Mumbai:2500 crowd gathered for the retreat of Fr. Franklins at Vasai
Posted On: 09/04/2010 20:54 GMT
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News and Pictures By Ancy Paladka - Mumbai

Mumbai: "What more happiness can a bishop get than attending a gathering in his diocese where people are joined for a retreat or for prayer ?"  questioned Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado, Bishop of Vasai  during the concluding session of of a Konkani retreat organized by Vasai Konkani Welfare Association. The association had organized a two day Konkani Retreat of Fr. Franklin D'souza, Regional Youth Director of Karnataka in an open ground. 2500 Konkani people gathered for the retreat.

The Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado was the chief guest of the concluding session. Mr.Albert W D'souza, the Chairman of the ALDEL EDUCATION TRUST, Chairman of the MODEL BANK and the Chairman of the Printannia group was the guest of honour. Fr.Ozy Gonsalves, the Parish Priest of St. Ignatius Loyola Church, Fr.Valentine Pawkar, the Parish Priest of Gonsalo Garcia Church and Sr.Celine of Nallasopara were the other guests. Mr.Albert W D'souza spoke on the importance of the education in bringing up our society. The President Stephen Fernandes was present on the dais. The Secretary Mr.Ancy.S.D'souza -Paladka compered the programme.

Speaking during the occasion the Archbishop further said that "I appreciate the effort of Vasai Konkani Welfare Association for arranging this retreat to meet the desire of people of one language. It is a good thing to be proud of our language because that is the window or the goal through which you believe in the marvelous creation of God. When people are born and brought up in one language and when they move to a place where nobody speaks their language; what loneliness they must be feeling?; what sacrifice they were making?. I wish such an association is present at that time. This is because, I could see your joy while singing and listening to the word of God in your language."

Speaking about the importance of unity the archbishop said that "I am happy to see the unity of Konkani speaking people.  I am very happy that the Vasai Konkani Welfare Association has binded the Konkani People together, because we need to be united. If I am not united within myself and If I am not united within the place where I live then how will I be united with the church and with the body of Christ ?" the archbishop questioned.

The retreat started at PM and ended at PM on both the days. The concluding ceremony started at PM and ended at 9.PM. Archbishop Honoured Fr. Franklin D'souza with a Shawl. Br.William the musician of the group was also honoured with a memento.

The Bishop was received and welcomed at the entrance and was taken to the stage by the committee members. The bishop blessed the gathering.

The theme of the Konkani retreat was "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."- (Psalm 147:3), "whoever comes to me I will never drive away"- (John 6:37b)", "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" - (Mark 1:15)

Fr. Franklin gave his four talks during the retreat. They were 1. "Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power." (Ephesians 6:10), 2. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21b), 3. "Go now and leave your life of sin" (John 8:1-11), 4."Jesus liberates us from the curse" (Sirach 3:1-17).

Fr. Franklin in his talks gave more emphasis on strengthening the family bonds. Br.William enthralled the crowed with his melodious music and singing. On both days the hot cross buns were blessed and served to the entire crowd. The retreat was so touching that the tears were witnessed among those who attended this retreat.

Edited and Published By Konkanifriends Team
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