3rd Regional Convention (Marian Mini Congress) of World Apostolate of Fatima held at Seva Kendra, Kolkata, on Thursday, 19th May 2016

The day started early at 6:00 a.m. with Holy Mass for the National Delegates, at the tomb of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata.  This was concelebrated by His Grace, Thomas D’Souza – Archbishop of Kolkata and also by Bishop Peter Machado, Bishop of Belgaum and Ecclesiastical Advisor of World Apostolate of Fatima.

Thereafter, having arrived at Seva  Kendra, Kolkata, the venue for the days Convention, after completing the registration formality and breakfast, the Inaugural function followed in the Mother Teresa Hall, welcoming and felicitating the dignitaries with garlands and bouquets and also chandan (sandalwood paste) tika was applied on all the delegates, starting with the dignitaries.

Then followed the lighting of the lamp by Archbishop Thomas, Bishop Peter Machado, Rev. Fr. S. Santhappan: Raiganj Diocesan Administrator, Rev. Fr. M.V. Sunny (National Executive Board Chairman – WAF), Rev Fr Panneer Selvam (Secretary of Bengal Bishops’ Conference), Dr. Celcio Xavier Dias (National Vice-Chairman & International Secretary – WAF) and Rev. Sister Mary Prema, Superior General of the Kolkata Headquarters of the  Missionaries of Charity. 

Then the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima was crowned by the Archbishop. The dignitaries spoke briefly on Our Lady of Fatima. Sr Prema focussed on the devotion to the Immaculate heart of Mary. Vicar General Rev Fr Domnic Gomes was also present. Suddenly, there was much needed rain, which gave relief from the sweltering heat.

Fr. M. V. Sunny gave a power point presentation on the Message of Fatima and Apparition narratives. Dr. Celcio Dias then gave a presentation on the “Forgotten Message” i.e First Saturdays, Consecration and how to celebrate the Centenary. Mrs Carmeline Vas, National Team member spoke on Divine Mercy.

Then followed a concelebrated High Mass after midday by the Archbishop and Bishop and a host of other priests.  During the Mass the pledge vows were taken by almost all present with lit candles.  The choir was well organised by youth. After Mass a beautiful special Centenary cake with the picture of Our Lady of Fatima and the 3 children, was cut by the Archbishop of Kolkata and the dignitaries joined in.  Before leaving the hall for lunch, each delegate was presented with a Rosary and Brown Scapular. 170 attended including 9 Priests and 6 National Team members.

Around 3:00 p.m. after lunch, all the World Apostolate of Fatima Members from 3 Dioceses from West Bengal Region with the National Team again assembled in the hall to meet and form the Regional Body which was conducted through elections. The other most important point was how to celebrate the Centenary Celebrations.   It was decided to support the traditional Bandel celebrations on Sunday, 5 Feb 2017. This meeting was chaired by Rev. Fr. Henry Saldanha – Spiritual Advisor (WAF-Kolkata).

1.    Calcutta Archdiocesan Unit revived under Fr Henry Saldanha and Archbishop Thomas’ encouragement. Elections held (19 April 2016) President: Shelton Pyster, Vice President: Mrs. Glynis Vincent, Secretary: Mr. James Lingam, Treasurer: Mr. Amitabho Banerjee. Focus will be on the pleas of Our Lady of Fatima: First Saturdays Reparation, Consecration, Rosary meditation in Church, Reparatory Adoration, Pilgrim Virgin Statue Visitations, etc

2.    West Bengal Regional Committee (19 May 2016) formed from 3 Dioceses.

     Website was inaugurated by Archbishop Thomas D’Souza

3.    The West Bengal Regional Centenary celebrations will be launched at Raiganj on Mon, 20Th Feb 2017, Feasts of Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta.

4.    Visit to Fatima by some WAF Ex Com members.

5.    Relic of Blessed Francisco and Jacinta, for healing and driving away evil spirits handed over to Archbishop.

6.    Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’s Missionaries of Charity Mother house invited WAF Calcutta for Inaugural Mass at Mother’s tomb on 4th June 2016, First Saturday and Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to begin the First Saturdays Reparation. This will be a regular practice every First Saturday.

WAF Calcutta under Mr. Shelton Pyster, Mrs. Glynis Vincent, Mr. James Lingam, Mr. Amitabho Banerjee all under Fr Henry Saldanha and many especially Legion of Mary members excelled as hosts. 

Rev Fr Rosario Strocio aged 95

Archbishop Emeritus Henry D'Souza our Ex National WAF President aged 90

St. Teresa of Calcutta signing the Pledge to become WAF member. She did this in public to encourage others to join the WAF. Her Spiritual Director Fr Julian Henry, sj was the founder of the WAF in Calcutta and actively promoted from 1931 to 1970. The Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity were the first members of the WAF in Calcutta.