Journeying with Mary through the Sorrowful Mysteries
When praying the Rosary through the sorrowful mysteries, we reflect on the sorrow, agony and pain that we caused our Saviour but how often do we reflect on the sorrow, agony and pain that we caused his Blessed Mother as she silently went through life and particularly during his last painful journey to Calvary.
Just as Jesus went through his horrible and agonising last journey, our Blessed Mother too endured horrible anguish, pain and suffering like her beloved Son. Maybe she did not physically carry the Cross but she did feel each and every blow inflicted on His precious body. Each and every thorn that pierced his holy head must have pierced her holy head too. She would have felt his every fall even while she longed to help him rise again and oh, how she must have longed to ease his burden by carrying his cross for Him. Our Blessed Mother must have felt the cruel nails being driven through her beloved son’s hands and the excruciating pain while helplessly watching him suffer for our sins. Finally which mother would like to go through the painful cry of her son asking for his thirst to be quenched but Mary heard the cry. Our Blessed Mother too went through the painful agony on the cross and must have echoed silently ‘my God, my God why have you forsaken me’ before submitting and saying ‘they will be done’.
To bring this message to mind the Ladies Sodality, embarked on their ‘Lenten Journey with Mary through the Sorrowful Mysteries’ on Saturday, 18th Mary 2023
Starting from the Church Grotto where the 1st Sorrowful Mystery was enacted, reflected on and decade recited, the ladies joined by the parishioners, wended their way up the hill (through our mini St. Anne’s Calvary) stopping for the enactment, reflection and recitation of each decade till they came to rest at the Kiddie’s Korner where the 5th Sorrowful Mystery was enacted and prayed. After praying the Memorare led by our Sp.Director, we ended with the hymn ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord’.
The ladies of course had to rely on ‘man power’ too and we are grateful to all those who willingly joined us on our journey. It would have been impossible without you. We also thank all those who helped with the costumes and all the little details to make this Lent memorable.
We cannot end without a expressing our sincere gratitude to our very own Sodalist, Dr. Elaine Charles, (who wrote, directed and enacted the entire script), and who is ever willing to journey with us year in and year out and not just during Lent!
The Ladies Sodality was founded in 1944 by the Parish Priest, Fr.S.Braganza. Seventy ladies attended the first meeting on the 7th of May and the Sodality was inaugurated on the 24th of May 1944 - the feast day of Mary Help of Christians. Fr.S.Braganza was the first Spiritual Director and Mrs.Loretta Gonsalves the first Prefect.
However since many ladies were away on vacation during the month of May it was decided from 1947, to celebrate the annual feast on the 15th of August (our country’s first Independence Day) and was renamed ‘Sodality of the Assumption of Our Lady’.
Present Day Activities:
Today the Sodality has 47 members on its rolls, of which 14 members are sick and house-bound.
Meetings are held every Wednesday at 5.45 p.m. in the Parish Parlour and a meeting of the Committee Members is held on the first Wednesday at 5 pm.
During the four Wednesday meetings, we
Recite the Office of the Immaculate Conception;
Rosary and Intercessory prayers.
Share the forthcoming Sunday Gospel passage (explained beautifully in detail by Mrs Joan Manohar of Mount Carmel Parish).
Our Spiritual Director attends (when time permits) and joins in our prayers and gives us spiritual guidance.
We observe the First Saturdays of the month by reciting the Rosary followed by Mass and General Communion. Medals are worn during the Mass.
We take an annual break during May and no meetings are held.
Our members are a very closely knit group and do not differentiate between age, education or status. All are treated alike and participate in most of the activities according to their abilities.
Some of our active members are also engaged in other Apostolic activities viz Eucharistic Ministry, Visiting the Sick & Housebound, the Prayer Group, Lectors Group, Choir, SVP, Hope & Life, conducting the First Friday Holy Half Hour or other services as and when required by the Church.
Besides offering Masses for our deceased Members, we attend their funerals as well as pray the Rosary for their souls. We also pin a medal of Our Lady on them.
During the year we go on Mission trips like the House of Charity, Sisters of the Poor, Home for the Aged, or the Clergy Home.
A Lenten service is organized during Lent for the Members / Parishioners.
Every year, at 12 Noon on the 8th of December (feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady), we organise a well-attended ‘Hour of Grace’ for the whole Parish.
Our Annual Feast is celebrated with great joy on the 15th of August each year with a Eucharistic Celebration which includes the Installation of new Office Bearers and the Admission of New Members. This is followed by a Get-together cum Annual General Meeting and a fun-filled morning of games and brunch in the Kiddies Corner.
The sick and housebound are not left out. Each one of them is given a box of goodies on the Feast Day to show them that they are always in our thoughts and prayers.
A well-planned 9 day Novena, with a special theme each year precedes our Annual Feast.
The Sodality Members take great pride in decorating the altar and the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the occasion of their Feast.
Now that we have started our physical meetings (after the pandemic) we are looking forward to restarting some of our earlier activities viz. Retreats/Recollections, Tea Meetings (during which we share practical skills in cooking, art & craft apart from tea, snacks and fellowship), Picnics, ‘Ladies Day Out’ , to name a few.
Our Spiritual Director and Office Bearers for the years 2022 to 2024 are:
Treasurer - Maria D'mello
Assitt. Treasurer - Flavia Fernandes
Spiritual Director - Fr. David Michael
Prefect - Sandra Fernandes
Asst. Prefect - Gracy Mendonca
Secretary - Harriette D’Mello
Asstt. Secretary - Blanche Gomes
Sacristans - Lovey Pereira & Stella Aguair
Dr.(Mrs) Elaine Charles
Louella Pereira & Selda Dias
The Ladies Sodality warmly welcomes all ladies of our parish (age/education no bar) to join the Sodality & experience a greater deepening of the faith, joyous fellowship, new friendships and the learning of useful crafts & handy skills.
Contact Person: Mrs. Sandra Fernandes
On Wednesday 18th January 2023, we the members of "The Ladies Sodality", along with members of the "Hope and Life" and 2 more parishoners-went to visit "The House of Charity" at Versova a home for the mentally and physically handicapped persons.
On our way to Versova,we prayed the Rosary and sang hymns to Mama Mary .
It was Sr Juliet who welcomed us and explained to us how the home was started by parishoners of Our Lady of Good Health Church -- Versova ,along with the Parish Priest.Four young girls dedicated their lives to become Nuns and doing this difficult task cheerfully, attracted many more and now 7 Nuns run this place with the help of the parishoners and other people who support their cause. They have Many such Homes in other places in Mumbai too.
Sr Juliet went on to explain that the inmates through their handicap teach them Patience,Compassion,kindness, total selfgiving and bring out the deep sense of inner peace .They Say they see Suffering Jesus in every inmate who stays with them till their last Days.
They have a Chapel which is serene and Spiritfilled where all of them Pray and get their strength to go forward and do their duties to the best of their ability. Our ladies together prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet together in this Chapel.
We then handed over to sister Ester the items she had asked us to bring . Some of our ladies helped them to put their clothes to Dry, and some of our ladies fed the patients while few others folded curtains and sheets. We tried to be useful in the short time we spent there.We then said Bye to the Nuns and all and returned home feeling satisfied with a great learning from Sr Juliets talk. We thankful to the Lord and Mama Mary for helping us with the opportunity to visit the House of Charity .
By A Member of the Ladies Sodality.