450-year-old Goa Church gets special postal cover

Lobo expressed his delight in releasing this special postal cover that will now be featured in the philately exhibitions all over the world.

 

India (UCAN): 

A special commemorative postal cover was launched on May 24 to commemorate the completion of 450 years of Holy Spirit Church in Margao in the western Indian state of Goa.

Retired high court justice Eurico Santana Da Silva launched the postal cover on the occasion of the annual feast celebration in the presence of the Goa postmaster general Charles Lobo, Margao deanery in-charge Fr Carmo Martins, parish priest Fr Avinash Rebelo and other priests. A symbolic dove and white balloons were released on the occasion.

Lobo expressed his delight in releasing this special postal cover that will now be featured in the philately exhibitions all over the world.

Remarking that this special postal cover will be available for sale next Sunday at the church as well as at the Margao post office, the postmaster general termed it a rare collector's item since it bore a special pictorial cancellation stamp of a dove instead of the usual date and place cancellation stamp.

Lobo expressed his regret that the archdiocese of Goa was not pursuing a proposal to release a special postal cover in honour of the Rachol Seminary with the government authorities. He pointed out to the 200-year-old Cortalim seminary being utilized on the postal cover released on April 21 this year since there was none of the Rachol Seminary that is much older to it.

Narrating examples of how the postal department has honoured the 400-year-old Merces and Pilar churches, he termed it a failure of the Goan Christian community as opposed to the active Kerala Catholic community that strives to promote its churches.

He also drew reference to the recently-released novel of parishioner Valmiki Faleiro titled "Soaring Spirit" highlighting the history of this majestic church built at the site of the Laxminarayan temple that was destroyed by the Portuguese.

It is not just the Portuguese, but Muslim invaders and others too destroyed religious structures in Goa, said Lobo. "We have to be very clear, else people will mislead others. Religious and racial intolerance is very dangerous,” he said, as he thanked Melson Louis for pursuing this initiative.

In his welcome address, Fr Rebello narrated the history of the parish church that was built by the Jesuits in the 16th century and is now the largest parish church in Goa with approximately 15,000 Catholics and 3,500 families.

The parish priest urged his parishioners to actively participate in the various programmes such as inter-religious dialogues, social, cultural and sports that have been planned to celebrate the multi-centennial anniversary of the church structure.

Source: Times of India

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