by Rajendrabhai Parmar
GUJARAT, AUGUST 13, 2018: The parishioners of the Christ the King Church, Dakor, Gujarat, on August 5, celebrated Parish Priest Day on the feast day of Saint John Vianney, patron saint of parish priests. Through a special programme, the parishioners expressed their love for Father Bastin Thomas, the parish Priest and Rector, and Father Matthew Katara, the assistant parish priest and administrator.
The feast was celebrated on a Sunday morning to encourage active participation from the parishioners. Father Katara was the principal celebrant. Deacon Justus Mendis, in his sermon, enlightened the faithful on the selfless dedicated life of Saint John Vianney and how Father Thomas comes close to him, in his own way of service to the parish. He also awakened the youth in celebrating friendship day after the model of Saint John Vinaney, who showed true signs of friendship in doing good to others, even if the odds were against him.
After the Eucharistic celebration, a programme was organised for the youth. The young girls of Manjipura village performed a prayer dance in thanksgiving. Kirit Parmar from Dakor and Harish Khristi, from Manjipura village, read the address. The parishioners thanked the priests for their services in the parish by giving them flowers and bouquets. Father Thomas thanked all for their love and concern, and prayed for more co-operation in the Church's mission of service.
"I have a dream that this Church will soon become a pilgrimage center for all the neighbourhood parishes, only if we stay united and become an exemplary model in our spiritual life," Father Katara, said.
"Today I am going to put my first friendship band to my parish priest because I think through his life of service he shows me some important tenants of friendship that we need to adhere to," Shobit Parmar, a parishioner, said.