A glimpse of today’s Church

  • November 14, 2013

One of the lovelier aspects of Catholic culture is the love that Catholics have for their priests. Most priests have many stories of how complete strangers have shown special warmth and affection upon seeing the Roman collar. As for one’s own portion of the flock, parish priests and chaplains know how eager Catholics are to love their priests.

A particularly moving example of this took place last week in Mississauga, at St. Joseph’s parish. The Canadian Goan Christian Group, under the leadership of Dr. Colin Saldanha, Patsy Fernandez and their able team, organized a solemn Mass in “Tribute to our Clergy.”

Goa is the part of India, on the west coast of the subcontinent south of Bombay, originally colonized by Portugal. That’s why so many of us Goans have Portuguese surnames — like de Souza, Fernandes, de Freitas and Cardoso, to give the surnames of my grandparents. The Catholic faith was brought to Portuguese India early in the 16th century by the greatest missionary since Paul the Apostle, St. Francis Xavier. Further south in India are longstanding Catholic communities that trace their origin to St. Thomas the Apostle, but for the Goan people the Gospel arrived alongside the encounter with Europeans.

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