The year 2020 and 2021 has been a great challenging year for each of the ACA (Apostolic Carmel Associates) members as the Pandemic Covid 19 hit the mankind with a great blow. During the pandemic the 12 members of the ACA Sub unit of St. Agnes took active part in the form of virtual meetings which was initiated and guided by our Animator Sr Maria Gracilda, our guide, mentor and a friend of all our ACAs.

In spite of all the hurdles faced by the Pandemic, the ACA Sub unit was functioning vibrantly through Zoom Meetings during 2020 and 2021 which were held on the occasion of important events where the ACAs actively participated in all the prayer meetings/ sessions/events who were very generous with their time and talents.
Here below are a few glimpses of the activities held from June 2021.

All Prayer Meetings were conducted with a meaningful Prayer led by the Animator followed by the Bible reading, sharing of the Word of God and faith experiences of life’s journey, celebration of events and also the identification and the implementation of the service activity done by the members was a regular agenda for the meeting. It’s ‘Our Life and values’ that counts and it’s the only Gospel, people around us will read.
















The ACAs participated in the Webinar organized on February 28th 2021 by Rev. Fr Praveen Henry D’ Souza OFM on the Topic CELEBRATING 2021 AS THE YEAR OF ST JOSEPH where Seven Qualities of ST.JOSEPH were explained beautifully.

On 30th June 2021 a Zoom Meeting was held in preparation for the forthcoming feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Animator Sr Maria Gracilda spoke on the family background of our dear founder Mother Veronica, her virtuous life and the courage she took to start the Congregation about 153 years back. One of the ACA members gave verbal presentation about “Queen Mother Mary – Arc of the Covenant and a New Eve a living Arc who carried Jesus in the womb and heart”. Praying family Rosary was stressed upon. One of the projects undertaken was to help the needy students to pay their school fees. The ACAs generously contributed an amount of Rs 23,500/- to the family of a catholic student who lost her father recently due to covid -19.

On the occasion of the Feast of our Lady of Mount Carmel, the ACA members participated in the Holy Eucharist at 6.00 pm celebrated by Rev Dr Archibald Gonsalves OCD, Director of Ryshivana, Institute of Indian Christian Spirituality, Mangaluru, in St. Agnes Convent Chapel who preached the homily highlighting the qualities of Mother Mary. Some of them also took part in the session organized for the parents on the topic “Behind the parents stands the School, behind the Teacher the Home, let’s build a Positive Partnership”.

On July 18th 2021, the ACAs participated in a Webinar organized virtually at the Congregational level by the ACA coordinator Sr Ancilla A.C. which was given by Sr M. Linette AC, Asst Superior General and the former Provincial Superior of Karnataka Province on the topic “A PEEP IN TO THE APOSTOLIC CARMEL SPIRITUALITY”. The webinar on Spirituality highlighted the key points like Deep awareness of intimate contact with God, Devotion to Mother Mary and an ardent zeal for the poor. Indeed an invitation to imbibe the spirit of Carmel and live a joyful life based on the Gospel values.

On 25th July 2021, on the occasion of the Feast of St. Joachim and St. Ann and as per the invitation of Pope Francis “The World Day for Grandparents and the elderly” was organized virtually by the animator to all the ACAs. Those who have become grandparents already, were honored by the Sisters, recalling the beautiful quote by our Pope Francis – “Grandparents are a treasure in the family. Please take care of your grandparents and love them”.

On August 3rd 2021, the members greeted the Superior of St Agnes Convent Sr Dr Lydia Fernandes on the occasion of her feast day and presented the Feast day Card and flowers along with a spiritual bouquet consisting of Holy Masses offered, Holy Communions received, Visits to the Blessed Sacrament, Divine Mercy Chaplet and Rosaries recited by the members and acts of charity done to the poor brethren.

On August 30th 2021, a session was organized in preparation for the Nativity of the BVM. The animator presented a very vibrant talk reflecting the significance of Mother Mary’s Nativity and sharing of the Word of God on the passage from Luke 1: 26 – 38. All the members shared their experiences and blessings received through the intercession of Mother Mary. A project was taken up to prepare the “Spiritual Bouquet” and offer it to Mother Mary on her Birthday along with the charitable works combined with the Novena.

A Rosary was organized virtually on Sept 5th in which the members actively participated praying for the various intentions of the Church and that of the world specially praying for the relief of corona virus which has destroyed life on earth. Prayers were offered for the congregation and to all the Heads of the Institutions who shoulder the great responsibility of educating the girl child as this day is an honour to recognize every Girl Child who will be the future pillars of society.

On September 8th 2021, the Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary was celebrated by the members in a more meaningful way. Nine days Novena was organized in preparation for the feast. The members meditated on the Gospel passage (LK 1:26-38) every day and a spiritual bouquet was prepared by them on the verse that struck them most, as an offering to Mother Mary implementing her virtues in their life. Every ACA family decorated the statue of Mother Mary by offering flowers and a spiritual garland was offered by Rosaries in their homes and expressed their belief in Mother Mary as the protector of their families.

The members shared their joy by visiting the sick, lonely, and elderly helping them financially with love. Lot of charity was done by the members within their family and friends to commemorate the significance of the day to bring a ray of hope and joy on the face of the less fortunate brethren. “The more we share the more we get”.
The ACA families also celebrated the festival as a “Family Feast” thanking God for the blessing of new harvest, by adding the holy corn and having a family lunch together with the family members seeking the blessings of Mother Mary to protect the families. It was a memorable feast to remember all the Apostolic Carmel Associates of St. Agnes Convent, Bendore, Mangaluru.

Mrs Sheeba Fernandes, the President of the ACA Unit of St. Agnes Convent along with her team remain grateful to Sr. Lydia Fernandes, the Superior and all the sisters of the Community for accompanying them in their journey of faith.

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