75 Years of Cloistered Carmel Goa Celebrated

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75 Years of Cloistered Carmel Goa Celebrated

Chicalim: Cloistered Carmel Chicalim-Goa celebrated 75 years of its foundation in the Archdiocese in Goa. Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrão was the main celebrant for the solemn Eucharistic celebration held at the chapel of Cloistered Carmel, Chicalim. Delivering homily on the Theme, “ Thank you Lord for the joy we share in Your abode.” The Archbishop appealed to the faithful to be rooted in Christ and witness to him. Fr. Silvestre D’Souza, Superior of the Carmelite Monastery, Margao, Fr. Ronald D’Souza, Councillor for Formation of Carmelites, Fr. Valentine Alphonso, Superior of Pallotti Home, Chicalim, Fr. Peter Fernandes, Assistant to the Parish Priest of St. Francis Xavier, Church, Chicalim, along with 15 other priests concelebrated.

“The most beautiful example for us to be Christ-like in our lives is Mother Mary. She shows us the way to be rooted in the Holy Trinity, to become Christ-like, in communion to the Father through the Holy Spirit.” The Prelate added. He recalled the contribution of the Archbishops, Parish Priests, Jesuits and the Carmelites nuns in the foundation of the Monastery dedicated to the Holy Trinity.

The Archbishop expressed his sentiment of gratitude to the Cloistered Carmelite Nuns for the spiritual support to the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman and the faithful in general. “This monastery has been for the church in Goa the Powerful instrument of God’s blessings. The Spiritual house of prayer.” Archbishop Said. He wished that the many youngsters would say ‘Yes’ to the Lord to live a contemplative life.

The logo of the celebration was unveiled at the hands of Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrão. Fr. Ronald D’Souza, Councilor for Formation of the Carmelites and Fr. Peter Fernandes, Assistant Parish Priest of Chicalim also spoke on the occasion. Mother Prioress of the Cloistered Carmel Chicalim Sr. Luiza Fernandes thanked all.

Rector of the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Fr Patricio Fernandes, Carmelite Fathers and Brothers, Pallotine Fathers and Canossian sisters participated in the Eucharistic celebration which was live-streamed on a local channel. Fr Silvestre D’Souza, Superior of the Carmelite Monastery Margao, animated the Liturgy.

Carmelite Postulants wished the cloistered nuns with a wishing song after the mass. Cloistered nuns too sang a song of praise.

Expressing his joy as the Provincial Superior of the Karnataka Goa province of the order of the Discalced Carmelites, Fr. George Santhumayor Said: “This Carmelite presence may be compared to the presence of Mother Mary among the apostles in the early Church. Mother Mary, apparently, did nothing: no administration, no ministry, no visible apostolic activity. Her contribution was her Presence; especially her Presence at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came down on the apostles. But all the while Mary was engaged in an invisible apostolic activity pondering in Her heart on the wonders of the Incarnation of God.”

“The Sisters in the Cloistered Carmel at Chicalim are doing what Mary did. We may never be able to fathom the fruits of their life dedicated to prayer and sacrifice, for the salvation of souls.” Said Fr. Provincial Superior.

Fr George, on behalf of the Karnataka-Goa Province, thanked the Heavenly Father for their presence and for 75 years of abundant blessings on them and through them to the Church in Goa. He also prays that they get some good vocations to continue their mission.

“As we, the Cloistered Carmelite Sisters in Chicalim, reach a great milestone of 75 years of our presence in the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, my heart overflows with love, praise and gratitude to the Almighty God. for leading, guiding, providing and moving us according to his plan.” Said Sr. Luiza, Prioress of the Cloistered Carmel Chicalim.

“We witness, especially during this time, the faith of the people irrespective of race, colour or religion, who call to us or visit us, requesting our prayers for their various needs,” Prioress added.

“If we have reached today to celebrate 75 years of our existence in Chicalim, it’s because God has sent countless earthly angels on our journey to support us spiritually and materially, thus helping us to live our life smoothly and fruitfully.” She said further.

“The Cloistered Carmel Convent is one of the treasures of our Archdiocese – a storehouse of spiritual power and an inspiring witness to the presence and action of God through prayer,” said Dr Noemia Mascarenhas, from Chicalim. Dr Noemia Mascarenhas stays just 2kms away from the convent. “It has been a refuge for many in spiritual need. In sharp contrast to the arid desert of contemporary culture with its increasingly selfish pursuit of wealth, pleasure and power, their life of loving self-gift, austerity and poverty is a life-giving oasis.” Dr Noemia added. Expressing her gratitude towards the nuns, Dr Mascarenhas said that they have been a precious gift to her since her childhood, and a few of them who became her close friends had a great influence on her life.

“I consider my call to Carmel is nothing but God’s gratuitous gift of love.” Said Sr. Theresita, Novice Mistress at the Cloistered Carmel. Speaking on the life of a Cloistered nun, Sr. Theresita, who completed 30 years of religious life said: “We are called as Contemplatives in the Church. We are invited to ponder on the Word of God like Mary, and live a hidden life centred on Christ seeking God in our entire life.”

It is recalled that Dom Teutonio de Castro, the then Patriarch of Goa, happened to visit the Cloistered Carmel at Bangalore (founded in 1932) and expressed his wish to have a similar Carmel in his Archdiocese. Fr. A. Le Tellier, an old, but dynamic Belgian Jesuit, also visited Carmel and shared the same desire. Through his efforts in promoting vocation, there were 5 Goan novices in the Bangalore Carmel by the end of 1947.

Mr J. B. Mascarenhas, from Vaddem, Vasco, who was requested to continue the search, proposed a house in Chicalim, belonging to Mr Joaquim Alvares and Mrs Escolastica.

Mother Elizabeth of the Holy Trinity, a French nun, then Prioress of the Bangalore Carmel, was sent to Goa in view of a new foundation, at the formal request of the new Patriarch of Goa, Dom Jose Da Costa Nunes. On the 9th of February 1947, the first community of 6 nuns entered their new home at Chicalim, singing the “Laudate” (Praise the Lord) and “Gloria Patri” (Glory be) in thanksgiving to God.

Fr. Hyacinth OCD, from the Carmelite Monastery, Margao, offered Mass for the first time on 25th March 1947 and installed the Blessed Sacrament in the Chapel. On 1st June, the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, the temporary enclosure having been fixed, the parish priest, Fr. Joaquim Alvares blessed the house in the presence of a few villagers. For this reason, this Carmel is dedicated to the Most Blessed Trinity.

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