Thousands throng to Pilar monastery to observe Fr Agnelo’s death anniversary

The 85th death anniversary of Venerable Fr Agnelo was observed with religious fervor and devotion at Pilar monastery on Tuesday. Thousands of devotees flocked to the Pilar hillock to celebrate the day.

Bishop Peter Machado, Bishop of Diocese of Belgaum was the main celebrant for the festal Eucharistic celebration. Fr Francis Carvalho, Superior General, Society of Pilar, was one of the co-celebrants.

Bishop Machado, delivering a homily on the theme ‘Venerable Agnelo – A Man of Faith, Hope and Love – Leads us to God,’ appealed to the faithful to strengthen their faith in God and take Venerable Fr Agnelo as an inspiration to live a life of faith, hope and charity.

"We increase and strengthen our faith when we share the same with the others," the Bishop said further.

Bishop Machado, explaining the theological virtue of hope, invited the congregation to do away the culture of death and promote culture of life and hope as Venerable Fr Agnelo did in his life.

"There is too much of piety and less of charity," he opined further and stressed on the need of the acts of love. Fr Max Gonsalves led the choir while Fr Jose Costa and Fr Feroz Fernandes animated the liturgy. Fr Hilario Fernandes, Vice Postulator led the prayer for the sick

Prizes of different competitions, including drawing and poetry contests for the children were distributed at the hands of Bishop Machado, after the mass. Fr Fredrick Rodrigues Central Delegate Superior, Society of Pilar, proposed the vote of thanks.

The first Eucharistic celebration of the feast day was offered at 5.30 a.m. for the convenience of faithful from all over Goa. On the feast day, there were seven masses celebrated. [NT]