Keeping the old traditional practice alive, the parishioners of Village Utorda will celebrate the Feast of our Lady of Lourdes, the patroness of village tomorrow, November 19. Like other places, they also celebrate the feast on February 11, which is celebrated widely all over the world
Church of Our Lady of Lourdes was originally a chapel. The church gets its name from the original shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in southern France, one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in the world where a fourteen year old girl Bernadette Soubiroux, when she went to collect wood along with Toinette and Jeanne Abadie, saw apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in front of a Grotto in the woods at Massabielle in France and gave the message to the world as follows: “God is love and He loves us as we are with all our weaknesses and our limitations.” The first apparition occurred on February 11, 1858, a beginning to a series of visions. During the apparition on March 25, the lady identified herself with the words: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” This church of Utorda is probably one of the few parishes in Goa dedicated to our Lady of Lourdes, besides two more churches with invocation to Our Lady of Lourdes namely Ambaulim, Quepem and Valpoi, Sattari. In Goa, many churches and homes have built grotto in their compounds dedicated in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Keeping the old traditional practice alive, the parishioners of Village Utorda will celebrate the Feast of our Lady of Lourdes, the patroness of village tomorrow, November 19. Before celebrating the main feast, preparatory novenas are held for nine days. This year, the feast will be celebrated by the United Club of Utorda as the club completes 25 years of existence. Like other places, the Utordekars celebrate the feast of its patroness dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes in the month of November and also on February 11.
It’s always been traditional from the time it was a chapel and since the time church officially elevated to the rank of Church on 13th May in 1976 by a decree of the Archbishop dated February 11, 1976.
When Utorda chapel was made into an independent parish, it was delinked from Majorda church as it was difficult for the old people to walk a long distance from Utorda to Majorda to attend the religious ceremonies especially in the rainy season. Forty one years ago, this church took the first step to provide religious services to the villagers of Utorda. As per rules of church authorities, after the delimitation process of wards and bifurcation in 1976, few wards of Utorda were included in the same old parish of Majorda Church. The first mass was solemnised by the then Archbishop Raul Nicolau Gonsalves.