BOSCO INFORMATION SERVICE # 3478
MAKING LENT 2013 MORE MEANINGFUL
By: Oscar Lobo
YERWADA –PUNE, APRIL 03, 2013: Sacred Heart Parish, Yerwada, made the season of Lent a truly meaningful experience through a series of activities and services reaching out to touch the hearts and minds of its parishioners, the young ones with fire in their bellies, the elderly with the fires of devotion in their hearts. And to cater to the ethnic needs of parishioners, there were services in English, Marathi, Tamil, Konkani and Hindi.
Way of the Cross was conducted on Fridays; theme-based adoration services. On Wednesdays a full-day recollection in five languages was held simultaneously at five locations within the parish and school campus. At the end, the groups came together to celebrate the Eucharist in the church.
At the special evening service the children lined up to flower the cross in the quadrangle. As Fr. Anton D'Souza parish priest, and the architect of most of the innovative touches to the services put it: "We want to take the fear of the Cross from the minds of the little ones, so they grow into young adults and come to embrace the Cross." Nearly fifty altar servers both boys and girls assisted in the Eucharistic celebrations on the three key days of the Holy Week.
The youth assisted parish councillors with collections, distribution of communion and organized blood donation drive on Palm Sunday. They animated the Way of the Cross on Good Friday under the guidance of Fr. George Miranda. The entire congregation walked along the school grounds, behind the cross borne by the youth, with stoppages at 14 stations ear-marked with posters and banners.
This year's highlight was the passionate appeal by the parish priest based on the Saviour's own words: "When I was thirsty you gave me to drink …" and "as long as you did it to the least … you did it to me." The response was overwhelming. Throughout Good Friday, and even on Holy Saturday, parishioners kept bringing bottles of drinking water and placing them at the foot of the cross in the quadrangle. These were sent to the drought-induced thirsting villagers in Ahmednagar.
The three Eucharistic celebrations saw huge crowds on the school grounds, notwithstanding the prolonged services conducted in Marathi and English. Still parishioners came and they stayed on till the end of each service. A tribute to the parish priests and the team of silent workers who helped behind the scenes.