Bandra, Msgr. Rodrigues: Serve with love like Mary
The rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount leaves his office after 21 years. He invites the faithful to "bear witness to Jesus with joy." The farewell ceremony took place during the last recitation of the Rosary in the month dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "Gift Jesus to the world, witness with joy and bring Jesus with you. Like Mary, who carried the Living Word in her womb, serve others with love": with these words Msgr. Nereus Rodrigues gave his last blessing to the faithful as the rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount in Bandra (Mumbai).
The prelate spoke in front of thousands of people gathered to celebrate the feast of the Visitation. The ceremony took place yesterday, during the last recitation of the Rosary at the conclusion of the Marian month. Since 1983, the festivity has been organized by the "Clan of Mary", a home for those recovering from alcohol addiction.
Msgr. Rodrigues has just turned 93 years and has served the Catholic Church in India with loyalty and devotion for 66 years. Since 1995 he has been rector of the basilica, which also houses a Holy Door of Mercy. Previously, he was pastor of Sacred Heart Church of Santa Cruz where Card. Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai, was then his assistant. Msgr. Rodrigues also baptised the new rector, Msgr. John Rodrigues.
The closing ceremony of the month dedicated to the Virgin Mary was an opportunity to bid farewell to his community, whom he blessed with a formula in Latin. The prayer then was followed by a group of musicians and fireworks, while the basilica was adorned with flowers and lights, as a form of devotion to the Queen of Heaven.