Ash Wednesday- St. Michaels Mahim Style and Parishioners scorched on forehead by holy ashes on Ash Wednesday

 March 5th,2014 was Ash Wednesday.In St.Michaels Church no ashes were imposed during the 7 and 8 am masses.Announcements were made that ashes would be imposed only after the 7.30 am and 8.30 nouvena got over which meant that parishioners who did not want to hear the nouvena were being forced to do so if they wanted ashes.A number of persons including me were forced to go without ashes as we could not wait.

Throughout Mumbai, however ashes came to be imposed only during the mass.

A couple years ago All Souls Day came on a Wednesday on that day also the blessing of the graves was postponed to Thursday.The late Fr.Salvadore Rodrigues sent me a defamatory notice through a solicitor  for having spoken about this. However he did not  to file a case against me despite me telling one of the Church Advocates to please tell him to file the case against me as I would be given an opportunity to expose the truth.

My question is if one considers the imposition of Ashes and Blessing of graves as symbolic then inform the laity repeatedly about the same before it done so that the laity will know the truth and they are not made fools.

When a catholic  person marries a person of another faith the marriage ceremony is never part of the mass.Anything done during the mass is considered highly sacred.

A time when will come when even communion will be distributed after the nouvena because  the Wednesday nouvena is being given higher importance than the mass.

Now it would mean that there is no need to hear mass and one can directly impose ashes on ones head as the imposition of ash need not be part of a mass.




Parishioners scorched on forehead by holy ashes on Ash Wednesday


Fr Eugene Baker was surprised to find the ashes caused a tingling sensation on his parishioners’ foreheads.

Geraldine Gittens and Caroline Crawford – Updated 06 March 2014 01:13 PM

A priest was forced to abandon an Ash Wednesday mass yesterday – after 30 of his parishioners had their foreheads burned by the blessed ashes.

Fr Eugene Baker had given out the ashes to everyone in the congregation when they started to complain about a burning sensation.

He was forced to stop the mass in St Joseph’s Church in Newtownshandrum in north Cork and advise the congregation to go into the church sacristy and wash the ashes off.

Fr Baker told that he is surprised by the anomaly and he apologised to his parishioners.

He has sent the ashes to the public health laboratory in St Finbarr’s Hospital in Cork for testing.

“It has never happened to me before. Has it happened to other people? I don’t know.”

“It happened immediately. There was a tingling sensation really – those who came to me afterwards said it was a tingling sensation.”

“They wiped it off immediately and they alerted me and I told people to go to the sacristy and wash it off.”

 “It was about 30 people – they had all received the ashes before any alarm was raised. Some minutes afterwards, someone said it.”

The ashes used on Ash Wednesday come from burning the braches of palms used in Palm Sunday mass, which falls one week before Easter and marks Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem.

Fr Baker is still at a loss as to what happened.

“We don’t know to be honest. The people did get a burn on their forehead with the ashes.”

“Normally you have no trouble. Whatever happened I don’t know. It’s with the health laboratory in Cork anyway. We will wait and see.”

“I apologised to them that it had happened.”

“We stopped [the mass] in so far as to make people aware of the danger and to tell them to wash it off.”

Meanwhile, a number of parishioners in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Westside in Galway also reported the same burning sensation.

Fr Malachy Hallinan said that in close to 50 years of preparing ashes, he never came across an incident like it before.

He sent the ashes for testing and the results have indicated that the issue caused by the dryness of the ashes.

He said he had stored the palm leaves in a dry garage before burning them in his stove. There was no moisture left in the leaves, and this somehow contributed to the burning effect, test results have confirmed.

The priest confirmed he has had a number of calls from parishioners, and in some of these cases parishioners reported broken skin.

Fr Hallinan urged anyone who is suffering the effects of the ashes to seek medical assistance.

And he advised anyone who has taken the ashes home for the elderly or their relatives, not to use the ashes.


About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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2 Responses to Ash Wednesday- St. Michaels Mahim Style and Parishioners scorched on forehead by holy ashes on Ash Wednesday

  1. Wilma says:

    In the first place it shows the quality of priests that the Bishops of the Archdiocese of Mumbai, India have appointed at St. Michael’s Church. Mahim. It is a well known fact that when they make their appointments they deliberately opt for priests whom they consider to be well versed with the faith. Are they really well versed or well greasing ones, is a point to ponder?

    If such is the flagrant violation of the faith, which repeats and continues again and again, by these blue-eyed priests of the Bishops then there is something wrong in the thinking of the ones appointing them to these positions and in all other actions of theirs.

    The many happenings in the church in Mumbai are a proof. Many among the laity are not fully aware till some of these are exposed by the AOCC. Yet a lot remains to be exposed!

    I gather that there are priests who are aware of such such corruption. Those who have opened their mouth are silenced and treated shabbily by the hierarchy.

    The CBCI final statement at Palai,appearing here above, again proves where the beginning of the rot is.

    The final statement is not about what it has said under the cover of Vatican II but what it was supposed to say and yet it did not say. The Archbishop has time and again tried to deflect attention away from the concerns of the laity, viz. that of corruption in the church . Nowhere in that statement does it show that the church is interested in its primary business: THE SALVATION OF SOULS!

    There is only one hope for the church in Mumbai, India and in the world and that is for the Archbishop of Mumbai to step down as was done by Cardinal Keith O’Brian former Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh.

    Someone should own moral responsibility .

  2. Pingback: Ash Wednesday- St. Michaels Mahim Style and Parishioners scorched on forehead by holy ashes on Ash Wednesday | Christian Reforms

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