Congratulations on the Inauguration of India's 3rd Catenian Circle on 5th February 2011 Dona Paula 356
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FRIDAY, 4TH FEBRUARY
Visit to His Grace Archbishop Felipe Neri FerraoThis meeting was possibly the most important event to be held relating to future growth of the Association in Goa. There were five representatives from Grand Council and three local Catenians. It was a slightly sticky start relating to registration with the Catholic Church; however subsequently this was no longer a pressing issue and the Archbishop became very enthusiastic as our Aims and aspirations were outlined to him. The meeting lasted for an hour. His final blessing was very supportive fully endorsing our endeavours in the future.
An anniversary dinner and dance was arranged by Goa Riviera Circle 354 at Cotta Mansion, typically Goan, with everybody enjoying themselves until very late, and attended by all the overseas visitors along with representatives of all the three Circles.
INAUGURATION DAY, 5TH FEBRUARY
The Masswas excellent and very moving with five Priests concelebrating. It was attended by all of Goa Dona Paula Circle and also Brothers and their wives from the other local Circles.
The Homilyby Fr Joaquim Loiola Pereira, who is the Secretary to the Archbishop, referred to, and gave a ringing endorsement of, the Archbishop’s support and blessing. I report an extract from his homily, and I have a transcript of the full homily
“Yesterday, some of you - including those who have come from the United Kingdom - met the Archbishop. You received from him, in no uncertain terms, the assurance that your presence in this Archdiocese was not only welcome, but also positively cherished. His voice represents the voice of the Church in Goa. Joining my own weak voice to his, I dare say that the Church in Goa - and particularly the laity - looks forward to seeing in you, Catenians, a leading example of what it means to be a follower of Christ, living in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life and trying his best to work for the sanctification of the world. When you do this, sincerely and consistently, you will become, in the process, the light, the salt and the leaven of a new humanity, rooted in Jesus and spreading His values into the vital nerve centres of our society.
All the priests present here and I pray for you and wish you all the best!”
We were sent on our way to the music if a Brass Band.
The Inaugural Meeting
The Goa Marriott Hotel was an excellent venue, with sufficient rooms for the Ladies to be entertained during the meeting.
There were 29 new Brothers enrolled, plus 3 joint members – Basil Fernandez (Founder President), Rui Fernandez, VP Goa Riviera, and Willie Britto, President of Goa Riviera and a member of Panjim Circle.
The meeting was very well run. It was also attended by Brothers of the other two local Circles and by 23 overseas visiting Brothers from the UK, Malta and Australia, making 65 in all.
The subsequent Dinner Dance was typically Goan - light on timekeeping, very heavy on speeches - and immense fun was had by everybody. The overseas visitors finally returned to the hotel at 2.30 am.
A CD Rom of photographs is available.
SUNDAY MORNING, 6TH FEBRUARY
Indian Catenian Open Meeting
The meeting was chaired by Bro Eurico Noronha, Past President, Panjim Circle, and about 35 local Brothers were in attendance.
Grand Council was represented by Bros Vernon de Cruz, Joe McNally, Jim Quinn and Bernard Noakes (panel), assisted by Bros John Rayer, David Brinkley, John Barrie, Jim Kelly and many of the overseas visitors.
The current 3 local Presidents gave short speeches on their thoughts on Catenianism within their Circles as follows:
Panjim: Caetano Felipe Colaco
· The Youth Management Development programme they have sponsored was discussed, and an invitation to the prizegiving was extended to all.
· A 24-hour telephone helpline has been set up to help avoid youth suicides.
Goa Riviera: Willie Britto
· Willie thanked all Catenians for the wonderful friendships he has made throughout his life. He suggested a “Goa Week” next year.
Goa Dona Paula: Basil Fernandes
· He was charged by Bro Willie to start this third Circle in May 2010, as no progress was being made in Margao.
· He firmly believes that Catenianism suits the Goan way of life.
· There are 35 major cities in India with a potential for Circles in all of them.
· Pope John Paul II said this is the Century of the Laity so we should embrace that philosophy.
· He feels that some funds are needed to develop in a structured way.
Bro Jim Quinn spoke on “Running a Circle” - largely from the view of a Secretary.
Bro Vernon made a detailed and personal statement on “What it means to be a Catenian”.
Both presentations were warmly received.
Question and Answer Session
An enormous debt of thanks is owed to Bro Willie Britto, not only in terms of his personal drive and commitment in starting all 3 Circles, but also in his personal generosity. He was referred to as The Father of Indian Catenianism, to which there was standing applause.
Society v Trusts – This was raised and brought some strong and differing opinions. This is a major issue.
NBIn a subsequent meeting I had with both Rui Prazeres and Caetano Colaco, they agreed to work together on the best solution for all. As Panjim is the odd one out, it is likely that they will change it to a Trust. I said this is an urgent matter for the Local Liaison Committee (LLC).
What method is used by Grand Council to ensure that the Circles are functioning correctly? This is part of the role of the LLC.
Funding for Growth in GoaWe commented that Grand Council does not hold funds for this sort of expense, but a commitment was made to examine various possibilities and options.
NBAfter the meeting, there were further proposals discussed of how this can be done;
· a method of sending a small number of Catenas each month, free of charge;
· sending a set of recruitment display banners with welcome packs, free of charge;
· Is there a possibility of drawing on the balances held on our behalf in India?
· I heard that invitations to attend the Annual Conference were extended to the three Presidents. I was not party to this so I cannot comment, but I have some concerns over setting a precedent.
Website entries for Goan Circles
We were asked why there were no references to the Goan Circles on the website. Bro Jim Quinn agreed to investigate this.
There was a final vote of thanks by all the Goan Brothers who were in attendance.
Visit and Mass with St John Bosco Youth Group to see the prizegiving - this initiative was largely sponsored and managed by the Brothers of Panjim 353 Circle. It was a splendid affair.
River cruise and dinner dance personally hosted by Bro Willie and Muriel Britto - there were probably 200 people on board. We were entertained by a traditional Indian dance group, and a live singer/entertainer. It is my opinion that we must try to avoid taking their continued hospitality for granted.
NBIn a discussion with Willie in the second week, he told me of his being in the middle of a huge commercial problem which will keep him extremely busy until May. After that he will be free to pursue further opportunities for growth, but he is also very tired.
MONDAY EVENING, 8TH FEBRUARY
Many brothers and their wives attended yet another typically Goan evening, at which the local Press interviewed the Grand President. The article made the Herald newspaper the following day. I have a copy.
SATURDAY, 12TH FEBRUARY
Meeting with Bros Rui Prazeres and Caetano Felipe Colaco as the Local Liaison Committee, with apologies from Bro Willie Britto - the following discussions took place:
next planned Circles - Margao, Vasco, Mapusa and Porvarin. These are the towns that will be targeted, with Margao being the first;
a considered and confident plan for 2 new Circles in 2011-2 (October and February);
the role of the LLC regarding overseeing the Circles and ensuring standards, ritual and paperwork are correct. I have since sent samples of the typical paperwork used in the UK.
an understanding of what is needed to become a Province, in terms of size;
a recruitment drive by both Panjim and Goa Riviera Circles will be undertaken to increase numbers, with a target of 50 Brothers per Circle;
the prospect of a Goa Week was discussed at length, and the LLC is very keen to explore this opportunity. They are now conscious of the expectations of such a venture, and will keep us informed of their progress. There will need to be a balance between Goan exuberance and British organisational expectation, with both cultural cuisines being represented at all functions. It is, however, seen as a way of heightening the profile of Catenianism in India.
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