Arrival of the head of an institution or a commune on official visit is a joyous occasion for those concerned and it is imperative that elaborate preparations are made for the grand occasion. The mood was no different since the past 2-3 months at Angelore. For the casual observer, it was ‘business-as-usual’ at Guardian Angel Church. However, the keen observer would have certainly noticed the flurry of activity. It was natural to make necessary preparations by the faithful of Angelore to accord grand welcome to their pastor – Most Rev. Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha, the Bishop of Mangalore, scheduled for Pastoral Visit on August 12-13, 2023. Apart for the outward preparations like decorating the church premises, preparing and erecting hoardings, and welcoming the Bishop, several activities were going on at the administrative level: meetings of the office bearers of various associations and commissions were held, reports were being prepared, as were documents pertaining to the church.
As the clock struck 3 on the afternoon of 12th August 2023, the premises of Angelore Church were bustling with the faithful, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Bishop. Exactly at 3.30 pm, the Bishop landed at Angelore Church.
The Parish Priest Rev. Fr William Menezes, Socius Rev. Fr Jerald Pinto, Vice President of the Parish Pastoral Council Mr. Paul Rodirgues, Secretary of the PPC Mrs. Lolina D’Souza and Coordinator of 21 Commissions Ms. Renita Menezes accorded floral welcome to the Bishop. A prayer service followed the welcome.
Then the Bishop conducted catechism to the children who were to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. At 5.00 pm, the Bishop concelebrated the Holy Eucharist with the Parish Priest, Socius and Rev. Fr Thrishan, during which 53 children of the parish received the Sacrament of Confirmation. After the mass, the Bishop led the prayer service at the cemetery.
Then the scheduled meetings ensued. At 6.30 pm, the Bishop had a meeting with the Finance Committee, which was followed by meeting with the Parish Pastoral Council. The Secretary of the PPC, Mrs. Lolina D’Souza read the report of the activities of Parish Pastoral Council from 2017 to 2023. The Bishop appreciated the role of the PPC in the welfare of the parish community. The meeting concluded with sumptuous dinner. After dinner, the Bishop scrutinised various church documents.
On Sunday, 13th August 2023, at 7.30 a.m., the Bishop had a dialogue with his flock. This was followed by the celebration of Holy Eucharist. After the mass, the Bishop met the parents of seminarians and religious of the parish. At 10.00 a.m. the Bishop met the members of all associations of the church at the Golden Jubilee Memorial Hall. As the report of each association was read, the Bishop lauded the efforts put in by them in the welfare of various sections of parishioners and parish at large.
Angelore is unique in having four convents of religious sisters – Capitanio, St. Ann’s Providence, Casa Gaia and Belvedere. After meeting the associations, the Bishop proceeded on visit to the convents. In the afternoon, he had individual meetings with the Parish Priest and Socius. At 3.30 p.m., he visited three sick persons of the parish. At 4.15 p.m., he attended the Small Christian Community meeting at the residence of Mrs. Gladys Coelho at Infant Jesus Ward.
Every beginning has an end and the Pastoral Visit by our beloved Bishop Most Rev. Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha concluded at 5.30 pm. While bidding adieu to the Bishop, the faithful wish him well in his pastoral mission and promise to live by his teachings.