On the approaching Tercentenary of Blessed Joseph Vaz
To the Priests, Religious and Lay Faithful of this Archdiocese
Greetings of Love, Peace and Joy of the Risen Lord, on this Easter Day!
The year 2011 will mark the 3rd Death Centenary of Blessed Joseph Vaz, the Patron of our Archdiocese. It is indeed expected to be a special faith-enhancing occasion for the faithful in this Archdiocese and for every Goan Catholic around the world.
Having this in mind, we had requested our Diocesan Committee of the Cause of Canonization of Blessed Joseph Vaz to suggest to us various ways in which we, as the Local Church in our Archdiocese, could prepare ourselves spiritually for such an important commemorative event.
After holding a few consultations, including with our Diocesan Council of Priests, the Committee presented to us the following suggestions, which we are pleased to endorse and strongly recommend, with a view to intensify our efforts at acquainting ourselves more deeply with the life of this eminent Goan Priest and to be imbued with his indefatigable missionary spirit. The practices suggested below could be followed even beyond the Centenary:
- Recitation of the Rosary/Litany of Blessed Joseph Vaz and of the Prayer for Canonization/Special Prayer for the Sick, before or after Mass on Fridays; such Friday devotional exercises are to be encouraged also in families, particularly during family rosary;
- Children to be specially motivated by their family elders and school authorities to recite the Prayer for Canonization/Special Prayer for the Sick. The Religious could recite it during their common prayer;
- Organizing pilgrimages of different parish associations/ movements (e.g. Altar-servers, Youth, Catechists, etc.) to the Sanctuary of Blessed Joseph Vaz at Sancoale, with prior intimation to the Rector of the Sanctuary, so that he can make the necessary arrangements;
- Organizing quiz, elocution, essay-writing and other such events, based on the life and ministry of our Blessed, in our parishes and educational institutions;
- Disseminating information on his holy life and outstanding apostolic and pastoral action through our parish bulletins;
- Creating a cell in each parish to promote devotion to the Patron of this Archdiocese;
- Organizing input sessions and even a retreat on the life, spirituality and ministry of our Blessed to the candidates for the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation;
- Having one day of the novena of the Parish/Chapel Feast dedicated to the Cause of our Blessed, by way of a special liturgy or at least the sermon/homily;
- Holding a Triduum in all parishes before the celebration of the Solemnity of Blessed Joseph Vaz on 16th January.
The Rev. Rector of the Sanctuary of Blessed Joseph Vaz could be contacted for the effective implementation of some of the above proposals and for any necessary material and help.
We sincerely hope that all of you will respond enthusiastically to this proposed programme of spiritual preparation for the 3rd Death Centenary of Blessed Joseph Vaz and work for the growth of genuine devotion to the Patron of our Archdiocese. Finally, we invoke upon everyone God’s abundant blessings, through the intercession of our Blessed.
Archbishop’s House, Panjim, Goa, April 12, 2009, Easter Sunday.
( + Filipe Neri Ferrão)
Archbishop of Goa and Daman