Cordileone’s pilgrimage to India
Portuguese influence very clear in Goa
Day 11: Monday, Jan. 9
Today we left Kerala for Goa. I was anxious to see the
other parts of India, and especially Goa, with its unique political and
cultural history marked by heavy Portuguese influence. Still, it was hard
to leave Kerala, a truly charming land and charming people that captured
In Goa Father George Alengadan and I are guests of the archbishop. His
chancellor, Father Loiola, met us at the airport, and accompanied us to
the residence. Taking note of the architecture of the buildings, the way
the streets are laid out and open park-like spaces with well-manicured
lawns and trees during the approximately half-hour drive in from the airport,
the European influence here was already very evident. Even the cuisine
at the dinner was quite different – more in line with the European
palette, although not lacking in hot spices.
It is much more common today for bishops to be more congenial, personable
and informal than in times past, but Archbishop Ferrão has a truly
extraordinary manner about him. He has a way of putting one at ease immediately,
and establishing a rapport as if he’s been your from friend childhood.
From the first moment I felt quite relaxed in his presence, and the conversation
at dinner was free flowing.
And he did his homework – he already knew a lot about me, my background
and interests and all. We were joined at dinner by Father Loiola, two
other priests who live in the residence and serve in the archdiocesan
curia, and the archbishop emeritus.
After dinner, we joined them in their usual practice of withdrawing to
the chapel to pray the rosary together, followed by Night Prayer. There
is a wonderful healthy balance in this house of camaraderie, humor, intellectual
and cultural interest and spirituality.