Reflecting on the theme `Inspired by the faithfulness of St Francis, let us shine like Jesus, the Star,' the novena services to celebrate the feast of St Francis Xavier also known as `Goencho Saib', will begin from November 24 to December 2 at Old Goa.
The theme draws light from the Universal Church's declaration of 2009-10 as the Year for Priests. Similarly, the celebrations will also reflect on the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman's focus on the youth this year.
On December 3, the feast mass will be celebrated by Rev Peter Machado, bishop of Belgaum diocese, at 10.30am.
Archbishop Patriarch Filipe Neri Ferrao and Archbishop Patriarch Emeritus Raul Nicholau Gonsalves along with several other priests from the state will concelebrate the feast mass. Besides the feast mass at 10.30 am, there will be masses at 4am, 5am, 6am, 7am, 8am, 9am, 12.30pm, 4pm, 5pm and 6pm (English).
All the religious services during the novena and the feast will be held at a specially-erected pandal outside the Bom Jesus Basilica, with a seating capacity for 10,000 devotees.
As per the information received from the Bom Jesus Basilica, there will be nine masses everyday, including the novena mass.
The timings of the masses are 6am, 7.15am, 8.15am, 9.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am, 3.45pm, 5.15pm and 6.15pm. On November 29, an additional mass will be celebrated at 5am.
However, on November 25-26 there will be no mass at 10.30am. The novena mass will be celebrated daily at 8.15am by the parishes of Mandur, Panaji, Marcela, Mapusa, Nuvem, Azossim, Cortalim, Fatorda and Bambolim. Besides Konkani, masses will also be celebrated daily in English at 6.15pm.
Masses in Hindi will be celebrated on November 28 at 11.30am, November 29 at 2.30pm and November 30 at 11.30am. On November 24 there will be mass in Malayalam at 11.30am and 12.30 pm and on November 29 at 12.30pm. On December 2 there will be mass in Marathi at 11.30am and in Tamil on November 29 at 11.30am.