By Sr Hilarita BS

120th Ordination Anniversary of the Servant of God Raymond Francis Camillus Mascarenhas, the former Vicar General of the diocese of Mangalore, and the Founder of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany was celebrated on the 29th of February 2020 at the Rosario Cathedral, Mangaluru. The 60th Anniversary- the Jubilee of his priesthood was celebrated on 29th February sixty years before that coincided with today’s date. The church was packed to its capacity with people of the parish and the Bethany Sisters who had gathered for the occasion.

Sr Lilitta BS, the General Councillor in her introductory and welcome speech highlighted the purpose of the day’s Eucharistic celebration. The Servant of God who was ordained in this very Cathedral by the then Jesuit Bishop Abundius Cavadini, SJ on 4th March 1900 lived up to the holiness of life as a priest. He made the Word of God and the Rosary his instruments to build his own faith and that of his people and in his pastoral ministry reached to the poorest of the poor.

At the striking of time 5p.m., the Bishop Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, the main celebrant and a dozen more priests joining in the concelebration led to the Altar to the tune of melodious entrance hymn. The Bishop then honoured the Servant of God by garlanding his portrait previously arranged for the purpose. The choir consisted of the seminarians and the Bethany Sisters, was directed by Rev. Dr Ronald Serrao, the Rector of St Joseph’s Seminary, Jeppu.

The Bishop, taking the first Sunday of Lent in his homily expounded on the importance of the Word of God to face the day to day temptations in the daily life of the faithful. With few examples combined with his practical wisdom, he called on the faithful to make and experience the Word of God as the power of God in facing life’s challenges in our present conditions. He also reiterated how the Servant of God made the Eucharist his main source from where he drew strength to face the challenges of life and sufferings. He recalled how the people on the periphery were touched and brought about a developmental change in their lives in the diocese. A prayer was expressed that the Servant of God may attain sainthood before long as his documents are already being taken up for study in Rome.

In the Prayer of the Faithful, the various needs of the church and society etc were prayed for. The Bishop congratulated the Bethany Sisters and thanked them for their services. After the final blessing and the hymn, few photographs were taken. Booklets on the Servant of God were made available to the people as they moved out of the church. Snacks were served to all who participated in the Eucharistic celebration.

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