Journey with St. Lawrence to the Wards of Moodubelle Parish – XI (St. Paul I Ward)

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


Moodubelle, 19 May 2010:
St. Paul:
The patron saint of this Ward, St. Paul popularly known as the ‘Apostle of the Gentiles’ was originally named Saul and was born at Tarsus. He belonged to the Jewish community and as a young man persecuted Christians. It is said that he even took part in the stoning of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

Being momentarily blinded by the vision of the image of resurrected Jesus, on the road to Damascus in Syria, Saul had a change of heart and was converted. After his conversion, Saul went to Damascus, where the ‘Acts of the Apostles’ states that he was healed of his blindness and baptized by Ananias of Damascus and he assumed  the name as ‘Paul’.  Paul says that he then went first to Arabia, and then came back to Damascus. He describes in his Letter to Galatians how three years after his conversion he went to Jerusalem. Initially,  the apostles were suspicious of him until St. Barnabas perceived his sincerity. In Jerusalem, Paul  met James and stayed with Simon Peter for 15 days.

St. Paul can be considered as the first missionary of the early Christian Church. He lived  a dangerous and adventurous life on behalf of Christ.  He worked in Jerusalem, Antioch, Cyprus, Asia Minor, Greece, Ephesus, Macedonia, and Achaia. Upon his return to Jerusalem, Paul had plans  for another missionary journey from Jerusalem to Rome and Spain. However, the Jews persecuted him and kept him as a prisoner.

After two years of imprisonment at Caesarea Paul finally reached Rome, where he was kept another two years in chains. It is believed that at the end of the two years  Paul was released from  Roman imprisonment, and then he  travelled to Spain, later to the East again, a6nd then back to Rome, where he was imprisoned a second time. According to tradition, St. Paul was beheaded in Rome during the persecution of Nero and was buried where the basilica of St. Paul’s now stands.  The date of his death is believed to be 29th June 65 AD.

The ‘Acts of the Apostles’ contains an account of Paul’s travels and deeds, his conflicts with Pagans and Jews and his interactions with the apostles. Thirteen epistles or letters in the New Testament have been credited to Paul. Along with the other works, the epistles of Paul were circulated within the Christian community and read aloud in churches. Most of the critics are of the opinion that the epistles written by Paul are one of the earliest-written books of the New Testament. His letters, mostly addressed to the churches he had either founded or visited, contained explanation of what Christians should believe and how they should live. Paul’s works contain the first written account of what it means to be a Christian. The feast day of St. Paul is 29th June.

About the Ward: St. Paul I Ward covers quite a large area and is bordered by Nalkubeedi towards the east, St. Francis Xavier I and II Wards in the west, Belle River in the South and Nalkubeedi-Kattingeri Temple Road in the north.  The regions covered in St. Paul I Ward are: Nalkubeedi,  Kumerettu, Gangel-Attinja and Manibettu. Thirty two Roman Catholic  families reside in St. Paul I ward.

Cyril D’Souza (Gurkar)

Mrs.Violet D’Souza & Mrs Benedicta Castelino (Representatives)

The Gurkar of St. Paul I Ward is Mr. Cyril D’Souza. He is the member of the Parish Pastoral Council. He was the ex-President of the Catholic Sabha and is presently the President of the Lions Club of Moodubelle (2010-2011).

The Representatives of the Ward are: Mrs. Benedicta Castelino who represents the  Ward in the Small Christian Community (SCC) of the parish and also a member of the Stree Sanghatana. Mrs. Violet D’Souza is the other representative of the Ward.

There are three vocations in St. Paul I Ward. Fr. Oswald D’Souza, son of Peter and Agnes D’Souza  serves in the Allahabad Diocese. Fr. Denis Naresh Lobo, son of Vincent and Celestine Lobo is the Principal of Fatima College at Gonda in the Lucknow Diocese. Sr. Irene D’Souza, daughter of Joseph and Florine D’Souza is a Benthany Sister and is presently serving in Germany.

Sr.Irine D’Souza (B.S) Germany

Fr.Deepak D’Souza,Allahabad, Fr.Naresh Lobo, Lucknow

Jovita Shainy D’Souza, Ancita D’Souza

Two young  girls have brought laurels to St. Paul I Ward by securing first position in the annual Catechism Examinations conducted by the Mangala Jyothi, the Diocesan Catechism Centre. Miss Ancita D’Souza, daughter of Albert and Violet D’Souza secured first position in the 7th standard Catechism Examinations. She is also good in sports and has secured first position at the Taluk level and third place at the District level. Miss Jovita Shiny D’Souza, daughter of John and Eliza D’Souza scored 94.4 per cent marks and stood first among the students of the  10th standard of St. Lawrence High School, Moodubelle in the Catechism Examination.

Visit of St. Lawrence to the Ward: On Sunday, 9th May 2010, the statue of St. Lawrence was brought in procession by the Gurkar of St. Francis I ward, Mr. Albert Martis at 3 pm and was handed over to the Gurkar of St. Paul I ward, Mr. Cyril D’Souza and was taken in procession to his residence. Fr. Dancy Martis was present during this occasion.

On Monday, 10th May, the statue of St. Lawrence was taken to the neighbouring houses of Mr. Cyril D’Souza and in the evening it reached the residence of  Mrs. Lucy Mendonca at Kumerettu where it rested for the night. On Tuesday, 11th May, after taking similar rounds, the statue of St. Lawrence was taken to the house of Mrs. Janet Machado at Nalkubeedi. Fr. Joswey Fernandes blessed the houses of Nalkubeedi and Kumerettu on that day. On Wednesday, 12th May, the statue made a halt at the residence of  Mrs. Alice Nazareth of Kumerettu. On Thursday, 13th May the statue  rested at the house of Mr. Edward Mendonca at Gangel.

The statue of St. Lawrence was taken practically to all households in the Ward and was venerated in each house for at least half an hour during which novena and centenary prayers, hymns and rosaries were recited.

Ward Feast: On Thursday, 13th May, the Ward Feast was celebrated at the residence of Mr. Edward Mendonca at Gangel. Prior to the celebration, at 11.30 am, Holy Mass was offered by Fr. Joswey Fernandes for the elderly and sick persons of the Ward. Following the Mass, the Ward Day was observed with great enthusiasm by the Ward members. Mrs. Benedict Castelino conducted the programme. Mr. Cyril D’Souza welcomed the guests, Fr. Joswey and Br. Ivan and the members of the Ward. Fr. Joswey in his message spoke about the importance of the spiritual revival of the parish through the visit of St. Lawrence to different wards of the parish.


For the entertainment of the people, young girls presented dance and various games were organised in which children and young people took part enthusiastically. Winners were encouraged by giving them prizes. The young married couple of the Ward was felicitated. Miss Jovita Shiny D’Souza and Miss Ancita D’Souza who had scored highest marks in the Catechism Examinations at the 10th and 7th standards respectively were also felicitated. The elderly people of the ward were honoured by offering them flowers by Mr. Cyril D’Souza. Mrs. Santhan Lobo presented some jokes that entertained the audience. The Ward Day ended with the lunch.

On Friday, 14th May, the statue of St. Lawrence  was taken around the houses in the Gangel area and was rested at the residence of  Mr. Albert D’Souza. Fr. Joswey blessed the houses in the neighbourhood of Attinja. On Saturday, 15th May, the statue of St. Lawrence took rounds in the Manibettu area and was rested at the house of Mrs. Benedicta Castelino and on Sunday, 16th May in the evening at around 4.50 pm, the Ward members took the statue in procession and handed over to the Gurkarn and people of St. Paul II Ward.


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Comments on this Article
Francis Noronha, Mumbai/ Moodubelle Thu, May-20-2010, 2:58
Belle parish is geographically one of the vast parish of the diocease.It was a herculeous task for the priest to visit each and every house during the house blessings. The enire distance of each ward used cover in a single day by walk and that was the target. Unlike now , around 3 decades ago Belle was one of the backward village interms of infrastructure is concerned. Now the entire thing is changed and has got all the facilities. Sad and worrying factor is mostly aged and senior people are living in our parish. Recently celebrated elders day is witness for this. When catholic sabha announced the age limit for this celebration, they were stunned and compelled to increase the age limit from 65 years to 70 years.The reasons may be many for this. It is good to see the spirit of parishioners while participating in the ward activities. Let our patron saint bind all our parishioners together as one family. Thus the parishioners help each other during thier dificult times. I request all our parishioners to come forward to help the parish priest and members of centinary celebration committee for the betterment of church and parish.
Ronald Sabi, Moodubelle Wed, May-19-2010, 4:47
Very much pleased to read about St. Paul and his work. Dr. Eugene, you have been doing a great job, which gives us a knowledge about the Patron Saints of the ward, vocations, Gurkarams, prominent persons and the youth, and also the boundary of the ward. This series of articles introduces the whole parish. It is a wonderful opportunity for many to know about various aspects of the entire parish.
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