It was a proud moment for the Jesuits of the Goa Province as their Superior General, Fr Arturo Sosa SJ celebrated mass under the protective care of their Founding Fathers, St Ignatius of Loyola and St Francis Xavier, on February 26 evening at the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa. The mass was well attended by well-wishers, staff of the various Jesuit institutions, benefactors, parents, alumni, and collaborators of the Jesuits.
During his homily, Fr Sosa spoke at length on St Francis Xavier’s exemplary life and zealous missionary spirit. He highlighted three features that characterised the life and mission of St Francis Xavier: his tireless zeal for the salvation of souls, his great availability to God and his mission, and his love for the Society of Jesus despite the distance between him and his companions. Father Sosa invited everyone present to live their commitments whether religious, married or single in the footsteps of the great missionary of Asia and Patron of Goa.
The day also saw the Society celebrate the final vows of two Jesuits of the Goa Province namely Fr Rinald D’Souza SJ and Fr Kelwin Monteiro SJ. The final vows are the most important moment in the life of a Jesuit; it is the time when a Jesuit is incorporated into and becomes a full-fledged member of the Society of Jesus.
After the mass, Fr Sosa addressed the gathering and thanked the people for their immense contribution in helping the Jesuits carry out their mission as partners and collaborators working in a single mission of serving God.
He also released a book titled, ‘Jesuits of the Goa Province’ authored by Fr Gregory Naik. Director of Xavier Centre of Historical Research, Porvorim, SJ Fr Anthony D’Silva, gave a brief presentation of the Jesuit history in Goa.