Making the First Indian Saint Truly Indian

Gass is the place St.Gonsalo Garcia was born and there is a Dedicated to our Community Saint in his Native Village. On initial inquiry we have got to know the birth place and we plan to promote this sacred place. Our team from Vasai will visit the site with like-minded locals to plan way forward. Also basic research from seniors on the native Saint will be compiled to know more about the devotions and beliefs of the Gass villagers. Identifying many such locations connected to the life of St.Gonsalo Garcia will be documented for future reference and planning.

Awareness about our community saint across the Native East Indian Community is urgently required. A sizeable number know little about our saint who has a Native Connect to the East Indian Community. Mass awareness Initiatives on our community level are needed. As a part of the Native Devotion Project initiated by the MGP, various action points will be announced to meet this objective. A Religious Walk with St.Gonsalo Garcia will be planned and assigned to a community member as a part of the awareness Initiative.

Recognition of our first Indian Saint on the National as well as State level seems to be missing. To take this forward MGP will send Communications as well as meet political leaders to ensure recognition to our community saint. Our country and state should recognize the First Indian Catholic Saint and dedicate projects and institutions to St.Gonsalo Garcia. Vasai and Mumbai where the majority of the community reside should have special projects dedicated to our Community Saint to have the native connect. A Special scheme for the Christian minority dedicated to St.Gonsalo at the National as well as State level is required.

Chapel dedicated to our Community Saint in Mumbai Archdiocese will be built by MGP. The project was announced a couple of years ago and is on hold due to a land issue. We are looking out for alternative donors or may also purchase a small piece of land. The proposed chapel will be built on a boat to have the connection of St.Gonsalo Garcia travel to Japan by boat. MGP is also working on more projects dedicated to St.Gonsalo Garcia. MGP has also spoken to some experts within the community who will help us built the boat, the Chapel structure, and the interiors including the altar.

Installation of the statue of our Community Saint across Maharashtra Churches, Holy Crosses, and Home Altars. MGP has already installed a statue of our saint at the Kaka Baptista East Indian Museum. We will encourage community members to place a statue at the Gaothan Holy Crosses too. Many Churches do not have a statue of the Saint and we will request them to do install the same or display it during the novenas and annual feast. A miniature statue of St.Gonsalo Garcia will be arranged by MGP and an appeal will be made across the community to install this statue at the altars of each home.

Archdiocesan initiatives to promote the Community Saint are also needed in the Archdiocese of Vasai and Bombay. A formal Communication will be sent to the Hierarchy to ensure the promotion of our native Saint on the diocesan level through various projects. A Special request will be made to the Archdiocese of Bombay that St.Gonsalo Garcia is considered as the Principal Patron Saint of the Diocese. No other saint to be considered as the patron saint. Vasai Diocese will also be requested to initiate multiple projects in the native city especially at our Saint’s native village. MGP Team looks forward to supporting like-minded Community members, the diocese, and the Government to make these plans possible. May our Community Patron Saint, St.Gonsalo Garcia bless us all to achieve what we plan to make him known across the State and Country, thereby making
him a Truly Indian Saint.

Gleason Barretto, Old Kurla

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