Faith on Campus
April 25, 2017
ST. ANDREW’S COLLEGE OF ARTS, SCIENCE AND COMMERCE, BANDRA
Lent is a season of self-introspection, cleansing, reconciliation with neighbor and restoration of our relationship with Christ. The Faith On Campus, better known as F.O.C., group of St. Andrews College, Bandra organized a series of Lenten activities this year.
It all started with the sacrament of reconciliation which was held on Ash Wednesday i.e. on 1 March 2017. Fr. Warner Dsouza spent Ash Wednesday hearing all our confessions and encouraging us to grow during this Lenten season. A confession booth was instituted in the college, right outside the chapel with beautiful words on reconciliation printed on it. Fr. Magi Murzello, Fr. Alwyn Nazareth and Fr. Anthony Alphonso were available for confession on all days before and after the daily Eucharistic celebration in the college. Fr. Magi also marked the entire entrance of the college with very practical Stations of the Cross for personal prayer and reflection. During the Lenten season we were blest to have Fr. Avon Vaz, a priest working in the missions in Arunachal Pradesh, preach a 3 days mission in our chapel after the daily mass, which is held at 11.30 a.m. everyday.
‘#ASHTAG’ was an innovative activity that our most creative Rector, Fr. Magi Murzello initiated. #Ashtag, being a catchy and youthful word, caught the attention of many students. A huge cross was placed in the college campus on which the student had to stick up a note with his/her name alongwith ‘#ashtag’ written on it. The ‘#Ashtag’ signified that we all agree to die to our sins like Jesus and carry our crosses. Accepting the #ashtag where Jesus paid the #pricetag.
A programme titled ‘Saturday night with the lord’ was held on 18 March 2017. This was a night dedicated to the Lord. Charged with willingness and excitement to experience and encounter the Lord, a great number of us made the choice to be there, at the peaceful chapel of St. Andrew’s College. Diyas, Candles, Lamps, beautiful elements to enlighten the darkness, decorated the chapel where the Most Holy Sacrament was exposed all through the night. We began with praise and worship at 10:30 pm. Reflecting over interrogations such as why do we praise, gave us an understanding that we must look deeper into our self in order to grow closer to Christ. After being led through a thorough examination of conscience, we then proceeded for the sacrament of reconciliation which ended at 3.45 am. We felt free! A big thanks to our dear priests, Fr. Vincent Dcruz and Fr. Magi Murzello who sat through the night to hear our confessions. To take our relationship with the Lord to the next level, surrendering our all to him, was crucial. This was evoked by a talk led by Ms. Melanie Andrade. Our journey from solving our doubts to freedom at reconciliation and then surrendering ourselves, made us enthusiastic to celebrate the Holy Eucharist with Fr. Magi, held at St. Andrew’s Church at 6 am. after which, we enjoyed singing and dancing for the Lord at the gospel Jam session.
This year Faith On Campus organized a very unique activity that brought the bible to life. This was the ‘Passover with Christ’. Mrs. Livia and her team of animators beautifully led us into an understanding of the Passover account in the book of Exodus, followed by which we shared the Passover meal in it’s true significance, prayerfully, sorrowfully and joyfully. The significance of every item on the dish was explained in depth and also its relevance to the modern times. Fr. Magi also symbolically washed the feet of a few students. This entire meal summed up by bringing out the fulfilment of the Old Testament in the coming and the sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God. 8 April 2017, a night before Palm Sunday was the most apt time to celebrate this Passover meal. A large number of students of the college participated in this meal. This was the most educative and heart-touching spiritual experience to start the holy week with.
After a series of meaningful Lenten activities, we celebrated the resurrection with the parishners of St. Anne’s Church, Bandra, who invited Faith On Campus to conduct a service themed ‘Celebration of the resurrection’ for them. Each person present there praised God for the heavenly experience and we all truly understood that Christ died to humanity on Good Friday and rose in divinity on Easter Sunday. So must it be with us too.
What better way to celebrate the hope that our risen Lord brings, than with the juvenile kids. Faith On Campus joined the prison ministry with Sr. Rosita on 17, 18, 19 and 20April 2017 to visit various juvenile homes at Bandra, Matunga, Umerkhadi, and Mankhurd respectively, to celebrate the Holy Eucharist with them. Bringing smiles and giving hope to those children gave so much more meaning to all our Easter celebrations.
Faith On Campus Group was inaugurated in St. Andrew's college, Bandra, on 8 September 2013 by a letter from Bishop Agnello Gracias, under the guidance of our then rector, Fr. Aniceto Pereira and the ever willing support of our dear principal, Dr. Marie Fernandes. This group has, through the years, conducted a plethora of spiritual and social activities for the youth and it continues to grow.
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