To solemnize womanhood and to pay tribute to the indomitable spirit of women, the Commission for Women organized the International Women’s Day on 13th March, 2022.
The auspicious occasion began with a Thanksgiving mass celebrated by Rev Fr Anil Canute D Mello, Parish Priest. Being the Lenten Season, Mass was preceded by the Way of the Cross which reflected on familial values. The Entrance Procession was with lit candles to signify innumerable sacrifices, patience, love, understanding and kindness of women. Rev Fr Anil D Mello in his thought-provoking homily asked the congregation to open eyes of Faith in moments of trials and tribulations and to know that the Almighty God dwells within and to deepen in oneself the conviction that obstacles and hitches give birth to opportunities. He proposed Mary as the Model of Motherhood. The Choir was led by Sister Mary Fernandes – Holy Cross Convent.
Thereafter a Programme to felicitate women was arranged in Sambhram Hall by Commission for Women. Prayer Song rendered by Mrs. Jyothi Saldanha and group reminded the audience that even on darkest days God is still one’s freedom, light and refuge.
‘Within you is the light of a thousand suns’, says Robert Adams. Rev Fr Anil D Mello, Parish Priest, Prof Evelyn Benis (HOD of the MSW Dept Roshni Nilaya ), Mrs. Gretta Pinto- Diocesan Coordinator for commission of women, Mrs. Zita Usha Fernandes-Coordinator for commission of women , Neermarga Parish, Mr. Ravi Saldanha-Vice President, Parish Pastoral Council, Mr. Prakash Pereira-Secretary Parish Pastoral Council , Mr. Maurice Renjal-Coordinator of 21 Commissions, lit the lamp.
The Welcome Address by Mrs Zita Usha Fernandes set the tone for the grand fiesta. “A woman is like a tea bag-You cannot tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water” — the brainy quote of Eleanor Roosevelt was beautifully elucidated with concrete examples by Mrs. Gretta Pinto. She further shed light on the importance of Gender Equality.
Sister Doris D Souza A.C, Former Provincial Superior, Northern Province addressed the gathering restating the words of Pope Francis that peace is born from the tenderness of women, it arises and is rekindled by the gentleness of mothers. She then spoke at length about women empowerment.
Rev Fr Anil D Mello in his Presidential Address gave a clarion call to the women to be positive, that is creative thinker, a cool, objective thinker in whatever situation they find themselves and that in all tough times there is buried some great possibility. Secondly: to always look for and speak about the good in others.
Prof Evelyn Benis- the Resource Person of the Day acquainted the gathering with the Aims, Functions, Advantages of Self-Help Groups and the Effect of these groups on access to Maternal Health Services. The theme “Mary a stronghold a Model for Women ‘was exemplified in a dance drama executed with utmost care and precision that received a thunderous applause.
Mrs. Gretta Vas conducted games that made the celebration Zingy and Peppy. Mrs. Celestine Saldanha compered the programme and Mrs. Veena proposed the Vote of Thanks.