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India: Goa Cardinal ordains 10 deacons

10 new deacons of Pilar Society (Photo supplied)

The new cardinal of Goa and Daman ordained 10 scholastics as deacons, belonging to the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier, (Society of Pilar), on October 2.

The event was held in the chapel of the Mission Seminary, Pilar, Goa, western India.

Cardinal Filipe Neri Ferrao, Archbishop of Goa and Daman, was visiting Pilar for the first time after Pope Francis appointed him as a Cardinal during the consistory held on August 27. 

The Cardinal was led by a motorcade from the Pilar junction to the Pilar Hillock.  

Father Nazareth Fernandes, the Superior General of the Society of Pilar, priests, seminarians, and people welcomed him. Shobhit D. Saxena, Superintendent of Police, North Goa, was also present to welcome the cardinal. 

A brief felicitation ceremony was held in the Chapel of the Mission Seminary preceding the Mass.

The Superior General congratulated the Cardinal, adding, the Society of Pilar rejoices at the elevation. It is a recognition of the immense contribution of the Archdiocese of Goa for centuries, which is now being recognized by the Universal Church.

Father Nazareth further said that the Society of Pilar shares a special bond with the Archdiocese of Goa right from its foundation in 1887. 

The Superior General presented the Cardinal with a shawl and a wooden art as a token of congratulations.

During the Mass, the Cardinal said that the ten scholastics are receiving a precious gift from the diaconate, whereby they accept the responsibility to continue the mission of humble, joyful, selfless, and caring service made present in the world by Jesus. 

In his homily, he called upon the ten young men to be rooted in Jesus just like St. Teresa of Child Jesus, who lived her life rooted in Jesus and with an attitude of total surrender to God, which enabled her not only to grow in holiness but to become a missionary even by remaining within the four walls of her room in the convent.

The Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier, popularly known as the Society of Pilar, was founded in 1887 in Goa. It is an indigenous society and works in 31 dioceses in India and nine dioceses abroad. 

The ten deacons hail from different parts of India—Alton Abranches, Velroy De Melo, Baltazar Fernandes, Salten Monteiro, Agustinho Baretto and Jovito Vaz from Goa; Rohan D’Souza and Rolson D’Souza from Mangalore, Johnson M. from Tamil Nadu; and Christopher Joseph from Delhi. 

Speaking on the occasion, Fr. Joseph Fernandes, the Central Delegate Superior, thanked the Cardinal, Father Peter Melo Fernandes, the Rector of the All India Mission Seminary, and all the seminary educators, parents of the deacons, benefactors, and the respective diocesan bishops and parish priests. - Elvis Fernandes


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