Bishop Gerald aims to make Udupi a model diocese

Rev  Fr Baptist Menezes
Vicar General, Diocese of Udupi

Udupi, Mar 19, 2013

“All beginnings are hard but well begun is half done” is an eternal saying in the English language fits well with the new born Diocese of Udupi. We began well, rather very well with the historical and most memorable, solemn Establishment of the New Diocese of Udupi, Installation of the Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo as its first Bishop in a glittering but sacred ceremony on 15th October, 2012 at the Milagres Cathedral Grounds with an unprecedented participation of people over 14 thousand and the ‘Purapravesha’ accorded to Bishop Gerald by the Parishioners of the Mother of Sorrows Church at Udupi on 17th October, 2012, welcoming the new Bishop to take residence on the first floor of the former St Mary’s School in the Church campus.

Dust has now settled on the much talked about, discussed and media covered inauguration of the Diocese of Udupi and after the initial euphoria of joy, celebration and reception, the reality has now struck us all of the magnitude of responsibility before us of building the new Diocese infrastructurally so that the spiritual mission of the Church: “Proclamation of the Good News of Jesus christ” as enunciated in the Gospel of Luke Chapter 4:18-19 may truly be translated in action in the days to come. That’s why I said, “All beginnings are hard but well begun is half done.”

But the consoling side of the task or encouraging aspect of the responsibility before the new Diocese and the first Bishop is the vision of the People of God themselves and their different dreams for Udupi.

Bishop Gerald took no time to rest and sit but opened his doors first to meet whoever knocked on it throughout the day and spoke freely and candidly to whosoever called him over phone enquiring about the Diocese and his plans for it; he visited all 48 parishes within a week in October 2012 itself, addressed all priests of five deaneries, deanery-wise and now is busy officially visiting every parish and addressing the Finance Committee members, the Parish Pastoral Council, Presidents and Secretaries of all official Parish organizations like the Catholic Sabha, Vincent de Paul Society, ICYM, YCS, Women Association, etc. spending half a day each time with them to know their mind and vision for the new Diocese of Udupi which, will be concluded by Palm Sunday, i.e. 24th March 2013.

Bishop Gerald has convinced himself of the fact that unless the Catholic Faithful of his Diocese are taken into confidence regarding what their plans and projects are for the new Diocese of Udupi, no matter what is planned and implemented from above, it would be a futile exercise. He has lost no time in consulting all sections of people in the Diocese and the following is what People of Udupi Diocese have proposed that they would like to have for themselves and the future generation, thereby making Udupi Diocese not just one of the best but the best and model Diocese to respond to the needs, aspirations and vision of the People of God:

Accordingly, following are therefore the immediate needs of the Diocese of Udupi as enumerated by the Catholic Laity themselves to Bishop Gerald during his visit to various Parishes:-

1. Pastoral Institute: This is an all round training Centre. While it will have to provide offices for various Commissions like: Family, Labour, Youth, Laity, Catechetics, Bible, Liturgy, Social Development, Education, Women, Social Communication, Ecumenism, Inter-Religious Dialogue, Health, Small Christian Communities (SCC) will have to provide facilities for Seminars, Conferences and to conduct Training Programmes. This Institute also must provide accommodation for all those who would attend residential Training Programmes (mostly lay people from all over the Diocese and even from outside) and in charge of various Commissions. Spacious Hall with a seating capacity of 250 to 300 and class rooms, seminar halls are other requirements to be made available in this Institute. This would be the only Centre where the Youth and the Laity of Udupi will have facilities for active participation through membership in various Commissions and get equipped/trained to contribute at the parish level from the training they would receive from here.

This is the most urgent and immediate need of the Diocese. The place proposed is at Mount Rosary Church Campus at Santhekatte Kallianpur.

2. Diocese of Udupi Social Development Organization (DUSDO): No doubt the mission and ministry of any and every Diocese is one of spiritual animation, faith formation and Proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. But, along with it goes hand in hand the social development of the people, irrespective of caste and creed. Hence, while a Pastoral Institute will take care of the spiritual side of the pastoral ministry in the Diocese, Social Development Organization is meant to cater to the basic needs of the people such as: Housing, Education (scholarships), Women empowerment, Integrated Child Development Programme, environment, Literacy programmes, Health awareness Programmes and other societal developmental works thereby aiming at the integral development of the human being.

3. Medical Relief Fund: The Bishop has already requests coming in for medical help and education and some for Housing. While educating young minds is our concern and aim, taking care of the health of the sick and suffering is very much biblical and also within our primary objective. Since the poor and the marginalized cannot afford to have access to even basic medical facilities, leave alone speciality and superspeciality ones in today’s hospitals, the Church has the mission to provide medical facility either free of cost or at a very affordable manner. Until we have a hospital of our own, it is required of us at the Diocesan level to come to the assistance of deserving people for medical relief.

4. Education Fund: While, it will take us quite some time, nay a few years to provide facility for Professional studies in this Diocese, educating the needy and deserving poor students of our Diocese should be our primary concern as well and it is the wish of the People that we build a Fund at the Diocesan Level straightaway

5. Hospital: It is the wish of the people from all parishes that we must have a full fledged hospital of our own, if not two – one in Shirva Varado and the other in-between Kallianpur and Kundapur Varado. While a hospital is a part of the Medical College and College of Nursing Training Institute, owning a Hospital before starting the others is a necessity. While a Medical College would need 25 acres of land and college of Nursing campus of 5 acres, the Hospital too would need a minimum of five acres of land to house staff quarters for nurses and employees. This is a major project of the Diocese.

6. Minor Seminary: The total number of Diocesan Priests is 58 and religious 26. While the Religious priests have their own mission objectives to fulfill, Parish pastoral ministry is in the hands of the Diocesan clergy and for Udupi Diocese we are really in need of more priests and younger clergy at that. This year we will have one ordination and next year, God willing, two and total of Seminarians studying is 16. We need a Minor Seminary in this Diocese for candidates opting for priesthood to begin their studies. The Parish priest and the Parishioners of Belle Parish have come forward to set aside the old presbytery building to start the Minor Seminary by this June 2013; we would need an acre of land to put up a proper Minor Seminary building for our future priests of this Diocese.

7. Retired Priests’ Home: It’s a matter of obligation to any and every Bishop to look after his priests when they retire from the active Diocesan ministry by providing them with an adequate House for retirement. Out of the 58 Diocesan Priests on active ministry, retirement would start within a matter of two years and unless the Bishop starts constructing a house at the earliest, he will not be able to provide accommodation to them in time. The plan is to put up a Home with ten to twelve rooms. Neither the place, nor the plan is ready yet due to the other most important and urgent needs of the Diocese as explained above. But the need is genuine since, of the 24 senior priests at present in service, good many are above 65 years of age and the rest are above 60. So at one hand, we need to promote vocations to priesthood and at the other, to take care of those who retire having spent themselves in the service of Parish pastoral ministry in the Diocese.

8. Bishop’s House: The Bishop himself says that it is not his immediate need since he is in the temporary residence prepared for him even though other basic facilities for the Curia and offices still lack. Residing in a Parish does inconvenience the parish administration as it has to look after its own needs and also that of the Bishop’s House. Hence a Bishop’s House away from the Parish but easily accessible to People is a necessity and the place has been decided is the City of Udupi. At the moment we only have the decision to have the House some day without either having the land or the resources for it.

On the basis of the requests made to us from several quarters, i. e. people within this Diocese and outside, especially abroad, to speak our mind out in writing as to the immediate need/requirements of the new Diocese of Udupi, I have placed before you in all frankness the infrastructural needs and two projects (funds for education and medical relief) both for information and financial assistance. The Diocese has registered itself as a Charitable Trust and as a Religious Trust.

The Diocese of Mangalore will certainly play its role within its means available. It has already provided the Bishop with a temporary residence and will meet the office expenditure up to March 2013.

However, building a new Diocese from ground zero is surely the responsibility of all of us, men and
women of goodwill of this Diocese along with the Bishop, Clergy and the Religious. The total cost of nos. 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7 as above is beyond anyone’s guess as it would involve huge amount. Whereas projects nos. 3 and 4 being funds, would be ongoing.

Your generous contribution either specifying any of the above infrastructural needs and projects may please be sent to:

S.B A/c No. 1439219  1008501
IFS CODE   : ORBC 0101439

Contact : 91 820 2531908, 91 94825 79084

Email id : -

If land could be made available freely for the purpose of a hospital, medical college, college of nursing etc. would also be a most welcome gesture for perpetual memory of the new Diocese of Udupi.

Also see :

  • Udupi Diocese inauguration - complete coverage (Video, pictures and report) - Click Here

Top Stories

Comment on this article

  • Dr. Cajetan Coelho, Goa, India

    Sun, Apr 14 2013

    Wiping every tear from every eye is a noble mission. Wishing the shepherd and his flock God's choicest blessings.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Fr Rupesh Madtha, Cordel

    Fri, Mar 22 2013

    Article is well written.Right words at a right time by a right person.Congrats Rev Fr Baptist Menezes.I am sure, there will be a good response from the people of God.Church never lacks, for Christ is truly present in it .Our prayers are assured.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse


    Thu, Mar 21 2013


    DisAgree [6] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Fr Ronald Csrdoza, Chikmagalur/Bangalore

    Thu, Mar 21 2013

    All the Best dear Bishop and to the new MODEL diocese to be

    DisAgree [4] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Katapadi/Bangalore

    Thu, Mar 21 2013

    Udupi,as a place has great name all over for its education,enterprenership,progress and leadership background.It is our fortune now to have a diocese to culminate the name of Udupi to greater heights.We must see and strive to make this diocese the best ,giving an example to other dioceses though we are the youngest,performence wise we are the best.All the best.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Michael, Udupi

    Wed, Mar 20 2013

    The need of the hour is not wishing His Excellancy all the best, but our financial support,that I assure herewith and expect the same from all the generous people. The Diosece is in its infancy stage and as Fr. Menezes rightly pointed out building it from ground zero is our reponsiblity.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Fr. Veeresh V. Moras, Madanthyar/Shimoga

    Wed, Mar 20 2013

    May the Vision and all the dreams of the beloved bishop and the people for the new diocese of Udupi come true one by one. May God bless all your endeavours

    DisAgree [2] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • kurt waschnig, Oldenburg Germany

    Wed, Mar 20 2013

    “All beginnings are hard but well begun is half done”, this is so right. There is an new diocese of Udupi in the south of India.
    And the world has a new pope, Pope Francis, the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires. His election is a landmark in the history of the Church. One can only be amazed how he lived as archbishop. He did not live in a palace, no, he lived in a small rented apartment, he rode the bus in Buenos Aires, he prepared his meals. He went to the slums of Buenos Aires. He took care of the poor and vulnerable and he has a vision of an austere Church, a Church for the poor and vulnerable. He chose the name of Saint Francis, a saint, who left everything, and launched the Franciscan brothers and looked after the poor and downtrodden.
    Or when Pope Francis greeted the crowd and asked them to pray for him. That is highly astonishing and it shows Pope´s Francis outstanding character and his deep faith. Prayers, worship and meditation, taking care of the poor and spread the Gospel and having close ties with other denominations are so important.
    I mention that because the Diocese of Udupi is new and lots of believers are proud and glad that the Diocese of Udupi has been inaugurated.
    The new diocese of Udupi has lots of plans and projects and a lot must be done to achieve that. The mission and ministry of every diocese is one of spiritual animation, faith formation and spreading the Gospel. But the social development of the people must play a very important role. It is so important to meet the basic needs of the people like Housing, Education, Literacy programmes or Health awareness programmes. Especially the Church in the West needs a spiritual renewal, the language of the Gospel should reach out to the people. Millions look desperately for a meaning of life in western countries.
    The content of the Gospel is dignity, happiness, joy, mutual understanding, respect and tolerance, love and gives a meaning of life.
    I wish the new Diocese of Udupi the strength to serve the people, especially looking after the downtrodden and poorest of the poor.
    And again Pope Francis wants a Church that serves the poor and vulnerable. What a great Pope.

    Best regards

    Kurt Waschnig Oldenburg Germany


    DisAgree [4] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Francis D, Udupi

    Wed, Mar 20 2013

    want to see Udupi diocese as no 1 in india...

    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Roshan Dsouza, UK

    Wed, Mar 20 2013

    Wishing our Bishop all the best in all his projects and dreams.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Maurice Menezes, Udupi/UAE

    Wed, Mar 20 2013

    As Rome is not built overnight so also Udupi Diocese needs will surely be met gradually.We need perseverance,commitment,dedication and earnest pursuit of objectives.
    God is Truth,way,life and certainly
    who believes in Him and follows Him
    will achieve the goals.Hence,first
    priority should be focused in seeking His kingdom and then attaining the rest.Out of several projects prioritation with planning and budgeting with committee for each project with laity leadership is needed.Further ensuring Church assets management with security and productivity is very essential which is grossly neglected.Praise the Lord.
    Maurice Menezes

    DisAgree [3] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Peter Lewis, Brahmavar/Sharjah

    Wed, Mar 20 2013

    There are most of the institutions like hospitals, schools run by catholic nuns are sick in Udupi Diocese and not developed when compared to the non catholic institutions. Hope His Excellancy Rev bishop Gerald advise and focus on this too.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Francis lobo, Bejai/Mangalore

    Tue, Mar 19 2013

    Please look at the Belthangady Doicese of our Malyalam Brethens. Within a short span of 8 years they have built the Cathedral,new churches, school, medical hospital and nursing schools. They have even bought some of the existing infrastructure .But these have really benefited the local community is a big question.But upgrading the existing nursing schools or hospitals should be the first priority than building new ones

    DisAgree [3] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rakesh John, Udupi

    Tue, Mar 19 2013

    I have witnessed couple of functions in udupi where our Bishop shared dias with Udupi Swamiji. This is good sign of supporting communal harmony.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ivan Saldanha, Bangalore (ex Pangla)

    Tue, Mar 19 2013

    According to people from gulf I met, Udupi diocese is going to be very vibrant. I wish all the best

    DisAgree [3] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rohan, Dubai

    Tue, Mar 19 2013

    Encouraging youngsters to take-up civil and admin exams are welcome move.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn D Almeida, Mangalore/Dubai

    Tue, Mar 19 2013

    H E Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo, please my begging and humble request is when people (SIMPLE) wants to meet you, please give your time. That was LACKING earlier. I heard from so many people that Bishop Gerald is a humble and simple Bishop. God bless you mission.

    DisAgree [8] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • John D'Silva, Mangalore

    Tue, Mar 19 2013

    Congratulations to our Bishop.At this juncture I personaly feel we have to encourage and train youth for IAS/IPS so that we have good influence in administration.State of Bihar implemented similar programme long back so today Biharis occupy beurocracy.Setting up hospital is the necessity but not the medical college which require huge funding.We have to train poor students for CET free of cost so that they will get free engineering and medical seats.We already have St.Joseph's Engg college in Mangalore so we need technical taining college in Udupi diocese specially to train average students on job orientated cources because normal graduates hardly find jobs.Famous Chineese proverb is "Dont give fish to the hungry instead teach them fishing".

    DisAgree [5] Agree [37] Reply Report Abuse

  • Venance A.J. Crasta, Udyavara / Bangalore

    Wed, Mar 20 2013

    I fully endorse your comments.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Harold D'cunha, Mangalore, India

    Tue, Mar 19 2013

    Hospital and Medical College is the need of the hour for Udupi Diocese.
    Hope this mission will accomplish very soon.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Fr. Faustine L. lobo, Bantwal/Bangalore

    Tue, Mar 19 2013

    Kudos to pastor bonus. May God bless the Diocese of Udupi

    DisAgree [15] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • joegonsalves, Mangalore

    Tue, Mar 19 2013

    I have known Bishop Garald for a couple of decades. A man of determination and man with a strong will. He means what says and says what he means without any reservations. He has now spelled out various projects but one can be sure that he will have them on stream very fast.

    What is amazing about Bishop Gerald is his priorities. A comfortable home for himself is last on his list. However he wishes to meet the needs of the Diocese according to what his flock wants and as per their desires. For instance a Hospital is an urgent need and Udupi Diocese will have one.

    Now coming to retired priests - it is they who have served the people and it they who need care and understanding and I am sure time will prove that Bishop Gerald will build not just a home but a comfortable resort for these priests who have served The Church and the People with dedication.

    As rightly pointed out Bishop Gerald has kept his doors open for any one to walk in and discuss any situation needing attention. He has also kept his mind and heart open to any new and innovative ideas.

    From various reports one can see that Bishop Gerald is a person for all seasons and for all people. His strategy to meet the swamis and Muslim leaders and identify himself as one among them is great step towards unity of all faiths. He believes in the concept that Jesus Christ did not die only for Catholics but for all and there is salvation for all irrespective of caste and creed.

    May the breed of Bishop Gerald increase. May he be blessed and may he certainly see the results of his hard work.

    Humbly submitted by

    Joe Gonsalves

    DisAgree [13] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • Max, Mangalore

    Tue, Mar 19 2013

    Every one says or preaches that our Christian community people should be in political party and government jobs but for this nothing have been done. If there is a will power then, on the diocese level under the leadership of bishop can set up a IAS, IPS, IFS, KAS etc training institution (only for Christian community) so that our community people can be in government job and can do something good for society, instead of encouraging them to go aboard.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [41] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Mar 19 2013


    DisAgree [8] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • Praveen, udupi

    Tue, Mar 19 2013

    There is a well known proverb "Rome was not built in a day".Similarly we cannot expect all great things to be done in Udupi Diocese in a short span of time.Although planning can be done fast, implementation of these programmes requires huge finance and hence this is a bottleneck for speedy developement.we have to demarcate between short and long term goals and set targets accordingly.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • sunnylara, bangalore

    Tue, Mar 19 2013

    thanks daiji nice publish, and good luck udupi diocese

    DisAgree [8] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Roy Fernandes, Qatar

    Tue, Mar 19 2013

    God bless you. I heard you are humble Bishop , and open for more lay leadership. If that is true, its revolution and example for other big dicoeses

    DisAgree [13] Agree [34] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vivian Saldanha, Kuwait

    Tue, Mar 19 2013

    Bishop Gerald is dynamic bishop. With humble advisors like Mnsgr Baptist Menezes, I can forsee great future for udupi diocese

    DisAgree [20] Agree [48] Reply Report Abuse

Leave a Comment

Title: Bishop Gerald aims to make Udupi a model diocese

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will be held responsible.