PERPETUAL EUCHARISTIC ADORATION GROUP
THE ABBA OUR LOVING FATHER DEVOTION
At St Michael's, we have a Joint Apostolate of Abba Father and Divine Mercy. This apostolate, which was formed in 1999, promotes devotion to both the Abba Father and the Divine Mercy.
The Abba Father devotion is promoted based on Abba Father's message to Sr Eugenia, "The Father speaks to His children."
Cardinal Ivan Dias, in the article, 'Guidelines to Popular Devotions in the Archdiocese of Bombay,' which appeared in The Examiner (issue of 10 November 2001), had approved the devotion to Abba Father as a private devotion in the Archdiocese.
We have accordingly treated this devotion as a private devotion. The prayers for the octave for the preparation of the Feast of Abba Father are not said in the church but privately. A copy of the eight-day devotion to honour Our Loving Father is circulated before the start of the octave.
The feast day is the first Sunday of August (Reference page 34 of the book, The Father Speaks to his Children). Quotation taken from the book, "If you prefer to offer Me this special devotion on a Sunday, I choose the first Sunday of August. If you prefer a weekday, I would like it to be always the seventh day of that same month."
On this day, the picture of Abba, Our Loving Father, is decorated, blessed and venerated. A Thanksgiving Mass in honour of Abba, Our Loving Father, as is desired in the message, is offered on the first Sunday of August which at times clashes with Vianney Sunday. The liturgy is not changed. In the evening, of the same day at 5 we have a holy hour in honour of Abba Father in the church.
Every year we carry out promotion for the devotion of Abba Our Loving Father with the prior consent of the parish priest almost two months before the event. All announcements and arrangements made to celebrate the feast have the consent of the parish priest. Either a leaflet is printed or distribution of the book is arranged so that the congregation may come to know about the love of the Father.
During the year, when we have the holy hour of the Joint Apostolate which is conducted on the third Friday of the month, the prayer to Abba Father is recited and excerpts from the message are read and reflected upon. In this manner we are creating awareness and promoting this devotion. Many are by now committed to say the prayer.
At the holy hour on the third Friday of the month, we promote the Divine Mercy devotion and have a prayer schedule. Every month the prayer is modified to make it more meaningful and prayerful. We have a prayer booklet with the prayers and the hymns which are selected so that all can participate.
During the holy hour we try our best to make the congregation aware of this devotion.
DIVINE MERCY HOLY HOUR
These services help in spiritual growth, and we are doing our best to achieve this.
At these services we make it a point to pray for various needs of the church, nation, youth, sick and home-bound. We also pray for broken families and for various specific intentions that come up prior to the service. Hence, the need to encourage parishioners, both young and old, to attend these services.
For the celebration of the Feast of the Divine Mercy we have a nine-day service at 3 pm which is well attended.
MOTHER TERESA'S ROSES
This project for destitutes was started in the parish on 5 September 1998 by our then parish priest, Fr Salvador Rodrigues, with the blessings of Cardinal Ivan Dias and Bishop Bosco Penha.
Initially this group had volunteers from the communities, and a quarterly programme was drawn up for the Visitation of the Red Roses. Two members were earmarked by the community co-ordinator to organise this journey of moving out to the streets on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
These Red Roses were members of various communities. Much as we wanted to get at least two persons from each community it did not happen, and hence we had to carry on with what was available. Most of the Red Roses were seniors in age.
As regards the food, the groups were instructed to give only 15 packets of food because there were previous complaints of wastage. The funds used were all from donors. The money was used for the purchase of toiletry items such as gloves. The expenses were duly accounted.
As many of the earlier members who were actively involved are no more, or on health grounds have had to give up, we have at present only the White Roses. They meet regularly on Monday, Thursday and Saturday after the 7.30 am mass (in the side wing of the church) with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Sisters of the Mother Teresa Group visit the parish on the first Monday of the month to keep us informed about the various activities of the group.