gospels, John the Baptist’s public ministry was brought to a close when he was imprisoned on orders of Herod Antipas. The synoptic Gospels state that Herod Antipas reacted to John’s condemnation of his marriage to Herodias, the former wife of his half-brother.  Matthew links John’s death with Herodias, as he writes that her daughter Salome so much delighted Herod Antipas with a dance that he vowed to grant her any wish to which, after asking her mother Herodias, she demanded the head of John the Baptist. Thus, on the orders of Herod Antipas, John the Baptist was beheaded. The feast of John the Baptist is celebrated every year on 24th June.

About the Ward: St. John the Baptist I Ward covers a vast area that includes regions such as Kappandakarya, Pernankila and Gundu Padhe. Gundu Padhe is a landmark in the Ward which attracts a number of people as it provides a perfect ambience for picnic. According to Mrs. Theresa Lobo, the Gurkarn of the Ward, a number of students from Manipal and people from nearby regions come to Gundu Padhe for picnic or to spend some leisure time.

There are 38 houses in the entire St. John the Baptist-I Ward and are spread all over the Ward. Mrs. Theresa Lobo is the coordinator (Gurkarn) of the Ward. She has been quite active as a social worker and has been a member of quite a number of associations in the parish. She is the member of the Parish Council and was once the Secretary and presently a member of the Catholic Sabha. She is also a member of the Stree Sanghatana, Franciscan Third Order and Bethany Life Association. Mrs. Theresa lobo has been ably assisted by two representatives of the Ward-Mr. Ivan D’Almeida and Mrs. Monica D’Souza.

Mrs. Theresa Lobo (Gurkarn), Mr. Thomas Menezes (95) the Oldest Person in the Ward.

Mr. Ivan D’Almeida (Representative), Mrs. Monica D’Souza (Representative)

Fr. Edward Fernandes (Brazil), Fr George Fernandes SJ (Dhanbad)

Sr Celestine Alva,  Sr. Precilla Alva (OSU) Bihar

St. John the Baptist Ward-I has a number of vocations. Fr. George Fernandes S.J., son of Dieg and Dulcine Fernandes is a member of the Society of Jesus and is presently in Jamshedpur. Fr. Edward Fernandes (SVD) is the son of Joseph and Lilly Fernandes and works as a missionary in Brazil in South America. Sr. Kiran (Bethany Sisters) is the daughter of Jerome and Cecilia Fernandes and presently serves in Kolkata. Sr. Pricilla Alva (OSU) works in Bihar. Two daughters of Thomas and Seraphine Noronha are Brigidine Sisters. The elder one, Sr. Regina serves in a Convent in Indonesia and the younger, Sr. Philomena is in Mysore. Sr. Celestine, daughter of Joseph and Angeline Alva belongs to the Holy Cross Congregation and presently serves in Mangalore.

Journey of the Statue of St. Lawrence: The pilgrim statue of St. Lawrence was received by around 60 members of St. John the Baptist-I Ward from the members of the Fatima Ward on Sunday, 28th of February 2010 at  5pm at Gundu Padhe. The statue was reverently taken in procession to the residence of the Gurkarn of the ward, Mrs. Theresa Lobo where prayers and rosary was recited.

On Monday, 1st March 2010, at 4pm, the statue of St. Lawrence was taken to the house of Mrs. Anna Mary Quadros at Pernankila where Fr. Joswey Fernandes offered Mass for the elderly and sick persons of the area. On Tuesday, the statue was brought to the house of Baptist Saldanha at Gundu Padhe where the Small Christian Community (SCC) meeting was conducted. On Wednesday the statue made rounds to the house of Joseph Menezes and other houses of the area where there were sick people for whom special prayers were recited. On Thursday, the statue was taken from the house of Marian Lobo to the residence of Severine Lobo where Fr. Maxim D’Souza offered Mass for the elderly and sick persons of the area. Thereafter the statue went to the house of Eveline D’Souza in Kappandakarya. On Friday, the statue was taken to the house of Maurice Alva (father of Anil Alva). As the statue was taken in procession the Way of the Cross was conducted on the route till it reached the residence of Maurice Alva where the special Jubilee and Novena prayers were recited. In the evening the statue of St. Lawrence was brought to the house of the Ward representative Ivan D’Almeida.

Meanwhile, during the week, Fr. Joswey Fernandes conducted house blessing which was spread over four days-Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday due to the vast distance between houses. Fr. Joswey had meaningful interaction with all the families of the Ward.Ward Day Celebration: On Saturday, 6th March 2010, St. John the Baptist-I Ward celebrated its Ward Day (Vadyacho Dhees). Fr. Joswey conducted the prayer service. Mr. Ivan D’Almeida, the Ward representative welcomed the guests including Fr. Joswey, Mr. Henry Fernandes, the Vice President of the Parish Council,  Sister Superior of the Bethany Convent-Sr. Vinita and Sr. Davidita, Gurkarn of St. John the Baptist-II ward, Mrs. Gladys Rebello, Gurkarn of St. Peter I Ward, Mrs. Gracy Rebello and the Ward members.

The report of the activities of the ward during the past year was read by Mrs. Jacinta D’Souza, the Secretary of the Ward. In his message to the Ward, Fr. Joswey appreciated the good work that has been done in the Ward. Mr. Henry Fernandes-the Vice President of the Parish Council reminded the gathering that long ago father of Ivan, late Mr. Sebastian had brought the ‘Pirgent’ during the annual feast and had invited the entire parish for lunch and expressed his happiness that the get together of the Ward was kept in the same place by his son, Ivan. Various games were conducted efficiently by Mrs. Reena D’Souza to entertain the members of the ward among whom there were a number of Hindu brothers and sisters who were offered flowers and water as ‘prasad’ by Fr. Joswey.

Fr. Joswey gave away gifts to felicitate the young children who have shown their skill in preparing star for the Christmas and posters during the visit of the statue of St. Lawrence to the Ward. The eldest member of the Ward, Mr. Thomas Menezes who is 95 years old was also felicitated by Fr. Joswey. According to Mrs. Theresa Lobo, the Gurkarn, in spite of his advanced age, Mr. Thomas Menezes never missed any meetings or programmes that have been conducted in the Ward.

The representative of the Ward, Mrs. Monica D’Souza compeered the programme and Mrs. Theresa Lobo expressed her gratitude to all the guests and ward members for cooperating with her during the week of the journey  of the pilgrim statue of St. Lawrence in the Ward.


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Comments on this Article
victor D almeida, Moodubelle/Bahrain Tue, March-9-2010, 1:41
During the week journey of the pilgrim statue of St Lawrence in the John Baptist I ward, It gives clear picture of our ward and its members, this is good opportunity to see our ward members united in certain house, Thanks Anil for nice pictures made us possible as we have been there at my Dads house function with all our neighbours, this gathering reminds my childhood days my Dad Bosthu D almeida brought Pirgent because he choose this place to make house for him to stay, through our patron St. Lawrence mircleles become paradise, Really it is miracle of our Saint, to be honest with you, this place was full of tigers and wild bores with wild bamboo trees, we always keep our saint in our prayers. St Lawrence pray for us
Victor D Souza, Moodubelle / Doha Tue, March-9-2010, 1:13
Information on the patron saint of the Ward and also the details about the Ward in the article is really great. Many thanks to Dr. Eugene.
Akil Vijay DSouza, Moodubelle/Bangalore Mon, March-8-2010, 11:57
A Great Move and a Great Preparation for the Centenary Feast of our Church. May God Bless each and every one of us.
Therese Dalmeida, Moodubelle/ Doha Mon, March-8-2010, 3:27
The journey of St. Lawrence statue to the wards would definitely bring positive spritual changes with Belle parisheners.Thanks to Fr. Joswey for his effective Leadership and guidence to inspire peoples faith.
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