PANAJI: At the world heritage and pilgrimage site of Basilica of Bom Jesus at Old Goa, a national convention of Catholics from across the country will be held this year as a runner-up to the globally revered feast of St Francis Xavier.
Between 6,000 and 8,000 participants are expected at the all India convention, which will be attended by 15 to 20 bishops.
The convention, to be held from November 18 to 21, 2013, will aim at bringing back the concept of community living among Catholics. ""Just before the novena begin for the feast of St Francis Xavier this year, a huge convention of Catholics will be held where delegates from across India will participate. The theme will be about living in small Christian communities or samudai. Across the country, many Catholics are reviving living in the form of communities, where they are there for one another in times of need,"" Basilica rector Fr Savio Barreto said.
Following the convention, the participants will also be put up in the homes of Catholics in parishes across the state for a few days to experience life as is lived by Christians in the state.
"At the convention, the participants will learn what are the works being taken up by the samudais and how they experience God through community living. Persons living in these samudais will share their experiences, which can then be replicated elsewhere by participants," Fr Barreto said.
The feast of St Francis Xavier is held every year on December 3 after nine-day novena where services are held in languages of Spanish, Portuguese, English, Hindi, Konkani, Marathi, Tamil and Malayalam. The Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa is home to the relics of the saint.