Birthday reminds us that life is worth celebrating.
The Parishioners of Aquem got together to celebrate the 31st birthday of our Assistant Parish Priest, Fr. Leslie Gomes on the 25th of March 2024, beginning with the Holy Eucharist, that was offered by Fr. Leslie Gomes, along with our Parish Priest Fr. Andrew Pereira thanking the Almighty God for another fruitful year.

After the Holy Eucharist, the large gathering assembled outside the church to celebrate the gift of life of Fr. Leslie Gomes. Fr. Leslie shared his happiness and good fortune by cutting and sharing the cake with all around. The parish committees showered him with gifts as a token of their love and appreciation, towards all that he had been doing for the parishioners of Aquem.

Catechist Ms. Valantina Fernandes in her short speech highlighted the talents of Fr. Leslie, mainly: his musicianship that has taken our choir to new heights, his creativities that have created a colorful image in the minds of the parishioners and his wisdom, knowledge and compassion being a guiding light in our spiritual journey.

We pray that Fr. Leslie be blessed with good health to continue his spiritual work in the Lord’s vineyard.

Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday is the day when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem and the people waved palm leaves and lay them  in Jesus’ path. It is the beginning of the Holy Week leading up to Easter. In the present days, many Churches have a procession in or around the Church with people singing songs of praise and waving palm leaves, in trying to imagine what it was like for Jesus and the people in Jerusalem. In our Parish, we had the usual regular Masses on Palm Sunday (24/03/24) and the ritual of blessing of Palm leaves was conducted in front of the old Chapel before the 7.30am Mass, offered by Fr. Leslie Gomes After the blessing, parishioners, helped themselves with the blessed leaves and then joined in an orderly procession to enter the Church and participated in the Holy Eucharist.

Maundy Thursday
Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter and it marks the start of the three-day Triduum – a time of great celebration to honour the Lord’s Last Supper, His death on the Cross and finally His Resurrection to new life. This is the day that Jesus and His disciples celebrated their last Passover together where Jesus displayed extraordinary humility by washing the feet of His 12 disciples and asking them to do likewise. This is the day of the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood. In our Church the day was celebrated on Thursday, 28th March with two Masses at 5pm & 7pm. During the 5pm Mass, offered by our Parish Priest, Fr. Andrew Pereira, twelve of our Parishioners had their feet washed by Fr. Andrew as a sign of humility.

After the Mass the Blessed Sacrament was placed on a specially arranged pedestal followed by the 7pm Mass, offered by Fr. Leslie. To commemorate the time spent by Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, the parishioners held the ward-wise half hourly night vigil in the church until midnight.

Good Friday
Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His death at Calvary. This important day in Christian Theology, marks the start of the Passion of Christ and preceding the celebration of Easter Sunday. This year, Good Friday, i.e 29th March dawned on a somber note, with even the Sky portraying a dull & humid face. In Aquem Church, the day began with a “Way of the Cross” in the Church compound starting at 7:00am. All the wards and committee members helped in carrying the Cross. This was a day of fasting, charity, reading the Bible & visiting the Church. Our evening service which started at 4pm was well organized by Fr. Andrew Pereira & Fr. Leslie Gomes. The Service included a Procession which wound its way right round the Church area with statues of Jesus & Mother Mary.

Easter Sunday
Easter is one of the most significant days on the Christian Calendar. The day of Resurrection of Jesus Christ 3 days after crucifixion, signifying victory over death and the promise of eternal life. This year 31st March was Easter, a day which concludes the Passion of Christ series that started with Ash Wednesday.

The ‘Easter Vigil’ service at Aquem Church, started at 11pm in front of the Old Chapel. Fr. Andrew Pereira, our Parish Priest blessed the fire and Paschal candle. A memorable and solemn service followed in the Church which included the renewal of our faith, blessing of water and sprinkling of holy water on the congregation. In the morning only two masses were celebrated, one in Konkani at 7am and the other in English at 9:00am.

The annual blessing of houses was done by Fr. Andrew and Fr. Leslie from Easter Sunday itself and completed by 8th April 2024.

Parish Pastoral Council
The reconstituted Parish Pastoral Council of our Church, was installed during the 9:00 am Mass on Sunday, 21st April 2024 Celebrated by Fr. Leo Fernandes, Executive Secretary, Diocesan Pastoral Secretariat and the Parish Priest, Fr. Andrew Pereira.

Ms. Meena Vaz (Catechist)