Saturday, September 17, 2011


Bento D’Souza and Michael Bansode
BHINGAR, SEPTEMBER 17, 2011: On September 16, 2011 the Parishioners of St John the Baptist Church, Bhingar united together in an auspicious and significant Eucharistic Celebration at 5.30 pm. around Fr. Bhausaheb Sonsare, Provincial of the Jesuit Province of Pune. The Catholics of the parish have a proud statement to make, “We are the oldest Catholic Parish in the area and second built church structure after Kendal, the starting point of hundred and thirty year old Jesuit mission. Today we celebrate a milestone of our existence in this region.”

This historic church has existed for hundred and sixty long years and previous to this, hundred and eighty five years ago, the Bhingar Parish was securely founded with the forming of the parish. In his homily, Fr. Sonsare stated that in spite of this church being built on mud and stones, it embodies the faith on which the people‘s lives were founded and also the martyrdom of  past  apostles. Under the shadow of such a structure of mud, walls and roof, the faith of the people has been sustained.
Ten priests belonging to the two charisms, the ancient Jesuits and modern Salesians joined together in prayer and concelebrated worship. It was a historical moment where two giants in the church exchanged batons to look back with nostalgia in responding to the cry of the church in dealing with the ethnocentric pastoral care of souls.
From this Mother Church, four other institutions have grown, St. Anne’s, Collector’s office,  Don Bosco Savedi (School Boarding Parish & Junior College), Bosco Grameen Vikas Kendra, Khedgaon and Our Lady of the Rosary Community Chapel,  Jeur, on the Aurangabad Road.  St John the Baptist Bhingar has been the fountainhead of new developments in the area, by its immersion in the lives of the people at the grassroots in different areas and variety of services. 
St John the Baptist, Bhingar provides significant services to the people on the planet. Fr. Anton D’souza recounts that an Irishman came in search of the 1904 baptismal records of his Irish grandfather and ancestry and was successful in tracing the death of a son from the remarks. Fr. D’Souza also records that the gravestone of the four year old was never traced. The Irishman documented a film on the search for his lineage.
A Satkar of the Jesuit Provincial was held in Church after mass. After the Eucharist, a huge cake with the logo of the Bhingar church and spire was cut. A musical hip-hop dance by the youthful football team was followed by a fellowship meal brought the memorable day to a close.

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