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Vasai diocese celebrated 15th year with cultural fest

Aug. 17, 2013

On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Catholic diocese of Vasai, the 66th Independence Day of India and the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Diocesan Commission for Promotion of Culture organized a 'Culture Fest' on Thursday August 15 at 5 pm at Fr Bernard Bhandari Meomorial Hall, Devtalav, Vasai. The objectives of the programme were to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the foundation of the Diocese of Vasai, to promote culture within the ethnic/cultural group and to foster cultures between different ethnic/cultural groups.

Munaf Hakim, chairman of the Maharashtra State Minority Commission was the chief guest of the programme. Janet D'Souza,  newly-appointed vice-chairperson of the Maharashtra State Minority Commission was the guest of honour. Bhoir, assistant commissioner of Vasai Virar Muncipal Corporation, Dolphy D'Souza, a known activist convener of Police Watch Forum and Lawrence D'Souza, vice-president of Bombay Catholic Sabha were the guests of the programme.

Archbishop Dr Felix Anthony Machado presided over the function. Fr Ozy Gonsalves the convener of the commission delivered the welcome address. Fr Joel D'Cunha the member of the commission proposed the vote of thanks. Other members of the commission Ancy D'Souza Paladka, Fr Aji, Sr Shreeja, Fr Prashant and Sr Pulcheria were present at the occasion. On this Archbishop Dr Machado honoured the minority commission chairman Munaf Hakim and the vice-chairperson Janet D'Souza with shawl and the shrifal (traditional coconut). Hakim in his address said the Christian community is at the forefront of educational and medical services. "They are also a great support to the downtrodden and neglected citizens. "They honored me with flower and coconut. By doing this they reminded me of my greater responsibilities. As flowers come with thorns and the coconut shells are hard and may be used to injure someone; I may now have to act with much alertness, care and greater responsibility to serve the minority community," he said.

The newly-appointed vice-chairperson Janet D'Souza, receiving after the honours said that she believes she was given this responsibility predominantly to serve the Christian community. She said she will be there whatever, whenever and wherever the Christians face any problems and will give utmost attention to solve them. D'Souza is also the director of Maulana Azad Minorities Development Financial Corporation (government of Maharashra).


Konkani, Marathi, Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and Warli groups performed on this occasion. A welcome dance was performed by the students of Thomas Baptista College. Warli Group presented "Kadimod and Tarpa Dance". Malayalam group presented "Thiruvathira" dance. Tamil group presented "Bharat Natyam Dance". Hindi group presented harvest festival dance. Marathi Group presented "Koli Dance". Konkani group led by Vasai Konkani Welfare Association presented dances showing the importance of Konkani, Vovyo, Vers, Vhor and other cultural celebrations which are held during roce, wedding ceremonies, Baila, Dekhni, Dulpod, Mando and othe cultural dances. The cultural programme was produced by Ancy D'Souza Paladka and directed by Dr Vincent D'Mello.  Hilda D'Souza and Roylee Santhmayer choreographed the programme.

Appreciating the cultural programme, Archbishop Felix said, "It is very nice to see the various cultural groups mingling with each other in my diocese. Such cultural programmes that help strengthening the inter-cultural bonds, need to be held often to build the community spirit. It is like adding sugar in the milk."


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