By Cedric Silveira
May 22, 2011 was certainly a red letter day in the annals of the Capuchin history in Goa, as St Anthony Vice-Province was canonically erected as a full-fledge Province.
The solemn Eucharistic Celebration was held at Monte De Guirim chapel at 4.30 p.m. It was celebrated by Rev Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao and concelebrated by almost 75 priests. A decree was read out by Fr Mauro Jöhri, the Minister General of the Capuchins, to declare Goa as a full-fledge Province.
In the sermon the Minister General’s focus was on giving Christ to the people of Goa. On this occasion the new team was announced for the next triennium. Accordingly the New Provincial Minister is Fr Steve Rodrigues and his team includes Fr Paul Alvares, Fr Clayton Fernandes, Fr Orfin Menezes and Fr Simon Rico Fernandes.
As such the Capuchins also completed 70 years of its presence in Goa, having arrived way back in 1941 at Guirim. Although known for their St. Anthony’s school at Monte de Guirim, today they are also found in Navelim, Cuncolim, Revora, Pirna, Sinquerim, Valpoi, Porvorim and Canancona. Besides living their life in simplicity, humility, prayer and contemplation they are also engaged in preaching the Word of God, providing spiritual assistance to various parishes in the archdiocese in Goa. Ever since it became a Vice-Province in 1998, the Vice Provincialate is located at Alverno Friary, Monte de Guirim. The house will continue to serve as the Provincialate of St. Anthony Province until the new Provincialate comes up.
On this occasion Fr. Simon Rico Fernandes also released a book written by him entitled ‘Walk the talk with Francis and Clare of Assisi’. A Capuchin website too was launched by the name of www.goacapuchins.com. A cultural programme followed by a buffet marked the celebration.