Mae De Deus Chapel , Gaunsavaddo, Goa
Gaunsavaddo belongs to the parish of St. Anthony in the deanery of Siolim and in the panchayat of Sodiem. It comes under Bardez taluk of North Goa. The city of Mapusa is 4kms from our community. The proximate distance to our Novitiate community-Badem 5kms, to our property at Kareswada-Mapusa, 4.5kms, to our community at Alto-Santacruz 25kms and to Panjim the capital city of Goa is 20kms.
From 1994-2003 the Blessed Sacrament religious ministered to the people of God at this place. In 1994 Fr. Salvador Gomes Coutinho sss, Bro. Pascoal Godinho sss along with an aspirant arrived at the Gaunsavaddo, Siolim from Mumbai to take charge of the Mae De Deus Chapel and set up the first SSS house in Goa. At a solemn Eucharistic celebration on 26th June 1994 the Archbishop of Goa Rt. Rev. Raul Gonsalves installed the Blessed Sacrament Community in Goa. The formal approval of the congregation in the diocese was obtained only in December 1996. Fr. Salvador sss, Fr. Erasto Fernandes sss, Bro. Pascoal sss, deacon Cletus sss are some of the pioneers who contributed significantly to the spread of the Eucharistic mission in Goa. Fr. Bismarque Dias sss and Bro. Pascoal sss continued the mission till the chapel was given back to the diocese.
When the SSS moved from here the residence for priests remained closed. Mae De Deus Chapel, the present chapel is 130 years old though the original chapel was from 1568 and is part of the St. Anthony’s parish- Siolim, which is 458 years old. The annual celebration of the Chapel is held on the first Sunday of May each year with nine days of novena. The languages used for liturgy are Konkani and English. Since the residence was not in use for almost 14 years. In 2017 the province decided to take up the chapel again. Fr. Nathan sss and Fr. Martin sss took charge of the chapel in June 2017. They stayed here for 9 months and then renovation work of the priests’ residence was undertaken. While the renovation was going on, they stayed for 8 months in a rented place.
The salient features of the Eucharistic mission
There are 120 families and divided into 5 Samudhay (5 Basic Christian communities). Economically most of the people are slightly below middle class. This worshipping community comprises of salaried people and retired senior citizens. The devotional aspect of the worshipping community is very strong. Based on the various ministries given in the Rule of life of the congregation we have given priority to our way of life and the mission. Regular prayer, community meeting, recollection with the diocesan clergy on monthly basis, participated in the recollections organized by the congregation, well planned celebration of the Liturgy of the hours with the people, Eucharistic celebration, Eucharistic adoration with the people, animating the basic Christian community meeting, catechism classes on Sunday, guiding the altar servers, youth, choir, communion for the home bound twice a month and attending to the emergency sick calls to the nearby two private hospitals and a District hospital are some of the salient features of our Eucharistic ministry. These ministries are divided among the community members. We collaborate with the diocesan program, attending the Parish Pastoral Council meetings, deanery meetings, participating CRI- Goa unit and its program.
On first Friday after the morning celebration of the Eucharist and the liturgy of the hours the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for 7 hours for adoration. Each Samudhay and community members avail themselves for adoration till 2pm and again at 5.30pm followed by Eucharist. Eucharistic celebration on the second Sunday of every month, Baptism and other sacraments are administered to the Tamil speaking migrants. We avail ourselves for retreat, recollection, nearby women religious communities and special talks on Eucharist for catechists and animating the parish youth, confirmation group. Etc. With the help of some of our vaddo members and others we receive dry ration and distribute them to the needy migrants in the construction site and on the seashore daily wage workers.
Formation the Aggregates
After two years of preparation and formation and the induction ceremony was done for 18 of them on 2nd Aug 2021. Four are still in initial formation. A monthly regular program is organized for them.
Presently, Fr. Joachim Rodrigues sss, Chaplain & Fr. Arockia Sebastian sss is the Superior & Treasurer of the community and Bro. Nelson Paul sss (Regant).
Fr. Joachim Rodrigues sss
Superior _ Chaplin
Fr. Sebastian SSS
Bro. Nelson Paul SSS