‘Women’s Day’ Celebrated by the Ladies Association Bondel Unit at St. Lawrence Church Bondel – KONKANCATHOLIC.COM

‘Women’s Day’ Celebrated by the Ladies Association Bondel Unit at St. Lawrence Church Bondel

March 18, 2024

Mangaluru: International Women’s Day’ was celebrated on March 17 in a unique way at St. Lawrence Church in Bondel in honour of women.

Thanksgiving Mass was offered at 7 a.m. in the morning by Rev. Fr. Peter Gonsalves, Spiritual Director and Principal of St. Lawrence English Medium School. The Way of the Cross, liturgy, and choir were led by the members of the Ladies Association.

Rev. Fr. Peter stated in his homily, How am I supposed to be wheat in my life? It is possible to develop qualities that make us effective and enhance the lives of others through prayer, contemplation, and deeds of love.

Breakfast was served for all the women and parish families at the St. Lawrence English Medium School Auditorium right after the mass. The program commenced at 9:00 a.m. with a prayer hymn conducted by Women’s Association members led by Mr  Joachim Pinto.

The Vice President of the Ladies Association, Mrs. Cecilia D’Cunha, welcomed everyone graciously. Members presented flowers to guests on the dais. Mrs Eugene Fernandes, the association’s vice president, presented the annual report.

The program began in a unique form by painting the paper with paint that reflected the day’s topic, “Solemnise Womanhood.”

The intro was done by Lavina Menezes. The following women were honoured with flowers and gifts during the program hosted by the Ladies Association: Celine Saldanha, Mary Mendonca, Leena D’Souza, Hilda D’Souza, Maria D’Souza, Gracy Moras, Genevieve Albuquerque, Celine Saldanha, Winnifred Machado, Irene D’Cunha, Jessy Noronha, Theresa D’Souza, Alice Noronha, Lidwina Pinto, Lucy Lobo, Cecelia D’Silva, Cecelia Sequiera, Monthi D’Souza, Philomena Lobo, among them Mrs. Monthy Saldanha, who is the most senior of all, was honored with a shawl, flowers, fruits, and peta.

Parishioner Dr. Preethi Keerthi Dsouza, Chairperson of the Department of Commerce, Mangalore University, was the resource person for the day. She was honoured with a memento, shawl, flowers, and fruits and was felicitated for her accomplishments in all fields. Monica D’Silva gave a brief introduction to her outstanding achievements.

In his message, spiritual director Fr. Peter Gonsalves said: “On this auspicious Women’s Day, let us come together in a spirit of reverence and celebration, to honour the divine feminine that resides within each and every one of you.” It is my privilege and my responsibility as a spiritual director to acknowledge the priceless contributions that women make to our parish, our families, our communities, and the wider world.

Rev. Fr Peter Gonsalves, Rev  Fr Lancy D’Souza, Sr Lavina UMI, Dr Preethi Keerthi D’Souza, Mr Santhosh Misquith, secretary, parish pastoral council,  Mrs  Avitha Mascarenhas, president, and Irene Dias, secretary, Ladies Association, were on the dais.

During her PPT presentation, videos, and discussion, the day’s resource person, Dr. Preethi Keerthi D’Souza, awakened our minds to the journey of womanhood—how to recognize oneself, live in society with dignity, and understand how unique women are in this modern world. She stated that the solemnization of womanhood is a celebration of the remarkable qualities that define women as agents of change, compassion, and resilience. 

As we honor and celebrate women today, let us recognize the invaluable contributions they make to our families, our communities, and our world. Together, let us continue to uplift and empower one another, knowing that the true essence of womanhood lies in the strength, compassion, and courage of each and every woman.

The Ladies Association President, Mrs. Avitha Mascarenhas, expressed her thoughts. By working together, we can create a society in which all women are respected, valued, and given the chance to succeed. Let’s keep going until that goal is accomplished.

Parish Priest, Rev. Fr Andrew Leo D’Souza A powerful message was conveyed at the conclusion of the Women’s Day celebration: a society that supports women is a society that values humanity. I’m proud of the women of my parish, who are constant sources of strength and support for our community.

The formal function was followed by a variety of entertainment programs presented by members, like songs and dance, skits, talent shows, and ramp walks.

Secretary Irene Dias proposed a vote of thanks. The program was compered by Mrs Veena Dias. There were about 200 attendees for the programme. The programme concluded with a hymn of thanksgiving.

Photography & Report:
Meena Serrao Barboza