Mangaluru, Sep 11: "Men lose all the material things they live behind them in this world but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give. For these, they will receive from the lord the reward and recompense they deserve."- St Francis of Assisi.
On Sunday April 30, Fr Andrew Leo D'Souza, the dynamic and amiable parish priest of Bondel, sombrely declared that the parish was entering its centenary year. Sombre because he heads a team of dedicated people committed to plan and execute many centenary related projects which can mark this idiosyncratic year.
St Lawrence Church: Birth, Growth and Now
Separated from Milagres parish and declared as independent parish (old church building)
Proposed plan of renovated church
Fr Cifford S D'Souza
Fr Andrew D'Souza
Present parish priest Fr Andrew Leo D’Souza
Over the century, the parish has nurtured the faith of the parishioners by meeting several essential spiritual, economic and social needs.
Apart from dedication towards the upliftment of Christian community, the most remarkable contribution of the parish to the society has been education. Schools and education preceded, with its first school in a thatched roof structure, which has a history of 150 years. Today,the educational institutions are housed in two multi-storied concrete structures, Kannada medium school to the south of the church and a brand new modern functional structure English Medium School to the north of the church.
Kannada medium school which is imparting education to all sections of the society since 150 years
Upgraded phase of education through English Medium School with latest amenities and technology meeting modern era
Parish community hall
The dream project of the church renovation of the parishioners and the devotees of St Lawrence manifests in the cumulative donations, but the target chasing becomes challenging as the cost of men and materials involved in the project are relentlessly heading north. Importantly, the design and execution of the project is meant to last for a few generations.
"Consider now, for the lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work" (1 Chronicles 28:10)
While the church is the heart of the parish, Bondel parish has done much for the well-being of its parishioners. The moolageni tenants of parish-owned land have upgraded themselves as owners. The parish donated three acres of land to the Ursuline sisters whose MGC high school now offers PU classes with creditable exam results both at high school and PU levels.
Along with the development projects such as school and church buildings etc, the parish has also taken up building houses for the poor and renovating houses of the needy families in the past. In addition, with the platinum jubilee memorial of the parish and silver jubilee memorial of St Vincent de Paul (SVP), a building consisting of budgeted apartments was constructed and handed over to the needy families free of cost.
A building having few budgeted houses under the care of SVP have been provided freely to the poor and needy families of the community
Over the years, new houses are built by the church for the poor and houses of the poor are also renovated
As one of the Centenary Memorial Projects, a new house has been built for a poor family of the parish and the work is under progress
Thousands of students are assisted through the poor students’ fund, irrespective of their religion. In addition, through the medical fund, the church has reached multiple numbers of needy people.
To sum up, the focus of the parish has been people-centric and the current church building projects are the icing on the cake which when completed will make all the parishioners and their supporters proud.
A few hallmarks of Bondel parish
Pendal where church services are held at present
Church renovation work under progress
The credit of all the good work done in the parish goes to the foresight and initiative of the succession of parish priests who are listed earlier as a token of gratitude of the parishioners.
The help and contribution given by hundreds of donors will be suitably recorded in the centenary souvenir which will follow the completion of St Lawrence parish centenary celebrations.
Coming back to charity for good causes, here are some gems of wisdom:
‘God loves a cheerful giver’ (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
‘One gives freely, yet grows all the richer’ (Proverbs 11:24)
‘God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with’ - Billy Graham
Would you like to donate to this noble cause and become a part of this project? May St Lawrence intercede for you and your family. God bless your generosity.
Now you can donate to the Bondel Church Centenary Memorial Project at your fingertips with the upgraded Bondel Church app. Download the Bondel Church app from the Google Play Store: http://gg.gg/appbondel
To donate, go to the Centenary Memorial Project section, located at the center inside the app. From here, you can choose the donation option listed below based on your convenience.
Also, one can send contributions to the following bank account details:
Name: Centenary Memorial Projects
Account No: 6052500102036701
Bank: Karnataka Bank