St. Michael’s Church in Orlim, Goa completed 450 years on May 8. Parishioners at the church began preparations for the special occasion three years ago. The main focus for the church was on bringing the community together and a special emphasis on creating an environment-friendly. Orlim may be one of the smaller landlocked villages in Salcete, but its church’s historical significance in promoting Christianity is undeniably huge. A feat of this sort deserves a celebration and the church began preparations three years ago with the aim of building and strengthening the faith, family and community-building and rehabilitation being the main focus. The church was consecrated on May 8, 1568, the feast day of the apparition of St Michael at Mount Gargano.
Apart from celebrating the community, the church also took an active step towards minimizing the use of plastics and instead added color to natural products like coconut palms, cloth and paper. Current parish priest Fr Roger Godinho said “There were many parishioners that came to me and said we should put up printed banners and decorations. But I was adamant about not having plastic sheets hanging inside the church that would after the celebrations cause pollution and waste. Instead, I had asked parishioners including the youth to try and paint on cloth. It took a while but it was a success.”
The youth went one step further and created a miniature model of the village using paper, cloth and cardboard. They spent hours creating this model that includes the church itself, the St Pius X Convent and School, chapels and holy crosses, post office, fields, wells and even River Sal that flows along the border of the village.