Penned By : Savariyar Innasimuthu
The RTP Tamil Catholic Association celebrated the festival of Our Lady of Good Health Velankanni on Sunday, August 20th, 2023. The festivities commenced with the Blessing of Holy Oil, the consecration of the new mother Mary statue, and the recitation of novena prayers. Following these rituals, we held a procession around the church, carrying the sapparam with the newly consecrated mother Mary statue. Subsequently, a Holy Mass was celebrated in Tamil, with Rev.Fr. Gnanapragasam as the main celebrant, and joined by Rev.Fr. Arul Yagappan, Rev.Fr. Soosai Arockiadass, Rev.Fr. Lourduraj Alapaty, and Rev.Fr. John Vedanayagam.
The joyful occasion concluded with a delicious dinner, and it’s important to note that none of this celebration would have been possible without the dedicated efforts of numerous volunteers. We wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those selfless individuals who contributed to the success of this event. Below is a list of the various committees and their contributions that played a pivotal role in the success of this event.
To keep the newly consecrated mother Mary statue, the Holy Cross Catholic Church Parish priest Fr. Pius requested us to design a pedestal to match the existing pedestal that is located on the right side of the church. With Paul as a lead, a committee (Antony, Adarsh, Christopher, Inigo, Joseph, John, Patrick, and Savariyar) was formed to obtain quotes for pedestal from various sources. After careful consideration, the committee decided to hire a skilled carpenter “Joe”, to construct the pedestal. Joe has completed the pedestal and delivered it to the church on Saturday, July 27th. Patrick has played a crucial role in this process, working closely with Joe to ensure that the pedestal meets all the necessary requirements, which includes measurements and color. In addition to the pedestal, Patrick took the initiative to order candles online and modified them to work with electricity and to fix them on the pedestal. Adarsh provided valuable assistance to Patrick in making this modification successfully.
The Decoration Committee was established with the purpose of adorning the sapparam, pedestal, church, and the altar. Vidya took the lead, with Rani, Jency, Monicka, Anjela, and Golda as team members. Rani undertook the task of procuring the necessary decorative items from India. On August 12, 2023, one week before the celebration, Antony, Vidya, Golda, Joseph, Adarsh, and Savariyar assembled at Patrick’s house to make sure the Mother Mary statue fits in the Sapparam and pedestal. We appreciate Caroline generosity in providing snacks and lunch for all the members. On the morning of August 19th, the Decoration Committee members convened at the church and meticulously adorned the Sapparam, church and the altar. Additionally, they embellished the floors with intricate and beautiful Kolam designs.
The Mass Preparation Committee created the worship guide to ensure the smooth flow of the Mass and festival proceedings. Savariyar led the committee, with Angela, Jency, Monicka, and Rani. On July 30th, Savariyar, Joseph, and Golda traveled to Eden, NC, met Fr. Pragasam and finalized the document. The team members thoroughly reviewed the document and printed 100 copies. Joseph and Savariyar conducted altar server training sessions on July 29th and on August 19th. Ronel, Loran, Anaya and Hannah attended the altar server training. These training sessions proved to be highly beneficial. Deepa led the rosary during the procession.
The RTPTCA choir (led by Susan and Jeyan, consisted of Antony, Anita, Benitta, Golda, Vijayan, Jency, Maria, Monicka, Prabha, Savariyar, and Susai) offered praise to the Lord through their music and songs during the Mass and procession.
The Prayers for the Sick Committee, led by Golda with Rupa, Monicka, Maria, Raji, Aadarsh, and Aathira filled 500 canisters of oil and provided prayers for the sick.
The Promotion and Publication Committee, led by Joseph and Chris, designed, and printed flyers and disseminated them through various channels, including Holy Cross Church, St. Michael’s bulletin, Facebook, and websites. Richard and Mervin took beautiful pictures and recorded the festivals. Raja helped to organize the Saparam bearers.
The Food Committee played a crucial role in ensuring that the devotees were well-fed and satisfied during their visit. The food committee lead Jayaraj Kanagaraj and its members Anna Rupa, Sneha Kurian, Michael, Joseph, Rani, and Albina were responsible for procuring the necessary catering & cleaning, making weekly calls to ensure that tasks were being handled on time, ensuring that the quality food delivered on time, and the price within our budget. Michael oversaw the serving team. The entire Food Committee had the responsibility of maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in the dining area. Joseph, Rani, and Albina provided invaluable guidance and instructions to ensure the success of this team’s effort.
The celebration went well. May the mother Mary and his son Jesus Christ bless us all. Thank you!!