The Relics of the Dominican Saints Visit Juhu, Mumbai, India

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16th and 17th August, 2016
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The Relics of the Dominican Saints Visit Juhu, Mumbai, India
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As part of the celebration of the 800th year of the Confirmation of the Dominican Order by Pope Honorius III in 1216, the Dominican Family in India has arranged an itinerary of the relics of the Dominican saints through all the Dominican communities in India.  This itinerary began on 02 June, 2016, at the Provincial house of the friars in India.  The relics of St. Dominic de Guzman, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Vincent Ferrer would travel through 78 Dominican communities spread all over India, and reach St. Dominic’s community in Nagpur, on 12 October 2016, the day on which we conclude the Jubilee celebrations in India. 

The sisters at Society of St. Catherine and the parish of St. Joseph at Juhu, Mumbai, were eagerly waiting and joyfully preparing for the arrival of these relics of these beloved saints, Dominic De Guzman, Vincent Ferrer and Catherine of Siena.  It was a historic moment at Juhu in Mumbai, both for the Dominican community of the School missionaries of St. Catherine as well as for the catholic faithful, when the relics of these saints arrived there from the community of the Dominican Missionary sisters of the Rosary at Ghatkopar, Mumbai, on 16th August at 6 p.m., accompanied by their Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Hubert Goveas, and representatives from the Parish.   The relics were handed over to the parish priest, Rev.Fr. Joe Pereira of St. Joseph’s Church, Juhu. The sisters at St. Catherine’s, along with fr. George Kumblumootil, OP, welcomed the relics with traditional arathi and the Parish priest officiated the veneration rites. The community-house was flocked by the faithful from the local parish and from all over Mumbai, throughout the day for veneration of the saints.  Each sister in the community together with members of BCC (Basic Christian Communities) of the Parish organized the veneration and prayers at every hour, until the relics were taken in procession to the Parish Church the next day.    

The celebration reached its zenith when faithful from all over Mumbai and a number of priests from around Mumbai, along with the Dominicans joined the procession with the relics starting from St. Catherine’s community at 6 pm on 17th August.  The solemnity of the procession was increased by the accompaniment of a band-troupe and the members of various parish associations in their official dress, floral girls, and a large number of altar servers.   As the procession reached the parish Church at 6.30 p.m., the veneration of the relics began.  The community of the Sisters made a presentation of video clips from the life of the three saints.  Jubilee hymn was displayed. A key chain with the St Catherine’s picture was given to the people, as a souvenir for the occasion.    With this preparation the solemn celebration of the Eucharist began at 7p.m. The church was packed with nearly 850 people for the solemn celebration of the Eucharist at 7 p.m., presided over by Fr. Joe Pereira and concelebrated by 12 other priests including our two Dominican friars.  fr. George Kumblumootil, OP, delivered an inspiring sermon on the life of these three great saints and the life of the Dominican Order. He has won the hearts of many people to Dominican spirituality.  This could be the beginning of a chapter of Dominican laity.

The entire function in the parish was organized by the priests at the Parish, assisted by the members of the parish pastoral Council.  The whole event has marked a mile stone in the history of the sisters at St. Catherine and the parish of St. Joseph at Juhu. It is for the first time in the history of the parish to have witnessed the presence of the relics of saints.  Definitely, this event has been an opportunity for the sisters to declare to the world the Dominican charism and our way of life.

After the holy Mass the relics were taken by the sisters to the community of the Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Rosary in Gujarat  at 9.30 pm on 17th August 2016.

 

(20 August 2016)