People outside the Mt Carmel Church in Taipa

The Ever-Flourishing Parish of Our Lady of Carmel: A True Exemplar of the Catholic Church

Marco Carvalho

Receiving the sacrament of Baptism, which constitutes the foundation of Christian life and is the gateway to the other sacraments, are five new members of the flock of God. The rite on May 8th at the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel will illustrate the sustained growth that the Catholic faith has been experiencing in Taipa Island over the last few years.

But there are more reasons to celebrate. In addition to those that will receive the first of the sacraments of Christian initiation, Father Eduardo Aguero will also confer the sacrament of Confirmation on five other members of the Catholic community in Taipa’s only parish.

 “This year, five adults will be confirmed. Sister Lucia prepared a few and I prepared the others. We will be baptizing a few adults,” Fr Aguero tells O Clarim. “A 3-year-old girl, a 12-year-old girl and three adults. This will happen in May, on the first Sunday. A father and daughter are among the ones that will be baptized. We have three adults, a 12-year-old girl and five other faithful who are going to be confirmed,” Father Aguero, a missionary of the Congregation of Priests of the Sacred Heart, elaborates.

The dynamics of pastoral care in the parish of Our Lady of Carmel have gained a reinforced visibility with the involvement of the community in the liturgy. Hardworking and vibrant, the Catholics of Taipa, Father Eduardo Aguero maintains, do not turn their backs on the challenges that come their way. “Being  able to watch the growth of this community is a very good thing. It’s God’s grace at work. And there is no merit of mine, whatsoever, here. These people are very committed,” says the Argentine Fr Aguero. He continues, saying, “Young people are very committed to catechesis. The teenagers are in charge of teaching the little ones. At the moment, we have eight eucharistic ministers: two sisters and three couples. And then we have Sister Lucia, who is a gift from God. She has this extraordinary ability to reach out to people, even if she doesn’t always speaks their language.”

In addition to being faithful to the commitment they have assumed, Father Eduardo Aguero emphasizes that the Catholics who attend Mass at the Church of Our Lady of Carmel have a great “longing for God” and nurture a great desire to get closer to Christ. He says, “There are many new people there. They want to be baptized. They have this longing for God. Young people, children. I thought that after receiving their First Communion they would disappear, but I was wrong. They are still there.”

“I always write a few things, a few words of what I’m going to say in the homily so I don’t get lost, and there’s a little girl there who asks me if she can have those papers. She was baptized last year. And I offer those papers to her. Her mother doesn’t speak Portuguese. She does not understand my homily. And this little girl, she is the one who explains to her mother what the priest has said. She is a grace from God,” says Fr Aguero, continuing, “The Church is this girl who asks me every week for the papers with which I prepared the Mass. This is what the Church is!”