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The Carmelite Monastery at Margao, of the Karnataka-Goa province of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites will celebrate 75 years of its foundation on March 19, with Filipe Neri Ferrao, Archbishop of Goa Daman, presiding over the Eucharistic celebration at 5 pm.

This is the day to remember the contemplative friars of the Order who worked tirelessly for its foundation and for the growth of this monastery.

The pages of history remind us about the presence of Carmelites in Goa (Old Goa) in 1619 with the arrival of Fr Leandra da Anunciacao as the founder of the Carmelite establishment. It was a novitiate house. Theologate was started in 1630 and discontinued from 1954. It is worth recalling that Blessed Denis of the Nativity and Blessed Redemptus of the Cross, who were the members of the Community at Old Goa became the proto-martyrs of the Teresian reform (Order of the Discalced Carmelites).

All the religious orders were suppressed, so the Carmelites had to quit Goa. Later on in 1928, the Carmelites made their presence in Kerala. There was a move to get the Carmelites in Goa once again. On December 19, 1928, Fr Maxim Godinho, a Goan Diocesan priest, wrote to Fr Leandra, asking him to re-establish their foundation in Goa. He wrote, "We do really want Carmelites to work among us. The Carmelites of old kept lasting memories of their activities here."

Fr Constantine, then Vicar Provincial and Fr Lucas met the Archbishop Teotonio conveyed to him their intention of having a monastery in Goa. Archbishop Teotonio not only showed his willingness but made it clear that he would be very glad to see the spirit of St Teresa renewed in Goa where it flourished in times of old.

He sent Msgr Benziger, Fr Lucas and Fr Mary Joseph of Candolim to meet the Patriarch. Fr Lucas explained to Archbishop Teotonio the nature of Apostolate that the Carmelites would take up in Goa. The Patriarch understood well and said, "The whole diocese is at your disposal." He also advised them to inquire from the people who knew the diocese well and to get the information from them about the different places that could be suitable for their purpose.

Based on the report given to the provincial council by Fr Lucas, they went ahead and laid the foundation at Margao. The house near Holy Spirit Church, Margao belonging to Dr Vincent Gracias had been rented for temporary residence until the monastery was built.

Fr Lawrence of Sacred Heart of Jesus was appointed as the first Prior (Superior) of the community. Fr Mary Joseph, Br Louis, Br Theophilus and Br Timothy were the members.

Finally, a long cherished dream came true on March 19, 1939. The new foundation was declared canonically established with the reading of all the relevant documents. The present monastery building was built in 1943 and thereafter the monastery church.

Today Carmelites have three foundations (Margao, Mapusa and Xellim) in Goa.

Right from its foundation, the Friars from this monastery have served the faithful through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Carmelite Monastery is known for this apostolate. Many faithful mostly from South Goa approach these Carmelite priests for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Friars are also involved in other spiritual apostolate like retreat, recollection, spiritual direction and counselling, administering the sacrament of anointing to the sick, etc.

The faithful also participate in the daily and Sunday Eucharistic celebration, Sunday Catechism, Youth Group, Carmel Choir, Legion of Mary and Altar Servers.




O U R   T E A M

Fr. Silvestre D'Souza

Fr. Ronald D'Souza

Fr. Jossey Rodrigues

Fr. Marlon Rodrigues

Fr. Anil Veigas

Fr. Jeevan Tauro

Br. Malvino