SPA Celebrates 34th Annual Festival of St. Peter in Mumbai

Mumbai, July 7, 2024 - The St. Peter's Association Barkur (Mumbai) marked a significant milestone today as it celebrated the 34th annual festival of its patron saint, Saint Peter, in a grand ceremony held at the Vincent de Pallotti Church Hall in Marol Vijayanagar, Andheri East. The event, which drew members of the Barkur community from across Mumbai, was a vibrant display of cultural heritage, faith, and community spirit.

The festivities commenced with a solemn thanksgiving Mass officiated by Fr. Ronald Miranda, the parish priest of St. Peter's Church, Barkur. In his address, Fr. Miranda emphasized the importance of mutual acquaintances in fostering close relationships, stating, "Such practices contribute to unity in the community on a daily basis. Equal relations are the impetus for the advancement of community, society, culture, and heritage." He commended the Barkur people of Mumbai for their strong sense of community, noting their significant influence in the city.

Fr. Dr. Ivan Almeida, a native of Barkur and currently serving as the Goa superintendent at Dhyana Ashram, delivered an inspiring homily on faith. The liturgy was further enhanced by the participation of community members Pramila Fernandez, Joseph Almeida, Renee Suarez, Eric Carvalho, Janet Carvalho, and Frieda Moras.

Following the Mass, the celebration continued at the church auditorium, presided over by Bonifus Sequeira, president of the St. Peter's Association. The event featured a special awards ceremony, where the annual talent awards, sponsored by the members' children, were presented. Anthony Gonsalves, and Archibald Furtado had the honor of presenting these awards to the deserving recipients.

A poignant moment during the celebration was the tribute paid to Rev. Fr. Valerian Mendonza, who had  served at Barkur Church and passed away the previous week. Ida Henry Roche offered a heartfelt condolence message and led the congregation in prayer for Fr. Valerian's soul.

The event was graced by the presence of several distinguished guests, including former SPA presidents Felix Barnes and Richard Carvalho, current vice president Wilfred Sequeira, secretary Arthur Mendonza, treasurer Vincent Furtado, and internal auditor Michael Almeida. Notably, renowned film director Harry Fernandes Barkur and Ivan Suvares were also in attendance, adding to the event's prestige.

Entertainment was a key feature of the celebration, with organization members and children captivating the audience through a variety of performances including dance, songs, and skits. Kiran R Carvalho skillfully hosted this segment of the program.

The day's proceedings began with a prayer to Saint Peter, followed by a warm welcome address by Bonifus Sequeira. In a gesture of respect and gratitude, the president and office bearers honored the guests with floral tributes. Joylan Fernandes served as the main host for the event, while Wilfred Sequeira had the responsibility of reciting the list of meritorious persons and proposing a vote of thanks.

Prior to the main celebration, the St. Peter's Association held its Annual General Meeting, underlining the organization's commitment to transparency and member engagement.

This 34th annual festival not only celebrated the patron saint but also showcased the strength and unity of the Barkur community in Mumbai. It served as a testament to their dedication to preserving their cultural heritage while fostering strong community bonds in their adopted city. As the Barkur people continue to make significant contributions to Mumbai's diverse social fabric, events like these play a crucial role in maintaining their unique identity and traditions.

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