More than 900 people attended the second annual Mass and procession to celebrate Our Lady of Velankanni, also known as Our Lady of Good Health, at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Queens Village. Devotees gathered for a novena leading up to the Sept. 8 feast honoring an apparition of the Blessed Mother in Velankanni, India.
A street procession preceded the Mass, at which Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto was the main celebrant. Among the concelebrants were 11 priests, including Msgr. Matthew Kallunkal from the Diocese of Kerala, India; several Indian-born priests who serve locally, like Father Robert Ambalathingal, who lives in residence at Our Lady of Lourdes, Father Liju Augustine, Father Bala and Father Johny Thomas, C.M.I., parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Ridgewood; and Father Patrick Longalong, Our Lady of Lourdes pastor, and Msgr. John Casey, in residence at Our Lady of Lourdes parish.
A reception followed with Indian fare and cultural dances as well as music and dancing from the parish’s Filipino and Spanish-speaking communities.
(Photos: Xavier Mareendran)