2500 crowd gatherd for the retreat of Fr. Franklins at Vasai


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News and pics by Ancy Paladka
Bellevision Media Network

Mumbai, 10 April 2010: "What more happiness can a bishop get than attending a gathering in his diocese where people are joined for a retreat or for prayer ?"  questioned Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado, Bishop of Vasai  during the concluding session of of a Konkani retreat organised by Vasai Konkani Welfare Association. The association had organised a two day Konkani Retreat of Fr. Franklin DSouza, Regional Youth Director of Karnataka in a open ground. 2500 Konkani people gathered for the retreat.

Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado was the chief guest of the concluding session.  Mr. Albert W DSouza, Chairman of ALDEL EDUCATION TRUST, Chairman of MODEL BANK and the Chairman of Printannia group was the guest of honour. Fr. Ozy Gonsalves, Parish Priest of St. Ignatius Loyola Church, Fr Valentine Pawkar, Parish Priest of Gonsalo Garcia Church and Sr. Celine of Nallasopara were the other guests. Mr Albert W DSouza spoke on the importance of education in bringing up our society. President Stephen Fernandes was present at the dais. Secretary Ancy S DSouza Paladka compered the programme.

Speaking during the occasion the Archbishop further said that "I appreceiate the effort of Vasai Konkani Welfare Association for arranging this retreat to meet the desire of people of one language. It is a good thing to be proud of our language because that is the window or the goal through which you believe in the marvelous creation of God. When people born and brought up in one language and that person moves to a place where nobody speaks their language.  What loneliness they must be feeling. What sacrifice they were making. I wish such association is there during that time.  Because I could see your joy while singing and listening to the word of God in your language."

Speaking about the imporance of unity the archbishop said that "I am happy to see the unity of Konkani speaking people.  I am very happy that the Vasai Konkani Welfare Association has united Konkani People. Because we need to be united. If I am not united within myself. If I am not united within the place I live. How will I united with the church with the body of Christ ?" the archbishop questioned.

The retreat started at 4pm and ended at 9pm on both the days. The concluding ceremony started at 9pm and ended at 9.30pm. Archbishop Honoured Fr. Franklin DSouza with a Shawl. Br. William the musician of the group was also honoured with a memento.

The Bishop was received at the entrance and was taken to the stage by the committee members. The bishop blessed the gathering.

The theme of the Konkani retreat was "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."- (Psalm 147:3), "whoever comes to me I will never drive away"- (John 6:37b)", "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" - (Mark 1:15)

Fr. Franklin gave four talks during the retreat. They were 1. "Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power." (Ephesians 6:10), 2. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21b), 3. "Go now and leave your life of sin" (John 8:1-11), 4. "Jesus liberates us from the curse" (Sirach 3:1-17). Fr. Franklin in his talks gave more emphasis on strengthening the family bonds. Br. William enthralled the crowed with his melodious music and singing. On both days the hot cross buns were blessed and served to the entire crowd. The retreat was so touching that the tears fell from the people who attended the retreat.

 

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