Devotees at annual mass feel nostalgic
Deepa H Sarna
Thousands of devotees were present on the auspicious occasion of the annual mass at the St. John the Baptist Church, in SEEPZ at Andheri (East), on Sunday morning. Devotees had mixed feelings of both happiness and sorrow.
The church opens once in a year, on the second Sunday of the month of May. Most of the Catholics from in and around Andheri made it a point to be at the church.
The celebrations began with a procession from the new flyover at SEEPZ, followed by mass. Devotees also performed their traditional dance, expressing their happiness of being at the church.
In an interaction with parishioners of the Marol church, devotees said they wait the entire year for this day to arrive. Martin Cletus, who is 74-years-old, said, “Looking at the condition of the church, I feel very bad. It’s a heritage structure and now no one is looking after it. We have rare places that speak of our history and this is one of them. I feel it should be preserved so that the generations that follow have something to see of their ancestors.”
Maggi Soares, 65, said, “I remember my younger days when I used to come here and play by the side of the lake and eat fruits from the huge trees in the premises. Whenever I come here, I get nostalgic.”
“I was born and bought up in Marol. On the one hand, I am happy, but looking at the condition of this holy place, I have tears in my eyes. But we can’t help it,” said 81-year-old Dolcie Neunes.
Dunstan Neunes, 49, said, “There was a graveyard here earlier where my grandfather was buried. But now, you have a commercial building here. It is a nostalgic feeling.”
Also present were President of The Bombay Catholic Sabha, Dolphy D’Souza, and sitting MLA of Andheri East, Suresh Shetty, along with local corporators.