The widows of the Hope and Life Movement (Bandra Deanery) congregated in large numbers on 25th September, 2018 from 9 am for the annual pilgrimage to Mount Mary’s Basilica in honour of their patroness, Mother Mary. The programme commenced with a recitation of the rosary then mass, which was celebrated fittingly by His Lordship John Rodrigues, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Bombay. Bishop John holds the widows of Hope and Life close to his heart as his mother, the late Corrine Rodrigues, was the founder President and driving force behind this movement. Today it encompasses around 60 parishes in Mumbai.

The congregation listened with rapt interest to Bishop John’s homily. The first reading was from the Book of Proverbs. He urged the widows to pray for the gift of wisdom. He said that, following the footsteps of our beloved Mother Mary, widows should surrender to God’s will.  The challenges they face would strengthen them and give them a deeper understanding of the difficulties faced by others so that they reach out to them with empathy. Our beloved Mother is there with them at all times to intercede for them and they should thank God for giving them such a precious gift.

The ex-President of the Hope and Life movement, Dora Lobo of St. Anne’s parish composed the offertory prayers, and Joan Miranda of St. Andrew’s parish, the Coordinator for the Bandra Deanery wing read it. Both these stalwarts displayed commendable dedication and energy to carry out their commitments towards the worthy cause of giving hope to widows, despite advancing age and health issues.

The service concluded with Dora Lobo thanking Bishop John, Msgr. Nereus Rodrigues, Fr. Vernon Aguiar, and all those who worked to make the event a grand success and, above all, Mother Mary. She urged those present to attend the monthly meetings of the movement with the same enthusiasm as they showed in attending the pilgrimage. Fellowship culminated the pilgrimage where coffee and sandwiches were served.

By Monica Fernandes