On 26 October, Day 2 of the Convention, delegates stayed at their host parishes instead of coming to St. Xavier’s. There, along with the local community they shared Mass, meals, prayers and cultural shows. Each of the 13 participating Parishes had a bishop as guest, or an SCC National Team member, too.
27 October, Day 3 of the SCC National Convention kicked off on a musical note with the charismatic Raymond Baptiste singing hymns like Shukriya, Aaj Yeshu zinda hai, Parmeshwar Pita and Ho teri stuti aur aradhana. The special guest for the day was Most Rev Anil Couto, the Archbishop of Delhi.
Rev Peter Emmanuel and Rev Thomas Vijay conducted an interactive session with the SCC animators where they were asked what challenges they had to face to do God’s work among the masses. Like on Friday, few were called on stage to share their success stories in their local SCCs. Addressing the gathering Archbishop Anil Couto said we need to keep God before us to fulfill our mission forgetting our petty differences, cultural and language, etc.
After a short tea break and an action song Nachoonga gaaonga, Sister Christine Joseph and Rev Ignatius Mascarenhas summarized the events of the Convention on a powerpoint presentation.
Fr Ignatius said we need to be aware of the signs of the time and work together to combat the evils that have crept into society. A prophet is one who is never made on his own strength but on what God had told him to do. The word of God is the prophet’s food. Jesus as a prophet transformed the mind of the people. We need to make Jesus our icon. Sister Christine comparing food to the word of God said don’t rush but enjoy the food in small amounts, in the same way, savor the word of God. If we savor God’s words, we become the word of God. Prophets have to be the conscience keepers of today’s society.
Rev Ignatius pointed out that meeting and communicating has become the biggest challenge today. We need to bring people together and heal their hearts. The need of the hour is unity and harmony and listening to the cry of the poor as Pope Francis urged. Prophets have to be the paths themselves to transform society from within. Christ is a living God and he is on a mission and it is through the SCCs that His mission can be fulfilled.
Holy Mass followed with the chief celebrant being Archbishop Anil Couto. In his homily, he pointed out that it is difficult to share with one another but this has been made possible with the help of the SCCs. In fact, we are setting an example to the whole world and the west is looking to us to guide them. Remember there is no end to reflecting on the word of God. God has chosen you all to be his prophets so go forth fearlessly. Jesus has taught us how to bear our cross and walk behind him as humble apostles of peace. This is a big responsibility for the SCCS but it’s a joyful one as you have been chosen to give light to be the salt and bring about newness everywhere.
Twenty four priests gave Holy Communion to the around 5000 gathering, in a very efficient manner.
Finally, Rev George Jacob gave the vote of thanks. Calcutta Archbishop Thomas D’Souza and the Vicar General, Msgr Dominic Gomes were felicitated with shawls and mementos for hosting the national convention so beautifully. Sister Christine and Fr Thomas Vijay were given a standing ovation for their untiring efforts to make the event such a great success, too. Fr Faustine Pinto gave the concluding remarks while Archbishop Thomas D’Souza gave the final blessing, after which the Bible, and the convention were formally closed and the gathering went for a scrumptious final lunch before departure.
– By Althea Phillips