On 19th March 2017, 17 candidates enriched and enhanced with their On-The-Job-Training in Ministry for Faith Enrichment received their Graduation Degree and Certificate and a mission to take Christ’s Healing to the Nations and Stretch His Hand throughout Creation with Message of His Love.
The Salvation Seva Kendra Hall, Dadar was filled with proud parents, families, relatives and friends who witnessed these moments that would be etched in their minds forever. The evening was hosted by Deacon Jaime and Ligia da Fonseca. The Chief Guest Bishop Dominic Savio Fernandes was escorted by the Founder-Director Fr. Aniceto Pereira and the new Director Fr. Jervis D’Souza. As responsible Catholic individuals, all those present were full of attention as they were educated by Mr. Pankaj Joshi and Mr. David Cardoz on ‘The Development of Mumbai and the Church’s contribution to it’, followed by a Q&A moderated by Mr. Adrian Rosario.
The To-Be-IMFE-Graduates then made a grand entry holding the flags assigned to them. The Bishop, IMFE Director and the Commission Heads lit the lamps on the Prayer Table as the Invocation to the Trinity was sung by all. This was followed by a short presentation featuring their IMFE journey with gratitude to their Mentor-Animators and the Core-IMFE Team, Fr. Aniceto Pereira, Fr. Jervis D’Souza, Mr. Melwyn Sequeira, Mr. Adrian Rosario and Ms. Rohini D’Souza. The Valedictory Address was delivered by Dr. Trudy Dantis who held everyone present in splits with her humour as she introduced her batch-mates to all.
Fr. Jervis, in the Director’s Address, confirmed to the Bishop that all of the candidates were prepared and indeed ready to Carry their Candle and Light the World. The to-be-IMFE-graduates then sang their group song once again relating their IMFE journey with wit and hilarity. Bishop Savio shared how pleased he was with the way the IMFE had shaped, and acknowledged the persistent efforts of Fr. Aniceto. He called the people to be the Church wherever they were. He advised them to give in their best contribution at all times, and at the same time acknowledge the contribution that others give, as he related the story of the Orchestra and the Sound-man. Finally he urged the to-be-IMFE-graduates and all others present to be the Leaven in the Dough, and make Christ’s vision of the Church alive.
The Prayer Service led the people gathered through solemn moments of praise and thanksgiving, during which the to-be-IMFE-graduates symbolically received their light from their respective Commission Heads, in readiness to go forth and be the Light of the World and Salt of the Earth. Fr. Jervis then led Bishop Savio to the dais as the IMFE graduates came forward to state their vision about their respective ministries. This was followed by the Commission Heads placing a Towel on the left hand of the graduates after which the graduation degree was handed over to the IMFE graduates who were smiling cheek to cheek with their faces beaming with pride.
Mr. Melwyn Sequeira sprung up a surprise tribute to Fr. Aniceto Pereira for his contribution to the Catechetical Ministry, the IMFE and the OLCM. True to Bishop Oscar Romero’s poem, Fr. Aniceto had been planting the seeds initially as the Diocesan Catechetical Director, and then kept watering the seeds already planted as Founder of the OLCM and the IMFE, knowing that they hold future promise. Fr. Aniceto thanked Mr. Melwyn for his tribute, as he acknowledged Melwyn being the backbone in all of his initiatives.
Ms. Lelith D’Souza proposed the Vote of Thanks, acknowledging the efforts of all those who had contributed to the success of the event. She referred to the IMFE Core team as Bows and the IMFE graduates as Arrows, as she explained how year after year, they had shot these IMFE graduates into the Open to reach far and wide to take Christ’s healing to the nations and spread His message of Love.