MONTH OF SEPTEMBER 2022
Pilgrimage to Velankanni, Tamil Nadu
The annual pilgrimage to Velankanni, Tamil Nadu was organized by the Crusaders this year after a long gap of 2 years. Although the fear of COVID is still lurking in the air, nothing could dampen the spirits of the 120 pilgrims who embarked on this pilgrimage of faith from Goa on 18th August 2022 by train.
Upon arriving at Velankanni on 20th August 2022 morning, the pilgrims were put up at the Velankanni Retreat Centre where they were given time to rest it out till evening. The evening program was held inside the retreat hall and began with the celebration of the Holy Mass by the Rector of the Retreat Centre, Fr. Sebastian.
Soon after the Holy Mass was the introductory session, which set the right tone for the various spiritual exercises that the pilgrims would be doing during their 4-days stay in Velankanni. By the time the session ended, it was dark enough and the pilgrims went out in a candlelight procession from the retreat centre up to Our Lady's Tank, which is one of the two apparition sites in Velankanni.
During the procession, the pilgrims recited the rosary while meditating on various stages of their lives. Having returned back to the retreat centre, they had dinner and finally settled down to watch a documentary on Sr. Ranni Maria. That was Day 1.
Every morning, there would be adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the retreat centre. After having breakfast, the pilgrims would set out for the celebration of the Holy Mass at the Shrine Bascilica. Then they were free to spend their time for private devotion until evening when everyone would gather together once again inside the retreat hall for sessions.
21st August was the day set aside for confession. The evening program consisted of talks followed by a session where the youth of the ACJM came forward to dedicate their lives to Jesus.
22nd August 2022 being the feastday of the Queenship of Mary, the pilgrims after taking part in the celebration of the Holy Mass at the Shrine Bascilica, went out in procession around the Bascilica carrying banners of Our Lady and a huge garland of roses. Hymns were sung to Our Lady all along the way. The procession culminated with garlanding the statue of Our Lady of Good Health inside the main shrine facing the sea.
The evening program started with a talk, which was followed by a reconciliation session. The reconciliation session consisted of a guided meditation leading into an act of reconciliation between spouses, between parents and their children, etc. As soon as the session got over, a group of orphans belonging to the charitable organisation called 'Helping Hands' arrived at the retreat centre. These are mainly the local children who had lost their parents as a result of the 2004 Tsunami. The pilgrims were given time to interact with the orphans and also support them in whatever way they could.
The session that followed next was the penance session where the pilgrims were invited to offer any form of sacrifice mainly for the conversion of sinners and for various other intentions of the organisation. This was done before the Blessed Sacrament.
On 23rd August, the pilgrims gathered together in the afternoon for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. After that was the sharing session where many came forward to witness the wonderful things they had experienced during the sessions. Many expressed that they felt a deep sense of peace and happiness. The final session in the evening consisted of a talk and a praise and worship session. It was then time to bid adeus to Our Lady of Good Health.
All 120 pilgrims returned back to Goa on 25th August 2022; not only safe and sound but also very much enriched in their faith.
Zonal Celebrations of the Feast of Queenship of Mary
The Feast of the Queenship of Mary was celebrated by the Crusaders with great devotion on 22nd August in all three zones (Vasco, Panjim and Margao). In each of the zones, the Feast Mass was celebrated and was followed by the symbolic crowning and kissing of the statue of Our Lady.
Our Lady of Candeleria Church, Baina
Immaculate Conception Church, Panjim
Our Lady of Piety Chapel, Monte
An Evening of Praise, Worship & Fellowship
A Crusader Kids Cell Camp was held successfully on 31st August 2022 at a Retreat House in South Goa.
Conclave for Members of the Elders Forum
A conclave was held for the members of the Elders forum of the ACJM from 2nd September to 4th September 2022 in South Goa. Much time was spent in meditating on the scriptures and discovering how God operates in the lives of people by following a certain pattern. Besides meditating on the scriptures, crucial decisions were also taken at this conclave.
Conclave for ACJM Office Staff
A conclave was held for the ACJM Office Staff from 7th to 11th September 2022 at a place in North Goa. Four additional members have been added to the existing staff of the ACJM offices. Besides undergoing spiritual formation, they will also be given specialised training in all types of evangelisation related services so that they are well equipped to fulfill the Great Commission by using even modern means of evangelisation.
The young men and women who after successful completion of their hard training & internship, have dedicated their lives to Christ by working as the everyday office staff of the ACJM in our Vasco & Margao offices of the Crusaders.