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  • Writer's pictureSt Thomas Church

Ruby Jubilee of the Walking Pilgrimage

It was indeed a momentous occasion as we celebrated the 40th Annual Walking Pilgrimage organised by the Legion of Mary from our Parish to the Mount Mary Basilica Bandra, on 25th March 2023 after a pandemic break of three years. The pilgrimage was flagged off by our Parish Priest, Fr. Nelson Saldanha in the presence of Fr. Anthony Fernandes (Parish Priest of St John the Evangelist Church (Marol) and the Spiritual Director of the Legion of Mary, Mumbai Senatus) and Fr. Joseph Gonsalves (Spiritual Director of the Legion of Mary of our Parish).

After a brief prayer service, Fr. Nelson unveiled the Ruby Jubilee banner. This was followed by the felicitation of the legionaries who pioneered the walking pilgrimage in our parish 40 years ago, including Fr. Bento Cardoza (currently at St. Michael's Church, Mahim) who was our parish priest at that time.

A beautifully bedecked float with the statue of Mother Mary led by a strong band of pilgrims from various parishes of Mumbai, wended their prayerful way to the Mount pausing to recite the Stations of the Cross at St. Blaise Church (Amboli), O. L. of Vailankanni Church (Irla), Sacred Heart Church (Santacruz), St. Theresa's Church (Khar) and St. Andrew's Church (Bandra). It was heartening to see many of our brethren from other faiths pause to venerate Mother Mary along the way. The prayerful atmosphere created by the pilgrims lent an air of solemnity to the occasion.

The pilgrimage culminated with the celebration of the Solemn Eucharist by His Lordship, Bishop Barthol Barretto at Mount Mary's Basilica, Bandra at 5.30 am followed by the cutting of the Ruby Jubilee cake graced by His Lordship Bishop John Rodrigues.

These past 40 years have been grace-filled. The organisers are grateful to all who made this 40th-anniversary pilgrimage a truly memorable journey of penance and reconciliation during this Lenten season.


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