Basilica Rector unhappy with stalls arrangements

With the preparations for the upcoming novena and feast of St Francis Xavier in full swing, the concerned authorities seem to be uninterested in reducing the number of stalls.

Speaking to Herald, Rector of Basilica of Bom Jesus Fr Savio Baretto said he has been requesting the panchayat to reduce the number of stall allotments as thousands of people visit Old Goa.

“But the panchayat has been increasing the stalls every year and if any accident breaks out, then how will it be controlled?” asked Fr Baretto.

Commenting on parking issue during the novenas and feast at Old Goa, Fr Baretto said he has already met the Chief Secretary. “Earlier, parking was stopped by some people and I brought it to his notice. The State government has been kind enough to search an alternative for parking along the Ponda-Old Goa road,” said Fr Baretto.

“The State government has also assured to provide proper security and CCTV cameras will be installed, but till now we don’t know how many CCTV cameras will be installed,” he added.

When contacted, Old Goa Sarpanch Vishal Volvoikar said the stall allotment process has already started, but the panchayat will try to find a solution to the issue next year by starting the process six months in advance.

Meanwhile, hectic preparations are in progress in Old Goa in view of the novena and feast of St Francis Xavier, which commences on November 24.

During novena days from November 24 to December 2, masses in the pandal outside the Bom Jesus Basilica will be celebrated at 6 am, 7.15 am, 8.15 am, 9.30 am, 10.30 am, 3.45 pm, 5.15 pm and 6.15 pm (English).

On November 28, there will be an inter-religious prayer meet at 10.30 am followed by mass at 12.30 pm.

On the feast day, masses will be celebrated at 4 am, 5 am, 6 am, 7 am, 8 am, 9 am, 10.30 am (feast mass), 12 pm, 3 am (Spanish), 4 pm, 5 pm and 6 pm (English).

There will be special masses on November 29 at 3.15 pm, December 1 at 3.15 pm, December 2 at, December 3 at 6 pm. There will be no 10.30 am mass on November 26 and 29.

The theme would be ‘Bhavartachem Jivit Sam Fransisk Xavierea Jinne Porim, Subham Jivitachi Vatt’.

This year, the feast mass will be celebrated by Archbishop-Patriarch Filipe Neri Ferrao, Archbishop-Emeritus Fr Raul Gonsalves and Bishop of Jalandhar Anil Couto.

Many people from Tamil Nadu and Kerala are expected to visit Old Goa on November 25 and the masses will be held in Tamil, Malyalam and Hindi. [H]