On the fifth of July, 2019, St. Xavier’s College Mapusa Goa marked the commencement of the new academic year 2019 -20 with a solemn Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Archbishop Patriarch, Felipe Neri Ferrao. The theme chosen for the Inaugural was “Making the world a better place through Mercy and Compassion.” The Archbishop exhorted all to show mercy and compassion to all just like the Good Samaritan in the parable of Christ. Furthermore, he advised all to care, serve and show mercy to all just like Christ in all that we do.
The comperes for the day were Ms. Jerusha D’Souza and Ms. Lynn D’Sousa. The cultural program began on a meaningful note with a prayer dance titled ‘Light of the World’. The administrator of the college, Rev. Fr. Zeferino D’Souza welcomed the august gathering. He invoked the blessing of the Almighty and our patron – Saint Francis Xavier on all for the new academic year. He congratulated and welcomed the new principal Dr. (Mrs.) Blanche Mascarenhas and assured her of the College’s complete support and cooperation. Lastly, he welcomed the staff and students and urged all to strive to work together to achieve the vision and mission of our institution.
The Archbishop was presented with a potted plant; this green practice is a long-standing tradition at the College. Dignitaries on the dais lit the lamp and this year it was a unique experience as the lamp was made by students using eco-friendly material.
The Principal of the College Dr. (Mrs.) Blanche Mascarenhas, in her speech, thanked the Almighty for a new opportunity and said that she was elated to be heading St. Xavier’s College. She expressed her gratitude to the Archbishop for gracing the occasion and constant support. She reminded all that although the college is renowned for its infrastructure and achievements it was an abode of compassion, understanding, and progress for all those who enter its portals. The Principal informed the gathering of the impressive results at the final exams and that the college was awarded the award for the ‘Best College for Sport for Women’ in 2018-19 by the Goa University. The Principal likened the student community as God’s gift and urged all to partake in the joys of fraternal communion. The Principal urged all to keep the pastoral theme in mind and do likewise, that is to educate, encourage and empower all who we come in contact with, irrespective of their backgrounds. She thanked the ex-officiating principal Fr. Dr. Jeronimo D’Silva.
An English skit titled ‘We are one’ had relevant themes that urged students and all to shun feelings of racism, xenophobia, and prejudices. The student performance had the audience in splits, yet the skit delivered a potent message that all could reflect upon.
Dr. Eulalia Fernandes Associate Professor of the Department of Psychology delivered an insightful Lectio Brevis on the Topic – “Body image: change the way you see yourself”. Her talk was based on the finding in her Ph.D. study and she sought to send a message to young adults to challenge the misperceptions regarding body image and physical appearance. She encouraged youngsters to build a positive body image by giving more importance to their own skills, talents and inner strengths thereby leading to greater self-acceptance.
The Departments of Commerce (Comquest), Psychology (Manovigyan) and Chemistry (Catalyst) released their departmental newsletters at the hands of the Archbishop. Heads of Departments and editors of the respective newsletters were present at the release.
The Archbishop in his address to the audience expressed his happiness to be a part of the inaugural program. The Archbishop wished all the staff and students a fruitful academic year and congratulated the college on the results and achievements of the previous year. He also extended a warm welcome to the new principal Dr. (Mrs.) Blanche Mascarenhas and also the staff members who were beginning their new careers. He thanked the ex officiating Principal Fr. Dr. Jeronimo for all that he had done in the last three years. He also addressed the students and hoped that their educative journey led them to become good and committed people and leaders in society. He urged them to imbibe the three leadership qualities: life-giving, caring and collaborative efforts and to adopt a ‘You first’ attitude in life. The Archbishop presented tokens of welcome and appreciation respectively.
A memento was presented to the Archbishop Patriarch. A token of appreciation was given to Fr. Dr. Jeronimo D’Silva and a token of welcome and good wishes were presented to Dr. Blanche Mascarenhas. The vote of thanks was proposed by the program coordinator in charge Fr. Dr. Jeronimo D’Silva, He expressed his gratitude to all those who helped make the program a success.
The audience was then treated with a surprise item, a melodious ‘Mando’, put up by all members of the college staff across various streams. The program ended with the College anthem.