by Fr. Cedrick Sankul
AHMEDNAGAR-MAHARASHTRA, FEBRUARY 24, 2015: On February 14, 2015 the new chapel at Pokardi dedicated to our Lady of Velankani was inaugurated at 5:00 p.m. The youth of the village performed a lezim dance as the people proceeded to the entrance of the new chapel. The Grace Choir of our parish led by Mr. Leo and Peter Pandit conducted a praise and worship session that received active participation of the parishioners.
At 8:45 p.m., the inaugural ceremony began with Fr. William Falcao opening the plaque. A prayer service was then conducted by Fr. William himself. He was accompanied to the altar by Frs. Manuel Murzello, Francis Fernandes and Fr. Anthony Goyal along with Salesian, Sacred Heart (Carmelites) and diocesan sisters of the parish.
They were taken to the altar with a prayer dance. In his homily, Fr. William stressed the importance of a church and what it meant to be the Church of Christ especially in a non-Christian setting. "It is not the building that makes the church but it is coming together in faith as Christians that makes the church." he commented.
After the homily, he blessed the newly built altar with holy oil and the chapel and the people with holy water. Fr. Manuel, the Rector and Parish priest was thanked for the efforts taken in building the chapel. Food was then served to all those present which was sponsored by villagers themselves.
On February 15, 2015 sixty two youngsters and four adults received the sacrament of confirmation. Bishop Lourdes Daniel, the Bishop of Nashik was the main Celebrant for the celebration. The Eucharist began at 9:00 a.m. with a prayer dance. In his homily, the bishop spoke about being good Catholics and to profess their faith through words, deeds and actions. He touched upon the tenets of our Catholic faith and how a confirmed boy and a girl should live his or her Christian life.
During the confirmation ceremony, Fr. Manuel Murzello, the parish priest presented the candidates to the Bishop. After the Eucharistic celebration the all the candidates gathered alongside the Bishop for a photograph. Thereafter they cut a cake in honour of the Bishop's birthday. The bishop presented each candidate with certificates. At the end they were given snacks, a rosary and a medal.