In reply to a quick question from Dolcy D’Cruz of Herald, Panjim, last night… Thank you, Dolcy!

Herald Cafe, Panjim, 8 Dec 2022

The city church has been part and parcel of my life for as long as I can remember. It is an architectural gem, perhaps best remembered for its iconic zigzag stairway.

However, my relationship with my parish church was on another plane. On Sundays, my family and I were regulars at the Mass held in Portuguese. It is also there that we attended Easter and Christmas services.

Come December, we awaited the Feast of the Patroness with great anticipation. It provided an excellent spiritual preparation for Christmas, for the angelic music of the Salves at twilight heralded the celestial choirs singing “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” a fortnight later. The church was thus my spiritual powerhouse. I still feel a strong pull even though I no longer live in the city centre.

Church on the feast day 2022

On the other hand, I feel sorry to see the church helplessly serve as a backdrop for cultural events and photoshoots. There is scant respect shown to the sacred nature of the church complex. You find tourists dressed inappropriately, lingering on the stairway or ambling into the church premises. Who is going to stop this menace?