Mangaluru: The Carmelite family of the Mangaluru Region celebrated the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Carmelite Friars in India, on Sunday, November 3, at the Infant Jesus Shrine.
Rev. Dr. Aloysius D’Souza, Bishop Emeritus of the Mangalore Diocese, celebrated the Thanksgiving Mass. Fr. Archibald Gonsalves OCD preached a meaningful homily highlighting the contribution of the Carmelites to the local Church.
After the Mass, a Music Dance Narrative was conducted on the open stage.
The eight stages that led to the arrival of the Carmelites in Goa was depicted through beautiful music, dance and narratives. Fr. Alwyn Sequeira OCD wrote the narrative and composed the songs.
Joel Pereira rendered the music and Cliyon D’Souza prepared the audio-visuals.
The students of St. Agnes CBSE School performed the dances. The contribution of Dhanraj, a dance teacher from St. Agnes School, a non-Christian and non-Konkani speaker, was recognized and appreciated for his efforts.
Fr. Wilfred Rodrigues OCD, who was the convener and MC of the programme, said that Dhanraj choreographed the dances so well that the expressions were so well synchronized with the music. Incidentally, most of the dancers were also non-Christians.
The rendition of “Havem tuka apovn hadlam” by the Carmelite Scholastics in four parts was the highlight of the programme.
Earlier, the president, Rev. Fr. Charles Serrao OCD, the Provincial of the Karnataka Goa Province, recalled how the Carmelites from Goa and Verapolly and the first three Bishops of Mangaluru took care of the Canara Christians for almost 300 years and the contributions of the affiliated congregations such as Cloistered Sisters, Apostolic Carmelite Sisters, Sisters of St. Teresa, and the Secular Carmel in forming this Diocese. He also mentioned that the Carmelites were responsible for the starting of St. Joseph’s Seminary in Jeppu for the formation of the local clergy and the first English Medium School in Mangaluru.
Sr. Dr. Olivia AC thanked all those who contributed to the programme.
Many religious priests and nuns and the lay faithful participated in the programme.