Confreres celebrating mass at OLPS Chembur during the Tridiuum
All through this Jubilee Year of Our Mother of Perpetual Help there have been a variety of programs organised in all 6 communities of the V Province dedicated to OMPH. These ranged from novenas, pilgrimages, tridiuums, on-going faith formation for lay people, manufacture and sale of religious items like rosaries, pictures, prayer cards, tapestries etc., the production of a CD of newly composed hymns in English to Our Mother of Perpetual Help, the production of a documentary on the Story and Message of the Icon which has been released and is available, an Ave Maria Concert where 16 compositions of the Ave Maria by the world famous composers were sung in choir in Churches and in an auditorium, and finally culminating in the last 9 days prior to the feast and the close of the Jubilee Year.
Confreres at the Tridiuum at OLPS Chembur
The highlight of the last 9 days from the 18th to the 27th including the feast day was the solemn novena held in each of the 4 parishes of the V. Province (OLPS Mumbai, Immaculate Conception Vasai, and Francis Xavier Mangalore & St. John of the Cross Goa). There were special devotions, preaching, processions with the icon, blessing of a new grotto dedicated to OMPH in Sanquelim Goa, concerts and parish programmes, the local Bishop coming to preside at Vasai and the Cardinal Archbishop of Mumbai and his Auxiliary presiding and present at OLPS Chembur in Mumbai.
Confreres at the OLPS School Celebration on the Feast day
Blessing of the St. Alphonsus Bust/Statue in the V. Provincial office Garden at OLPS Chembur
Confreres with the Stopgaps choir after the Ave Maria Concert at OLPS Chembur
with the Icon
The special feature of the V. Province was a Tridiuum organised for all the confreres of the V. Province which was mandatory to attend from the 23rd to the 25th June at the V. Provincial House in Chembur, Mumbai. The first morning we had Bishop Percy Fernandes speak to us about our role as Redemptorists to be leaders in our Church and Communities; the second day was a lay collaborator, Dr. Jeanette Pinto speak to us about ‘Mary through the eyes of a woman: The Challenge for us Redemptorists to truly make her known today.’ That evening all the Confreres, 24 in all sat for confessions after the evening novena service as a special moment of Jubilee grace for the parish, over 80% of the people came to the sacrament of grace and the confreres were sitting for confessions for nearly 3 hours that evening after the service. The final day one of the young confreres, Fr. Velson Fernandes, C.Ss.R., spoke about ‘Mary and the Poor: The challenge for us Redemptorists today and how we can internalize and then verbalize our own Magnificat.’ That evening we had the ‘Ave Maria Concert’ with the Stopgaps choir, one of Mumbai’s leading choirs sing 16 compositions of the Ave Maria. The Icon was solemnly incensed and enthroned and the choir sang 8 compositions, then the Icon story and message was explained to a very packed Church, and then 8 more compositions were sung ending with a solemn blessing with the Icon. The Feast morning saw all the confreres gathered with the staff and students of the Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Boys School run by the V. Province. There was a prayer service and explanation of the story and message of the Icon and a solemn blessing with the Icon. That day a special bust of St. Alphonsus was inaugurated in the V. Provincial garden seeking the protection of the founder on the V. Province. The Feast ended with a solemn Eucharistic celebration, procession with lit candles and chanting of the Ave Maria at which the Cardinal presided, the trailer of the Documentary was screened and the documentary inaugurated and put on sale. Truly a time to cherish and remember, a first in the short history of the V. Province which saw almost all the priests and brothers present and celebrating our brotherhood and our common filial love for Our Mother of Perpetual Help.