BIS #6820 Matmauli Yatra at Ahmednagar

By Fr Ajay D’Monte for BISMumbai

The annual ‘Matmauli Yatra’ (Marian feast) was celebrated at St Anne’s Church, Ahmednagar on 29 October 2022. More than 2500 people from the city and the surrounding villages participated in the festive Eucharist celebrated by Rev. Bishop Lourdes Daniel.

The preparation for the feast began with a novena on 20 October. The theme for the novena was the virtues of Mother Mary by St Louis De Montfort. During the nine days, priests were invited from the diocese to help the faithful to understand the various virtues Mary lived in her life and how they need to walk with Mary in order to imitate these virtues. During the days of the novena, the faithful recited the rosary before participating in the Holy Eucharist.

All the three Salesian parishes in the city were involved in the preparation. The committee for the preparation for the feast had equal representation of the faithful from the three parishes. The main aim of the Yatra was to reestablish the ties between the parishioners and the church as they celebrated this event.

On the morning of the Yatra, the faithful gathered around the statue of Mother Mary with Fr Briston Britto, the Parish Priest, praying through Mary for the success of the day. The statue was taken around in procession on the streets of the city.

The festive evening began with the rosary at 4:30 pm animated by the choir group. The festal Mass was celebrated with much solemnity and animation done by the youth of all three Salesian parishes. A number of priests from the vicinity of Ahmednagar con-celebrated the Holy Eucharist and participated in the joy. Bishop Daniel in his preaching focused on the availability of Mary to her neighbor at various times in the Gospels. He remarked that he was glad to see so many Marian devotees gathered for the feast.

At the culmination of the Yatra, Fr Britto thanked Bishop Daniel and the faithful, especially the villagers who came from far and wide. After the Holy Eucharist the faithful patronized the various games and food stalls from the campus. It was indeed a day filled with blessings and happiness.