Saligao in the Holy Land

by Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas

Many Christians dream of making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land someday. For some the dream actually becomes a reality. My school companion and friend Salvador Isidoro Mascarenhas from Mollebhatt, counts himself among those fortunate ones, when, about a year ago in April 2009, he, along with another couple from Saligao (Epifanio and Perpetua Fernandes from Tabravaddo/Bairro Alto) and twenty other Goans flew to Israel for a pilgrimage tour of the Holy Land.        

A few days before the pilgrimage, Salvador paid me a visit at the Holy Spirit Church in Margao. During the conversation I reminded him that Marie Dantas and her husband from Saligao/UK had placed a marble plaque, with the Our Father inscribed on it Konkani, in the Church of the Pater Noster (also called Church of Eleona – Mount of Olives, in Greek),  which Queen Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, built in the fourth century.

I suggested to Salvador that a picture of the Saligao Church with the image of Mae de Deus could be installed in one of the churches in the Holy Land after obtaining the requisite permission. He took up my suggestion, and with the help of their tourist guide Antonio, the group was introduced to the Capuchin Friar at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Nazareth. The Friar agreed to keep the framed picture of the Mae de Deus Church in the Basilica. Goans visiting this church in future will be able to see the picture and remember Goa and Saligao.    

On his return, Salvador visited me again and handed me a copy of the picture he had given to the Capuchin Friar in Nazareth, along with a photo of the group and a crucifix, as a remembrance of his pilgrimage.

Salvador Isidoro Mascarenhas worked as sacristan of St Anne’s Chapel in Saligao even while he was still a schoolboy a boy at school. He has fond memories of this chapel, its activities, and especially the chaplains – Fr. Paulo Arcanjo de Menezes and Fr. Inacio Lourenco Pereira (both Portuguese priests) and a host of other ward priests such as Monsenhor Valentim Chagas Fernandes (Mudd’davaddi); Fr. Faustino de Sousa (Anjuna/Mudd’davaddi); Fr. Jose Remedios (Vice-Rector of Daman Seminary);  Fr. Naziazeno (Victor) dos Remedios (Tabravaddo); the twin-brother priests Monsenhor Cosme and Fr. Tome Cordeiro from Mollebhatt; and, Fr. Manuel Lobo and Fr. Francis Sequeira, s.f.x (Fr. Fanchy, twice Superior General of the Society of Pilar) from Donvaddo. 

Salvador remembers that the salary he earned as sacristan was a mere Rs. 5/- per month, which was later increased to Rs. 7/- . He remembers the other sacristans of St. Anne, such as Bit’ta Titiv, Paulo Mascarenhas, both from Tabravaddo; Hipolito D’Silva, Napoleao Fernandes, and the Fernandes (Fogo) brothers, all from Mudd’davaddi. He also told me that Patru Vaz from Donvaddo did serve as sacristan for St Anne’s in the forties.

Salvador joined the Indian Navy in 1962 at INS Gomantak in Vasco da Gama. He served in the war with Pakistan in 1965, off Karachi (INS Ranjit), and in 1971 in Chittagong, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) on the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. He worked for 15 years with  the Indian Navy.

Salvador Isidoro Mascarenhas is the son of Bartolomeu Liberato Mascarenhas (Salvador do Mundo) and Maria Hortencia Pinto e Mascarenhas (Saligao). The couple had three children  Serafina Pascoela, Salvador Isidoro and Mary Magdalena. They lived in Mudd’davaddi, near Mannichem Bhett after their marriage. Salvador studied at the Mater Dei Institution up to Class VII, and completed the rest of his studies at Don Bosco High School in Panjim.

He married Rodilfina Casmira (Mira) Viegas (from Utorda, Salcete) and has four children:  Michelle, Jeniffer, Adolph Eusiberito and Hansen Roque. In 1974 he shifted from Mudd’davaddi to Mollebhatt. Salvador has made a number of models of the Mae de Deus Church in Saligao. He carves them himself, by hand, without the use of any machinery. He  made 15 models, which he exhibited in the past. By May 2010 he would have carved another two dozen and will hold an exhibition again. 

Salvador spends his free time making these models, and also collecting data for Saligao Serenade, as he has a deep interest in the history and affairs of the village. He is a silent worker and friendly person; his captivating smile reveals his love for Saligao and the people around him. Floreat!

9 comments on Saligao in the Holy Land

  • Jules Fausto M de Sa

    Dear Fr Nascimento,
    I have been reading your articles with interest and would very much like your help. I see that you have considerable knowledge on Genealogy matters. I have for some years been interested in this field and have now been hooked onto it. My ancestry in Saligao is largely with the Serrao family from Cotula. I am also connected to the Souza family. One member of the family Sr Lina was a nun in Karachi. My mother often tells me that she was also related to the Abreus. The house in question has been bought by Ralph de Sousa, who is married to my cousin Carolina Mendonca. I am also interested in the trees of the Gama Pintos, Pinto Lobos, Mendoncas etc.
    Having lived in Karachi, I am aware of many Karachi Goans with Saligao ancestry and would be able to connect the dots. I was therefore wondering if there was a possibility of getting family trees otherwise kept in a dusty corner of a drawer. I am sure that I could put it to good use, as I am currently working on a Genealogy Research. I have managed to link many people to unknown parts of their tree.

  • Tino de Sa

    Hello Fausto!
    What a coincidence finding you here! Or perhaps not, given your expertise in genealogy!
    My paternal grandmother’s sister, Eslinda de Meenzes, married Nascimento Abreu from Saligao. Tow of their five children married: Dr Renato Abreu married Dr Ena Carvalho, and Viterbo married Adelina (Figueiredo?). I have them on my family tree on Are we speaking of the same Abreus? If so, I’d like more information on Tio Nascimento’s family.
    Thank you.

  • Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas

    Dear Mr. Tino
    Here is something on Mr. Manuel Nascimento de Abreu from abreu-vaddo, Saligao. He was an advocate and journalist, born in Saligao, Bardez, on 14th May, 1866 and died on 16th January, 1946. He is the son of Jeronimo Caetano de Abreu and of Carlota Coelho and married to Eslinda de Menezes. He was a prominent figure in the Taluka of Bardez and people had a recourse to him as a lawyer. He took part in all the movements, that had near or far as aim the benefit of the country. As a journalist he was the editor of the weekly called ‘A Epoca’. He also colloborated in other journals of those times like “Conviccao, Verdade and Liberal”. He was a member of various commissions of public service existing then, like Judge of Municipal Council of Mormugao, Member of the General Junta of the Province, Member of the Municipality of Bardez as well the Member of the Goverment Council.
    He authored the following books in portuguese namely ” Um esbulho violento fantastico ‘ Bastora; Tip. Ranjel, 1925, pages 25. ;
    ” A questao de Pernem. peticao de agravo”. Mapuca. Tip. Laximi, 1934, p. 12 ; and
    ‘ Prazos judiciais sucessivos da Comarca de Bardes”. Nova Goa: Tip. Rau & Irmaos, 1936, p. 11.
    Bibliography on the author:
    O Tempo, I-2-1946; Heraldo, 17-1-1946; Costa, Aleixo Manuel, “Dicionario de Literatura Goesa( A—F)”, Instituto Cultural de Macau, pp.15-16.
    This is what i have to say about Manuel Nascimento de Abreu. kindly share this with Mr. Fausto. My prayers are with you and Nascimento Mascarenhas.

  • Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas

    Dear Mr. Fausto,
    I was indeed glad that you are in Karachi. Fr. Jimmy de Souza from Saligao is in Karachi. I thank you for your comments.
    I knew late Mr. Archibaldo Serrao from Cotula as well as the Gama Pintos from that ward. I also knew the Pinto Lobos from pequeno Morodd, like late Fr. Hernino Pinto Lobo, Margarida Pinto Lobo etc, but none fron their generation now.
    Yes, you are right. Mr. Ralph de Sousa from Assagao is married to Mrs. Carolina Mendonca, daughter of Mr.Lino Mendonca from Cotula, Saligao. kindly contact mr. Lino and you will get some geneological notes from him. He lives in: Cotula, Saligao, Bardes, Goa, 403511, India. Glad to note that you are related to the Abreus.
    I have shared my notes on Mr. Manuel Nascimento de Abreu with Tino. Kindly contact him on Abreus of Abreu-vaddo , Saligao. As I am not in Saligao at present I am unable to give you any ancestry of Pinto Lobos or Mendoncas and D’ Sousa. Regarding Gama Pinto there is geneology on the Book: “A Paean to an Ophthalmologist Prof. Dr. Gama Pinto”.
    God bless you and yours. With prayers, Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas.

  • anjali falleiro nee abreu

    Dear Fr. Nascimento,

    THANK YOU very much. My mother, Dr. Ena Maria Carvalho e Abreu has been telling me about you and your writing about Saligao. It did my heart, memories and soul a lot of good to see the write up on my grandfather. I married an Advocate, Mr. Cecil Falleiro, and law seems to be in our blood, inherited from my grandfather. We have a son, who will be studying law … and I too plan to do so, and follow in my grandfather’s footsteps. Thank you for bringing Saligao alive for me. I want to contact Tino de Sa. He is a cousin on my father’s side and was held up as a shining example to us children. Thank you and God bless.

    Anjali Falleiro

  • fr.nascimento mascarenhas

    Dear Anjeli,
    I thank you very much for your comments. My prayers are with you and yours. I do remember the Abreus de Arrarim, Saligao. I have fondest memories of Monsehor Leandro and Fr. Luis and many times i served their masses. But Ms. Marilia was my teacher at Union High School in Saligao. She taught us well and inculcated in the hearts of her students certain values for life which i still carry in my heart and mind and put them in practice. I remember them all at the Holy sacrifice of the mass.
    Glad to know that all of you are interested in Law as it is in your blood.
    I also have a sort of a degree called LLB which means Lord of the last Bench. Please be in touch. Much love and prayers to your husband and children and your revered mother Dr. Ena Maria Carva;lho. kindly remember me to her. My warm wishes and prayers to you all.
    fr. nascimento mascarenhas.

  • suchita

    Dear Fr Mascarenhas – do you know about the Lobo’s from Ararim- my grand aunt’s name was Elvina Lobo – she had married a Nicolas J Lobo – their daughter was Annie Lobo – thanks very much – God Bless you suchita

  • Dear Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas Tino Desa has mentioned the Manuel Nascimento Abreu had 5 children ofwhich 2 were married namely Viterbo and Renato, Iwould like to get in touch with him and inform him that my mother Ana Otilia Henriqeta was his second child and she was married to Dr, Rozario Francisco Castellino of Assagao and they had 4 children namely Alita. Mecia LLewellyn known as Louis and Zenia Anne. Would be grateful to receive his contact address to get in touch Thnking you Alita

  • anjali abreu e falleiro

    Dear Fr. Nascimentao,

    May is close at hand and Saligao will be preparing for the feast of Mae de Deus. I hope and pray that the village and its people have the same zest and enthusiasm as they did in my childhood. The Salves and Novena’s leading to the Feast Day was the highlight of our vacations in Saligao. Saligao remains in my blood and memories of my village are precious treasures, taken out and shared with my children.

    Boas Festas and all good wishes for the excellent work you are doing. Proud to be a Salgaocar !!

    God bless,

    Anjali Falleiro

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