PROMISES TO KEEP! (Secular Carmel, Margao – Goa)
17th July, 2016 was a special day for Our Lady of Mount Carmel (OCDS) community of Margao, Goa. On this day 10 members of the community made their promises in the presence of Rev. Fr. Charles Serrao OCD, Provincial Superior. Fr. Silvestre D’Souza, the Councillor in-charge of Spirituality, Fr. Archibald Gonsalves, Superior and Fr. Peter D’Sa from Xellim, concelebrated at the Mass during which there was the liturgical ‘rite of Promises.’ The Church was packed to capacity with the faithful, among whom were family members and friends of those going to make their promises.

Here are the names:
Definitive Promise
Br. Agnelo Braganza of St. John of the Cross
Sr. Effie Viegas of Therese of the Child Jesus
Sr. Theresa Dias of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Br. Leslie Santimano of St. Mary of Jesus Crucified
Sr. Carol Mascarenhas of St. Teresa Margaret Redi
Sr. Martha Pereira of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Br. Andrew Gomes of St. Teresa of Jesus

Temporary Promise
Sr. Judith Cardozo of St. Edith Stein
Sr. Seraphina Lobo of St. Teresa of Los Andes
Br. Chrysanthus Miranda of Prophet Elijah

The candidates were guided by Fr. Ajith Rodrigues OCD. The immediate preparation consisted of a three day retreat under the guidance of Fr. Jeevan Tauro, OCD.

Rev. Fr. Charles Serrao, in his brief and enlightening homily called the OCDS members to be like Mary in the midst of our Martha world and our Martha lives. He highlighted the three main dimensions of the Secular Carmel: Prayer life, community spirit and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

After making the promise the candidates were presented with the large ceremonial Scapular by the Provincial. It was also presented to eight other members who had made their Definitive Promise four years ago.
They are:-
Bro. Rodo Pereira
Sr. Rosy Pereira
Bro. Oliver D’Costa
Sr. Beliza Antao
Bro. Robin Santos
Sr. Elizabeth Santos
Bro. Roy Rodrigues
Sr. Ramilla Rodrigues

The Eucharistic celebration was followed by a felicitation programme in the community hall. The President Bro. Roy Rodrigues welcomed the delegates and floral bouquets were presented to them.

The Provincial Superior Rev. Fr. Charles Serrao whilst congratulating the candidates reminded them, that even though they have made the promise of chastity, poverty obedience, and of the beatitudes these need to be practiced, because they are not an end by themselves. The effectiveness of these promises would in turn depend on the firm foundation based on the three pillars of Teresian spirituality; namely Detachment, Love of neighbor (Charity) and Humility.

Fr. Archibald Gonsalves, the Superior of the Monastery congratulated all those who had made the promises and the OCDS for their active participation in the activities of the Monastery and blessed them to “increase and multiply” and thus to take the spirit of Carmel to the various parts of the Archdiocese.

The skit based on the life of Teresa of Avila, by the OCDS members was a highlight of the programme. Carmelite brothers joined the celebration by presenting their skit, highlighting the lessening of spirituality in the world due to excessive worldly attachments, unnecessary violence and brutality.

The OCDS community entertained the guests by their ‘Goan Mando’. Bro. Agnelo Braganza expressed gratitude on behalf of all those made promises and shared his experience in the OCDS community.

The program was brought to a close with a vote of thanks by Fr. Ajith Rodrigues. Bro. Rodo Pereira was the Master of the Ceremony. All joined in the fellowship meal and rejoiced.

“I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep” says the famous poet – Robert Frost
The often quoted verse is very much applicable to the seven OCDS members who made their Definitive Promise, and the three OCDS members who made their Temporary Promise. But, why miles to go? Because the promise is not an end by itself. They are the POINT OF DEPARTURE towards a long and committed journey, leading ultimately towards UNION WITH GOD, based on a life of prayer which have to be built on the three pillars of Teresian Carmelite Spirituality – namely: DETACHMENT, LOVE OF NEIGHBOUR (CHARITY) AND HUMILITY.

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