The Patriarchal Seminary of Rachol and the Good Shepherd Institute of Theology conducted a theological-pastoral formation course for the lay faithful at Rachol Seminary from June 2023 till January 2024. The course comprised of 14 sessions which were held on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It was attended by a total of 116 participants from the different parishes of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman.

The objective of the course was to carry out an on-going adult formation that would help the participants to deepen their knowledge of Catholic faith, to develop a better understanding of their pastoral responsibilities, to help them to become more committed witnesses of the Gospel and to prepare lay leaders with a firm theological and spiritual formation in order to facilitate active collaboration in the Church

At the end of the course, the ‘Diploma day’ was held at the seminary on the 14th of January 2024, to award the participants who had successfully completed the course by fulfilling the requirements of attendance and assignment submission, with diploma certificates. The day began with the Eucharistic celebration presided by the archbishop Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferrão, at 10:00 a.m. Thereafter there was a formal programme held in the seminary auditorium. The seminarians put up an instrumental performance to get things started after which, the rector of the seminary, Fr. Donato Rodrigues conferred a warm welcome to all present. This was followed by the awarding of the diploma certificates to the participants at the hands of our Cardinal, who thereafter addressed the gathering encouraging all to use what they have gained, to participate in the mission carried forward by the Synodal Church in order to bring about communion. The editorial team of the seminary magazine ‘Luceas’ then requested our Cardinal to do the honours of releasing this academic year’s edition at the magazine. Two of the participants Ms. Sheina Castelo and Mr. Cedric Da Costa, on behalf of all the participants later, shared their experiences of the course. The Santa Cecilia Choir under the guidance of Fr. Mathew Rebello thereafter, enthralled everybody with a beautiful rendition of the ‘Goencheo Munn’nnio’ written and arranged by Fr. Bernado Cota. The seminarians were then awarded for their curricular excellence for the academic year 2022-2023 and then, on behalf of the participants, Ms. Stella Fernandes expressed her gratitude to the seminary staff and seminarians for organising the programme. On behalf of the Seminary, the Director of Theological Studies Fr. Nelson Sequeira delivered the vote of thanks and the proceedings were brought to a close with everybody joining in singing the seminary anthem.

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