The function is held in the church of St. John the Evangelist during the lunch break. The news of the presence of the cardinal spread immediately on social media. The cardinal spent the Christmas period with poor and needy in the suburbs of the megalopolis.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Today Card. Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai, will celebrate a solemn mass for the workers of the diocese. The function will be held at 13:15 (local time) at the church of St. John the Evangelist in Fort, Mumbai district. The parish priest, Fr. Joseph D'Souza, informs that the time has been chosen to allow the workers to reach the church during the lunch break. He told AsiaNews: "Yesterday I informed the faithful that the cardinal would come today to preside at the Mass on the first Friday of the year. Joy exploded and they immediately started to spread the news through the social networks, inviting also the colleagues to participate ".
The Cardinal spent the period of Advent meeting poor, marginalized, dalit migrants, responding to the constant invitation of Pope Francis to go to the peripheries. During Christmas, he was a "bishop-parish priest", celebrating liturgies for various groups of the archdiocese. He became spokesman for the message of charity of the Gospel and hosted a meeting on interreligious dialogue the week before 25 December.
Father D'Souza rejoices at the presence of the cardinal: "It is a wonderful gift of happy new year for the people. The cardinal is very loved by the people ". He reports that usually around 90 worshipers participate in the afternoon mass. On the first Friday of the month, the assembly increases to 150 present. Today the faithful will be at least twice that number given that the expectation of meeting the Cardinal is great ".
In his Christmas message, remembering that "Jesus, born in a stable, brought us the unlimited mercy of God", card. Gracias invited everyone to "put aside the impulse to hatred and violence, so that we can condemn with integrity those who commit violence in the name of God".