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Community faith is the key to Catholicism: Bishop Derek

Dec. 4, 2013

For celebrating the feast of St Francis Xavier, we assemble as a community to proclaim communion of faith in love and to build the body of Christ, Karwar Bishop Derek Fernandes said.

Delivering the homily at the solemn pontifical high mass on the occasion of the annual feast of Goencho Saib in the pandal erected outside the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Fernandes said, “we could even celebrate the feast at home. But our Christian faith is a community faith. Eucharist is a community and we can build the body of Christ by coming together in an ambience filled with love,"

Thousands of devotees were present for the feast mass while more than a lakh devotees thronged the former capital and attended masses, which commenced from 4am onwards. Pilgrims from far and wide places came on foot.

The theme for the feast, 'Inspired by the faith of St Francis Xavier let us build the body of Christ,' (Sam Fransisk Xavierache bhoktin Kristachi kudd bhandu-ya) embodies this entire process of deepening, authenticating and proclaiming communion of faith in love. Fernandes further added that as Catholics it is our duty to proclaim the love of Christ. The response may not be encouraging every time, but it is our duty to continue proclaiming it.

Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, Archbishop Raul Gonsalves, Bishop Blasco Colaco and about 100 other priests were concelebrants at the mass. Governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo and other dignitaries attended the Eucharistic celebration.

The novena this year was significant as a mass in French was added to the foreign fare of English, Portuguese and Spanish on November 29.

Old Goa wore a festive look as hundreds of stalls had been erected along the by-lanes.

Source: Times of India

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