Panaji: Immaculate Conception Church in the Goa state capital of Panaji held special prayers on February 24 for the health of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
Speaking to reporters after the service, Fr. Cleto Pereira, the vicar, said that prayers were made for Parrikar’s health and his quick return to office.
The 62-year-old leader is suffering from a pancreas-related ailment.
“God has given him (Parrikar) wisdom which he uses to improve the lot of Goa and, therefore, today the people from Panaji decided to have special prayers for him,” Fr Pereira said.
“God rules the world through his chosen instruments and even in Goa, we have got the rulers chosen by the people, but everything works on account of God’s power and God’s will… and we are very sad that our chief minister is sick,” the Catholic priest said.
Nearly a quarter of Goa’s 1.5 million population is Catholic.
Parrikar, who had studied in a Jesuit school in Goa, was rushed to the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai last week, where, according to the Chief Minister’s Office, he was diagnosed with a pancreas-related ailment.
Amid speculation about the severity of his health, Parrikar returned to Goa on February 22 and presented a truncated budget, but did not reveal the nature of his affliction.
Multi-religious services are also being conducted in the state for the chief minister’s recovery.
“Although we pray every day, this was a special occasion and lot of people turned up. It shows that he is a loved Chief Minister of Goa. So we will keep praying for his good health,” Fr Pereira added.