In the last 7 months, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in lockdowns and isolation measures all over the world. When the whole of India went into a lockdown from 24th March onwards, the ACJM was faced with the challenge of sustaining its members spiritually which it would do otherwise through regular prayer meetings, ministry meetings and conclaves. Mass evangelisation through retreats, public conventions, etc. also came to a standstill. However, the Crusaders heeded God’s call to ‘go and attack’ even in the times of the pandemic. Over the last seven months, He has guided the ACJM in making use of the internet and mobile technology to reach out to more people than ever before.
MONTH OF MARCH
Daily One- hour Prayer and Fasting Campaign
A 33-day prayer campaign was organised by the Crusaders to battle against the pandemic from 31st March to 3rd April. The prayer campaign consisted of daily one-hour prayer accompanied by fasting on certain days of the week.
MONTH OF APRIL
Online Christian Maturity Retreat
A Christian Maturity Retreat was conducted online from 2nd April to 7th April 2020 with two sessions daily. Each session consisted of the Bible talks by Br. Edmund Antao and related hymns for meditation sent over a WhatsApp broadcast group comprising hundreds of Crusaders and non-Crusaders within Goa as well as across India and abroad. Click here to go to the playlist.
Bouquet of Memorares to Our Lady
Lakhs of Memorare prayers were raised to heaven from 2nd April to 3rd May 2020 urging the Holy Virgin Mary to pray for protection for all God’s people against the scourge of the Coronavirus Pandemic world wide.
Daily Dose to Defeat Corona Virus
One positive aspect of the pandemic lockdown is it has offered us a lot of time to pray and reflect over our lives and on the Word of God. Taking advantage of the situation, the ACJM started broadcasting a series of talks by Br. Edmund Antao titled ‘Daily dose to defeat Corona Virus’ to all those part of its WhatsApp broadcast group from 8th April onwards.
Spiritual Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
By means of preparation for the celebration of the Easter Triduum, the ACJM invited those on its WhatsApp broadcast group to take a spiritual journey to the Holy Land on 10th April 2020 by watching a video brought out by the Augustine Institure. The video was meant to unite Catholics all around the world and make the spiritual pilgrimage.
Novena to Divine Mercy
A call was give to all the members of the ACJM to the Novena of the Divine Mercy from 10th to 19th April 2020.
Online Marriage Retreat
A second online retreat titled ‘Building a Christo-centric Marriage’ was conducted by the ACJM from 16th April to 24th April 2020. The retreat talks by Br. Edmund Antao and other retreat related material was channelled via WhatsApp to the many who had registered for the same. Click here to go to the playlist.
One Day Silent Retreat
A one-day silent retreat was conducted for the leadership cadre of the ACJM on 30th April 2020. The material outlining the spiritual exercises was sent over WhatsApp and the members had to start early morning and finish by evening.
MONTH OF MAY
Release of the first Digital Issue of Crusaders Voice
Due to the pandemic lockdown, the Crusaders Voice could not be printed and circulated as usual. In view of this, the first digital issue of the Crusaders Voice was released on 17th May 2020 and subsequent issues have been sent regularly via WhatsApp. Click here to read the magazine.
The ACJM came out with two of its own pandemic-related video productions . The first one titled ‘A virus more deadly than COVID-19' was premiered on You Tube on 11th May 2020 and the second titled ‘How God’s power prevailed over Pandemics in the past’ was premiered on 12th May. Click on the images below to watch the videos.
Online Training Course in Prayer
Prayer is one of the most powerful weapons God has given us and there are many who seek to grow in their prayer lives. An online training course titled, ‘Lord, Teach me to pray’ was conducted by the ACJM from 14th May to 25th May 2020 with the intention of reaching out to the thousands who are part of the 'Daily Broadcast' group.
Daily Online Bible Study Series
Following the course on growing in prayer, the ACJM began with a Bible Study series with the aim of developing in each viewer the hunger to go deeper into God's Word. The series, which began on 26th May 2020 continue till date.
Pentecost Online Prayer Program
31st May 2020, the feast of Pentecost, was a memorable day for the Crusaders. Using the Zoom video conferencing app, all of them met together for an online prayer session in small groups after nearly two months from the time the lockdown began.
MONTH OF JUNE
Global Rosary Crusade
On 28th June 2020 afternoon at 12:30pm IST, all the Crusaders joined in the Global Rosary Crusade to Mary from their homes in the wake of the Covid Pandemic and imploring God’s Mercy to be shown to the world.
MONTH OF JULY
Prayer group meetings in all the Zones
Once again, the Crusaders met online over zoom video-conferencing app in the month of July, this time on a larger scale for the zone-wise prayer meetings. Thanks be to God, the Crusaders were able to easily adapt to this new way of meeting. Panjim zone members met on 12th July 2020 at 11am, Margao zone members met on 19th July 2020 at 5pm and Vasco zone members met on 25th July 2020 at 6pm. Since then, the prayer meetings are being held every fortnight in each zone .
Virtual Marian Pilgrimages and Torchlight Processions
With many international borders closed and social distancing rules in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, world-famous shrines such as the Lourdes shrine are organising virtual pilgrimages designed to gather people from over the world over the internet. Also, the nightly torchlight procession in Lourdes, where the Rosary would to be recited and the Ave Maria of Lourdes sung, has been now replaced by a virtual torchlight procession. The entire community of the Crusaders jointly took part in both these virtual events on the following days:
- 14th July 2020 - What happened in Lourdes (A pilgrimage with Mary)
- 15th July 2020 - Virtual torchlight procession at Lourdes.
- 16th July 2020 - Virtual Pilgrimage in Medjugorge (The Cross Mountain)
- 31st August 2020 - Virtual torchlight procession at Lourdes.
MONTH OF AUGUST
Zone-Wise Online Adoration
Separate online adoration sessions were organised by the ACJM for its members from Vasco, Panjim and Margao over the zoom App. Vasco zone had their session on 1st August 2020, Panjim on 2nd August 2020 in the morning and Margao on the same day in the evening. The evening adoration session was streamed live on YouTube so that members abroad could also participate. Repentance was the main theme of the adoration in all the three zones. Each member was required to do a thorough examination of conscience based on guidelines sent to him/her over WhatsApp on the previous day before attending the adoration.
Novena to Our Lady Queen of the Home followed by Feast Mass
This year, the 9-day Novena was held online over zoom in the smaller groups of the Crusaders starting from 13th Aug. On 22nd August 2020, the Crusaders from all the three zones, Vasco Panjim and Margao joined together over zoom for a short prayer and fellowship session that was soon followed by the online celebration of the Feast Mass feast of the Queenship of Mary.
Soul Welfare Prayer Meeting
On 15th August 2020, the Crusaders on invitation conducted a conference for people from various countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, China, USA, UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, the Gulf, South America and Brazil besides being attended online by persons from different parts of India. The conference consisting of praise & worship and talk was organized under the title, "Soul Welfare Meeting" at the initiative of Br. Glen La Rive from the Divine Retreat Centre, Kerala.
MONTH OF SEPTEMBER
Online Conclave for Widows
A 1-day conclave was organised for the members of the Widows Ministry of the ACJM over zoom App on 15th September 2020. The conclave consisted of praying the rosary, praise & worship session, preaching of the Word of God and a sharing session towards the end.
Conclave for Head Office Staff
The office staff of the Head Office had their conclave from 24th September to 28th September 2020.
MONTH OF OCTOBER
Online Joint-Core Conclave
The leadership cadre of the ACJM from Vasco, Panjim and Margao got together for a joint-core conclave on Zoom App on 2nd, 3rd and 4th October 2020 for the purpose of meditating on the Word of God, planning and decision-making. The sessions were spaced out in the morning, afternoon and evening time.
Rosary Bouquet to Our Lady
On 13th October, the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, at 7pm IST, the Crusaders joined thousands of others world over in offering a ‘Global Bouquet of Rosaries’ to Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, Portugal. Millions of rosaries were handed over to the Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima who then presented them to Our Lady in the chapel of Apparitions at Fatima, Portugal on the feast day in a solemn ceremony.