Journey with St. Lawrence to the Wards of Moodubelle Parish-III

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Report by Dr. Eugene D’Souza
Pics by Anil Alva
Bellevision Media Network

3.     St.  John the Baptist - II Ward

Moodubelle, 18 March 2010: About the Ward: Around 23 years ago, while Fr. Harold Menezes was the Parish Priest, realising the vastness of the existing Wards of the Moodubelle Parish, some of them were bifurcated into two wards while maintaining the same patron saint. Hence, the brief information about the life of St. John the Baptist was given in the last instalment of the series ‘Journey with St. Lawrence to the Wards of Moodubelle Parish’ while the information of St. John the Baptist I Ward was given.

St. John the Baptist II Ward comprises of the regions of Arbi, Marne and Kanaradi. The Arbi River separates St. John the Baptist II Ward from St. Peter II Ward. To the East of the Ward St. John the Baptist I Ward is located and to the West St. Isidore Ward. There are 47 families in St. John the Baptist II Ward.

The present Gurkarn of St. John the Baptist II Ward is Mrs. Gladys Rebello. Besides being the Gurkarn and member of the Parish Pastoral Council, Mrs. Gladys is also the Secretary of St. Vincent De Paul Society, Vice President of the Council of Catholic Women (Stree Sanghattan) and member of the Catholic Sabha.

Mrs. Gladys Rebello

Mrs. Gladys is assisted by two Representatives-Mr. Ronald D’Souza and Mrs. Veena Rebello. Mr. Ronald had served the Ward earlier as the Gurkar from 2002-2006 and as the representative once before. Besides being a member of the Parish Pastoral Council, Mr. Ronald is a good agriculturist and had worked as the Secretary of the Shri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project.

Mr. Ronald D’Souza and Mrs. Veena Rebello

Mrs. Veena Rebello had served the Ward as the Secretary for ten years in the past. She is also the member of the Parish Pastoral Council and the Catholic Sabha. Besides these activities in the parish, she also works as a teacher in the Gundu Paade Anganwadi.

Fr. William D’Souza

St. John the Baptist II Ward has produced two priests. Fr. Vincent Lobo has been serving as a secular priest at Kolkata and Fr. William D’Souza, son of late Cyprian D’Souza and Florine D’Souza has been serving in the Catholic Church, Alampura in the Raiganj Diocese of West Bengal.

Visit of St. Lawrence to the Ward: On Sunday, 7th March 2010 at 5.30pm around 100 persons from St. John the Baptist II Ward received the Pilgrim Statue of St. Lawrence with great devotion from the house of Mr. Balthazar D’Souza of St. John the Baptist I Ward. The statue was brought in procession to the house of the Gurkarn, Mrs. Gladys Rebello in the presence of the Ward residents and Fr. Joswey Fernandes, the Parish Priest. The devotees of the Ward honoured St. Lawrence by garlanding the statue with flowers. Fr. Joswey conducted the prayer service in the presence of around 150 residents of the Ward including nearly 25 non-Christian brothers and sisters.

Mrs. Gladys Rebello said that the statue of St. Lawrence was taken to each and every family of the Ward. The people of the Ward would take the statue from one house to another in groups reciting prayers and hymns. At the gate of the house the head of the family would welcome the statue with floral garland and would carry the statue to his or her house. In the house of each family prayers and novena or centenary prayers were offered for five to ten minutes followed by the hymn in honour of St. Lawrence. Prayers were offered to the departed members of the family, those who are abroad, for the sick, elderly and children. During each night of the week, the statue was rested at different houses in the Ward.

On the evening of Monday, 8th March 2010, the statue of St. Lawrence was taken to the house of Mr. William Lobo. On Tuesday, 9th March at 5.30 pm, Fr. Arun Mendonca offered Mass for the sick and elderly persons of the Ward. Around 68 persons attended the Mass. Thereafter, the statue of St. Lawrence was taken in procession to the house of Mr. Leo Aranha where Rosary and novena prayers were recited. On Wednesday, 10th March the family of Albert Sequeira welcomed St. Lawrence and on Thursday, 11th March at around 3.30 pm the statue made its journey to Marne and took night halt at the house of Mr. Norbert Nazareth. On Friday, 12th March, the destination of the journey of St. Lawrence was the former Sequeira Colony and halt was made at the residence of Mrs. Veena Rebello. Being Friday when the statue was taken to 15 families, at each house a Station of the Cross was conducted and at the 15th house, Rosary was recited. On Saturday, 13th March the statue was taken to the house of Mrs. Magdalene D’Almeida at Arbi in the evening at 7pm.

Meanwhile, Fr. Joswey blessed the houses of the ward on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The Ward Day (Vadyacho Dhees) was observed on Sunday, 14th March from 12.30pm. Besides Fr. Joswey Fernandes, the programme was attended by Fr. Paul Sequeira, Fr. Maxim D’Souza, Sister Superior of the Loreto Convent, Sr. Vineetha, Sr. Hilda, Sr. Davidika and the Vice President of the Parish Pastoral Council, Mr. Henry Fernandes.

The programme of the Ward Day commenced with Mr. John D’Almeida welcoming the guests with flowers. Mrs. Monika D’Almeida read out the report of the activities of the Ward during the last year. To keep the people entertained there were jokes, songs and housie game in between the programme.

One of the significant events of the programme was the felicitation of all the Gurkars who had served the Ward since the bifurcation of the original St. John the Baptist Ward. The Gurkars who were honoured with a token of gift were: Mr. Ligory Aranha, Mr. William Lobo, Mr. Simon Mendonca, Mr. Ronald D’Souza and Mr. Anil D’Souza. In response, the senior most Gurkar, Mr. Ligory Aranha expressed his happiness and gratitude at this thoughtful gesture of the Gurkarn and Representatives of the Ward.

The other persons who were felicitated during the programme were-MissVeera Rebello, teachers in St. Lawrence English Medium School who was also the Coordinator of the Sunday Catechism Classes and Miss Saritha Mendonca who is presently the President of the ICYM of the Udupi Varado.

Fr. Joswey, Fr. Paul and Mr. Henry and the Sisters spoke briefly and conveyed their good wishes to the members of St. John the Baptist II Ward and appreciated their participation during the journey of St. Lawrence in their Ward.

The entire programme was compeered by Mr. Rohan D’Souza and the vote of thanks was proposed by Mrs. Gladys Rebello, the Gurkarn. Fr. Maxim D’Souza recited the grace before the meals. The Ward Day ended with the simple but tasty food prepared by the Ward members themselves with enthusiasm and great cooperation. Even non-Christian residents of the Ward participated in the programme. The expense of the lunch was sponsored by Mrs. Magdalene D’Almeida.

On the same day in the evening at around 4.15 pm, the Pilgrim Statue of St. Lawrence was taken in procession from Arbi to the border of St. Isidore Ward and was reverently handed over to Mrs. Anita Mendonca, the Gurkarn of St. Isidore Ward. At the end of the week’s journey of St. Lawrence in her Ward, Mrs. Gladys Rebello expressed great satisfaction at the full hearted support and participation of all the Ward members in prayers, Mass, house blessing and even during the Ward Day celebration.


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Comments on this Article
RAPHAEL AND DAINA, MARNE Fri, April-23-2010, 7:36
Nice photos of St. John Baptist 2nd ward. It is wonderful to see all people together.
Victor D Souza, Moodubelle / Doha Thu, March-18-2010, 8:25
It is a wonderful opportunity for the parishioners to meet and develop spiritual bond and friendship within the parish family, which will also be a positive influence on the younger generation. Thanks to Dr. Eugene and Mr. Anil for providing all the details.
Victor Sequeira, Marne, Philadeladelphia, USA Wed, March-17-2010, 9:21
Nice report and pictures. After long time I could see lots of people from our ward, particularly elders. Thanks Dr. Eugene.
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