Sunday, March 23, 2008

Light of the Day

March 15, 2008 will go down the annals of the Catholic Church in the Vicar Apostolic of Arabia and Qatar as a day on which the dreams of millions of Catholics, both religious and lay people, saw the light of the day, a day on which the first Roman Catholic Church in Qatar was officially consecrated.

The first mass was celebrated by His Eminence Cardinal Ivan Diaz and concelebrated by His Excellencies Arch Bishop Mounged El Hachem, Apostolic Nuncio to Qatar, Bishop Paul Hinder, Vicar Apostolic of Arabia, Bishop Bernard Gremoli, Former Vicar Apostolic of Arabia, Archbishop Giuseppe De Andrea, Former Apostolic Nuncio to Qatar, Bishop Camillo Ballin, Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait and a galaxy of priests.

Former priests who have previously served in Qatar were also present; one of the earliest priests Fr. Gerry Dunne being 89 years of age. The other former priests were Fr. Leszek Wisniewski, Fr. Jerome Peedikaparambil and Fr. John Van Deerlin. Fr John has served this parish in Qatar from 1989 and 2002 and holds a very special place in the hearts of the parishioners. Fr. Lester Mendonsa, the predecessor of Fr. Tomasito Veneracion, the present parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Church , who served this parish from 2002 to 2005, was unable to be a part of this celebration and was surely missed.

The cultural diversity in the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary was evident when more than sixty nation representatives participated in The Parade of Nations. Needless to say, the representatives from India and the Philippines drew the maximum applause from the audience. The ultimate compliment to the parade was when His Eminence Cardinal Dias mentioned that this was one of the best parades that he had ever witnessed. The prayers of the faithful were read in several languages, with Konkani being one of the languages chosen. During the offertory procession, there was a worship dance by the African community.

The church which is said to have a seating capacity of two thousand was filled to the brim. The unofficial estimate is said to be close to a ten thousand. The meticulous planning and the attention to detail by the various organizing committees were very visible. The choir group representing all communities, but predominantly singers from the Philippines , sang melodiously and touched the hearts of the audience. The entrance worship dance by the youth of the community set the right pace and had the audience on their feet, clapping to the tune of the hymn.

It is indeed a day which will be fondly remembered by the thousands of faithful who had gathered to witness the four-hour long celebration.

1 comment:

chase / chubz said...

dami nag simba ah.