Journeying together along our shores we follow our Lord Jesus Christ towards eternity
“Courageously follow the path of personal holiness and diligently nourish yourselves with the Word of God and the Eucharist. The holier you are, the more you can contribute to building up the Church and society”., These are the words of Pope John Paul II spoken at the Great Jubilee in 2000. . This exhortation by the Holy Father expresses our desire to walk together, as the Church here in Cascais, towards a fuller identity with our Lord Jesus Christ, under the watchful eye of Our Lady.
Being a part of the Parish of Cascais is to be a part of a neighbourly church; it is about being a part of the Body of Christ here, where God has placed us; it is about celebrating Christ and His victory over sin and death; it is about proclaiming His love to all humanity and about serving Him in everyone, especially the poor and needy. This is the mission and identity of the Church in Cascais, to whom belong all Christians that respond to the various vocations to which God has called them. Along with our parish priests who are consecrated to the holy order of service to the church, and our consecrated sisters who serve at Catholic schools, our church in Cascais is largely made up of the Christian families who reside here. The lay and the consecrated, the married and the single, the widows, widowers and separated, young and old, we are all the Parish of Cascais, and our constant desire is that we remain a place of communion. Together we journey in the presence of Christ and His saving power in the world, wherever the Holy Spirit may lead.
We make this journey along our shores, enrichened by the experience of those who have gone before us and who are a part of both our history and our roots. It is a long history – and a large part is yet to be researched and written – but we can simplify it by highlighting a few institutional landmarks which have fleshed out the body of the Church which we call our Parish. To a large extent, the history of the Parish runs in tandem with the history of the town of Cascais.
The first and founding landmark of the parish comes from the separation, or independence, of Cascais from Sintra. This process, which was started on the 7th of June 1364 with the Carta da Vila (the official letter), came into effect in 1514. We are not sure of the precise date of the founding of the Parish, but in all likelihood, it would have been established around one of these historical dates. We have, likewise, been unable to ascertain what would have been the first patronage of the Parish, but it was probably the Resurrection of Christ, as the church with this patronage, although destroyed in the earthquake, was probably the oldest and largest, given its geographical location.
A second landmark is, perhaps, in the two parishes that would come into existence within the town. Somewhere in its history, the parish split into two: the Parish of the Assumption and the Parish of the Resurrection. We are not certain when this would have taken place but these two entities would, in fact, reunite following the earthquake of 1755.
A third event in this brief historical outline, would be that of the commencement of the seaside procession of Our Lady of Guia which is of great significance, even today. Owing to the miraculous rescue of a little girl the fisherman and other citizens of Cascais have, since the 18th Century, proceeded to a point off the coast of Guia where the little girl was believed to have fallen into the sea. Here flowers are thrown into the sea and prayers made for the deceased.