The children of Guardian Angel Church are effervescent and energetic. Throughout the year, they can be seen in the church premises involved in some or other activity. They have won accolades for their excellence in various activities and have made Angelore a household name in the Diocese. This achievement surely deserves appreciation and recognition, and to celebrate it the Parish Pastoral Council decided to celebrate Children’s Day on 19 November 2023.
The festivities commenced with the Eucharistic Celebration at 4.30 pm led by the children. Rev. Fr Roshan D’Cunha, the Diocesan Director of YCS/YSM, concelebrated the Holy Eucharist with Rev. Fr William Menezes and Rev. Fr Jerald Pinto. At the end of the mass all children gathered around the altar and Rev. Fr Roshan blessed them. After the mass ice cream was distributed to the children.
After the Holy Eucharist the cultural event ensued. Deviating from the usual practice of children presenting various cultural activities on Children’s Day, this year the elders – belonging to various organisations of the parish – entertained the children with their performances.
Rev. Fr Roshan D'Cunha was the Chief Guest. Rev. Fr William Menezes, Parish Priest; Rev. Fr Jerald Pinto, Socius Priest; Mr. Paul Rodrigues, Vice President of the PPC, Mrs. Lolina D’Souza, Secretary of the PPC, and Ms. Renita, Coordinator of 21 Pastoral Commissions graced the dais. The tiny tots of the parish declared the programme open by releasing balloons into air. The choir invoked the blessings of God Almighty with a prayer song.
Mr. Paul Rodrigues welcomed the gathering. In his address to the children, Rev. Fr Roshan emphasised three critical components in the life of children: faith in Christ, their duty as students, and the significance of not passing up opportunities. Prizes were distributed to the winners of several Children's Day events, namely, games, quizzes, and drawing competition. In his Presidential address Rev. Fr William Menezes highlighted the relationship between children and plants, providing a unique perspective to the event.
Sr. Lorna has been part of the parish for two terms, and in the last term that spanned 13 years, she had been instrumental in the spiritual formation of children. The parish bid emotional farewell to Sr. Lorna, thanked her for the selfless service rendered in the parish and wished her well in her future endeavours.
Mrs. Lolina D’Souza thanked all who relentlessly toiled in making the day’s programme a success.
The formal programme was followed by entertainment programme that included a series of presentations by various organisations of the parish. It was a melange of old and new. The Secular Franciscan Order welcomed the gathering with their wishing song. The band by AYM presented assortment of songs. A skit by members of St. Vincent de Paul Society set tone for the humorous mood. The members of the Senior Citizens’ Association entertained the gathering with their action song. The Catechism teachers – both religious sisters and laity – presented a mesmerising dance. The members of the Stree Sanghatan enthralled the audience with their breathtaking dance performance. The choir presented a joke that made those present to laugh to no end. The dance by the members of Legion of Mary was a sight to behold. Continuing with the humorous mood, the Catholic Sabha presented a comedy skit. The members of YCS presented a dance to thumping music, to which nobody could resist tapping their feet. Having celebrated Men’s Day the same morning, the men of the parish presented a fascinating dance signifying Men’s Day. The final event of the day was a skit by the members of the Parish Pastoral Council, which included the Parish Priest and Assistant Parish Priest as cast!
Children have very short attention span. To grab their attention and make them glued to their seats to enjoy the programme, two renowned Masters of Ceremony of the parish – Mr. Stany D’Souza and Mr. Manohar Saldana – conducted games to the children.
The programme formally ended by singing the hymn of Guardian Angel.
However, our programmes are incomplete without Baila. The young and the old alike danced to the tune of the songs until their feet said no more.
The sprightly lad Master Neil Fernandes was at every corner of the venue to capture all these moments in his camera.
The programme not only entertained the children and their families, it also brought to fore the talent of many a parishioner hitherto unknown.
Report by Ovin Pereira
Photography by Neil Fernandes