To celebrate womanhood and to pay tribute to the resolute spirit of women, the Stree Sangatan – Neermarga Unit organized the International Women’s Day on 26th March, 2023.
The auspicious occasion began with a Thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Rev Fr Arun Wilson Lobo, Principal, Padua College of Commerce and Management. Being the Lenten Season, Mass was preceded by the Way of the Cross. Rev Fr Arun in his homily spotlighted on the theme ‘Death is the Gateway to Immortality ‘. Explaining the day’s Word of God, he gave a clarion call to the congregation to be empathetic.
Thereafter a Programme to felicitate women was arranged in the Presbytery. The Event commenced with a Prayer Song beseeching God the Almighty to make the faithful His Hands, Feet and Mouth to set women free from their bondage and to make the celebration an opportunity to learn more about the achievements and hopes of each other as women. Zita Usha Fernandes – President of Nari Sangathan set the tone for the event through her sweet flowing words of welcome and ensured that the audience was also aware of the importance of the occasion. Rev Fr Anil D Mello, Parish Priest, Rev Fr Arun Wilson Lobo, Mrs Asuntha Lizzie Pinto- President, Christian Development Committee, Catholic Sabha Mangalore Pradesh, Mr. Francis Gonsalves and Mrs. Zita Usha Fernandes -Vice President and Secretary of Parish Pastoral Council, Sister Sujatha and Sister Mavis A.C -Superiors of Holy Cross Convent and Carmel Ashram and Mr. Maurice Renjal-Coordinator of 21 Commissions, lit the lamp and inaugurated the Event. With joy and enthusiasm Mrs Reshma Pereira- Secretary presented the Annual Report -2022-23 that reflected and showcased the various activities and achievements of the Women’s Association. Mrs Stella Pereira and Mrs Juliana Pereira were then honoured and felicitated by the dignitaries on the dais with a shawl, bowl of fruits and citation read by Mrs Laveena Saldanha and Mrs Anita Pinto for the significant contributions made towards the Parish and the society at large .Rev Fr Anil D Mello -a guide, friend, counsellor and a great leader, full of energy , who possesses a unique ability to explain God’s Word and known for his immense patience, humility, hospitality and understanding was honoured with a memento and citation read and presented by Mrs Anita Lobo.
Rev Fr Anil D Mello in his Presidential Address gave a wakeup call to the women to be positive, that is creative thinkers and to make use of the potentialities God has endowed them with. From humour to inspiration, with a right blend of narration of stories
from the lives of inspirational women like Mother Teresa, Kelly Holmes, Indira Gandhi, Kalpana Chowla and Princess Diana , questions for thought, limpid and gripping style of presentation Fr Anil D Mello offered the gathering an invitation to make their lives meaningful and joyful.
Mrs.Asuntha Lizzie Pinto the Resource Person of the Day, emphasised on the documents required for Aadhar Card Correction, Aadhar Card Update, Shrama Shakti, Facilities and Welfare Schemes for Minorities through narration of incidents and facts of life. A few recreational games were conducted that made the celebration Zingy and Peppy and prizes were awarded to the winners. Mrs. Merlin Pais and Mrs Lizzie Pinto judged the competitions.
Mr Sunil Pereira, Mr Maxim Vas, Mr Vincent Saldanha – Proprietors of Maria Decorators , Vas Arrangers and Unik Caterers helped in the smooth running of the event through their untiring labour of love .
Master Sheldon Peres captured photos and Master Lester Saldanha embedded video on You Tube.
Mrs. Jyothi Saldanha served as the host and facilitator of the event bringing on stage positive and energetic vibes . Mrs Shalet D Cunha proposed the Vote of Thanks.