Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, visits the Raigad Missions
Raigad – a district in Maharashtra, India – is endowed with pristine beaches in Alibaug and the hills of Mahad. Blessed abundantly with picturesque landscapes, it sings of the beauty of God. Raigad stretches across the Konkan terrain and occupies a total area of 7,152 sq. kms, making it the largest deanery in the Archdiocese of Bombay. The district is mainly inhabited by migrants from other parts of Maharashtra and is also home to the Katkari tribe (people unique to Raigad). The Catholic population in this region currently stands at 1,914 – the major reason for establishing the mission.
His Eminence, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, on his pastoral visit to the Raigad Missions, from January 3 - 4, 2020, witnessed the warmth of the people residing in this region. He dialogued with 83 Religious personnel and Catholics, during which he emphasized the need to spread the love of Christ through Word, Witness, and Worship. He also encouraged the Religious of the area in their pastoral and outreach initiatives, commending them as ‘salt and light’ because they serve those on the margins of society.
The Cardinal’s official tour also involved visits to Korlai, a small and unique settlement of Catholics - who embraced the faith over 400 years ago; Alibaug, the district capital; the Parish of St. Francis Xavier at Mahad; the industrial hubs of Roha and Kolad; a meeting with the Daughters of the Heart of Mary (DHM) and a consultation with the core group of the Religious of Jesus and Mary (RJM). At Korlai, parishioners solemnly joined in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist by Oswald Cardinal Gracias. This was followed by interactions with the Katkari tribe, that left a deep impression on His Eminence, as he witnessed firsthand their kindness, hospitality, and warmth.