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Goa celebrates new auxiliary bishop with grand sacred music concert

Our Lady of Bethlehem Church in Chandor organized a Sacred Music Concert to honor its parishioner, Bishop Simião Purificação Fernandes of new auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman.(Photo: Anthony Dias)

On July 4, 2024, Our Lady of Bethlehem Church in Chandor hosted a magnificent Sacred Music Concert to honor its parishioner, the newly appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, His Excellency Simião Purificação Fernandes.

Organized by the Vakhann’nni St. Joaquim’s Choir and Orchestra, the event saw the participation of 250 singers and musicians from across Goa.

Pope Francis appointed Fr. Simião P. Fernandes was the auxiliary bishop on April 6, 2024, and he was ordained on June 17, 2024.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, the Vakhann’nni Choir Group, consisting of 80 singers, 63 musicians, and 52 members of the Children’s Choir led by Fr. Simon D’Cunha, performed hymns in Konkani, English, and Latin.

The repertoire included "Ecce Sacerdos," "Mogall Guru," "Gonvlli Kitlo Boro," "I Will Give You Shepherds," "Deva Tuje Dovlotichi," "Maye Mogalle," "Chosen to Serve," "Mhozo Otmo Sorvesporak Vakhanntta," "Jezu Mhoje Jinnent Ailo," and "Gloria."

The orchestra featured a diverse range of instruments such as Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, Saxophone, Piccolo, and Euphonium.

Additionally, "Progottnnar Ami," a hymn based on the pastoral theme of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, was presented with melody and choral orchestration by Fr. Simon D’Cunha. This piece was performed by Fr. Jean da Cruz Fernandes and Agnes Noronha.

The choir of St. Joseph’s Educational Institute, comprising 55 students and teachers, also performed the hymn "Chosen to Serve" in tribute to their former student, Bishop Simião Fernandes.

In his address, Bishop Fernandes expressed heartfelt gratitude to Almighty God, the Parish Priest of Chandor Church, the Headmistress, staff, and students of St. Joseph’s Educational Institute, the Vakhann’nni group led by Fr. Simon D’Cunha, the parishioners of Chandor, and all those who contributed to organizing the event.

He reminisced about his connection with the parish and the school, stating, "We are on the Synodal journey, and I see here the face of the Synodal Church – we have singers and musicians of different ages, from little ones to the elderly, and in the audience, there are people of such nature." 

Fr. Jean da Cruz Simião, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Bethlehem Church, welcomed the auxiliary bishop, priests, Vakhann’nni Group members, Sisters of Bishop Simião, the Headmistress, teachers, and students of St. Joseph’s Educational Institute, and parishioners to the event.

Ciete Da Cunha e Melo, Headmistress of St. Joseph’s Educational Institute, spoke on the occasion, and Joy Da Silva anchored the program, while Fr. Jean da Cruz Fernandes offered thanks to everyone.

Fr. Simon D’Cunha, who leads the Vakhann’nni group, reflected on the significance of the occasion, stating, "The appointment of our new Auxiliary Bishop to our Archdiocese after 30 years is a great gift for us, so we need to praise God. Music is my God-given talent, so I thought of praising God for the gift of our newly ordained Bishop through this Sacred Music Concert."

Fr. Simon, a former conductor of the Santa Cecilia Choir of the Patriarchal Seminary of Rachol, noted that the idea of the concert was supported by Fr. Jean, who is also a member of the Vakhann’nni Group.

The Vakhann’nni Choir previously held a Sacred Music Concert at Holy Spirit Church in Margao on September 29, 2022, to honor Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrão after his elevation as a Cardinal.

Similarly, Fr. Peter Cardoso, a member of the Society of Pilar in Goa and a well-known musician, organized a Sacred Music Concert at Kala Academy in 1994 when Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrão was ordained Bishop.


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