India: A special commemorative postal cover was launched on May 24 to commemorate the completion of 450 years of Holy Spirit Church in Margao in the western Indian state of Goa.
Retired high court justice Eurico Santana Da Silva launched the postal cover on the occasion of the annual feast celebration in the presence of the Goa postmaster general Charles Lobo, Margao deanery in-charge Fr Carmo Martins, parish priest Fr Avinash Rebelo and other priests. A symbolic dove and white balloons were released on the occasion.
Lobo expressed his delight in releasing this special postal cover that will now be featured in the philately exhibitions all over the world.
Remarking that this special postal cover will be available for sale next Sunday at the church as well as at the Margao post office, the postmaster general termed it a rare collector's item since it bore a special pictorial cancellation stamp of a dove instead of the usual date and place cancellation stamp.
In his welcome address, Fr Rebello narrated the history of the parish church that was built by the Jesuits in the 16th century and is now the largest parish church in Goa with approximately 15,000 Catholics and 3,500 families.
The parish priest urged his parishioners to actively participate in the various programmes such as inter-religious dialogues, social, cultural and sports that have been planned to celebrate the multi-centennial anniversary of the church structure.