Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Call for study on Bardeskars’ history, culture

Call for study on Bardeskars’ history, culture
Sakal Times
Monday, 14 October 2013 - 02:24 PM IST

PIMPRI: Fr Savio Abreu, Director of Goa-based Xavier Centre of Historical Research, here on Sunday called for thorough research on the reasons for the mass exodus of Christians from Bardez taluka in Goa to borders areas of Maharashtra and Karnataka a few centuries ago, and their present culture, social history and Konkani language spoken by them. Addressing a get-together of the Pimpri Chinchwad unit of the Pune Konkani Kristha Sabha here on Sunday, Fr Abreu said that there are varied historical versions of the factors responsible for the exodus of Christians from Goa and that very little is known about this community settled in Sindhudurg and Kolhapur districts in Maharashtra and Belgaum district in Karnataka. The get-together was held at the premises of the Church of Our Lady Consoler of the Afflicted in Pimpri. It was preceded by a mass celebrated by Fr Nelson Machado and Fr Augustine Fernandes.
This community, also referred to as Bardeskars, has in the recent witnessed second migration from Kolhapur, Sindhudurg and Belgaum districts to Pune and Mumbai, the Jesuit priest said, adding that it is remarkable that the Bardeskars have preserved their culture and language.
The priest said that the Society of Jesus ( Jesuits) in Goa had assigned him to conduct a study of the Bardeskars since their exodus from Goa three to four centuries ago and urged the people to intimate him about various literature, information available on the Bardeskars community. The study will help the Bardeskars, now settled in various parts of the world, and also their future generations to know their roots and legacy, he said.
Fr Augustine Fernandes from Khanapur in Belgaum district also addressed the gathering. Those who spoke on the occasion included Pune Konkani Kristha Sabha president Peter D'Souza, founder president Alphie Monteriro, Vincent Dias and Anjelo A Menezes.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Singing bishop Valerian turns 80, gets on facebook

Singing bishop turns 80, gets on facebook
Thursday, 3 October 2013 - 10:41 AM IST
Sakal Times

PUNE: Bishop Emeritus Valerian D'Souza who will turn 80 on Thursday has said that sharing online spiritual reflections has become his new ministry which keeps him busy post-retirement.
“I have over 2,000 friends on Facebook and one third of them are youngsters - below 30 years. Many of them 'like' my Sunday sermons regularly or also post their comments,” he says.
A former student of St Vincent's High School in Pune, D'Souza was consecrated as the fifth bishop of Pune diocese in 1977. He held the post for 31 years and played an important role in the establishment and development of various church-run schools and social institutions in the diocese. During his tenure, Pune diocese was bifurcated twice to form Nashik diocese in 1987 and Sindhudurg diocese in 2005.
'When I took over as the bishop, the jurisdiction of Pune diocese included 11 districts - from Nandurbar in Khandesh to Sawantwadi in Konkan region. The areas I travelled on roads during those days as part of my pastoral ministry was equivalent to going around the Earth three times,” the bishop emeritus told Sakal Times.
D'Souza is known as the 'singing bishop' due to his penchant for singing and playing guitar during his preachings in churches. 'The man from Galilee' is one of my favourite songs,” he says.
Playing host to the visit of Pope John Paul II to Pune on February 10, 1984 was one of the major events during his tenure. “ Anywhere in the world, in his address, the Pope always spoke a few words in local languages.
The Pope was pleasantly surprised when while welcoming him at the Ramwadi grounds in the city , I spoke in his mother tongue, Polish,” recalls D'Souza.
Bishop Valerian D'Souza will celebrate a thanksgiving mass on his 80th birthday at St Patrick’s Cathedral at 6 pm on October 3.