Daijiworld Media Network – Udupi (JD/KR)
Pics: Sany Digital Studio, Kalmady
Udupi, Aug 15: The golden jubilee celebration of Stella Maris Church, Kalmady was held on a grand scale on Monday August 15. Meanwhile, bishop of Udupi diocese, Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo proclaimed and dedicated Our Lady of Velankanni Shrine as a diocesan shrine.
Bishop Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo presided over the solemn Eucharistic celebrations, while Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, bishop, diocese of Mangaluru, Dr Francis Serrao, bishop, diocese of Shivamogga, Dr Henry D’Souza, bishop, diocese of Ballari, Dr Robert Miranda, bishop, diocese of Kalburgi, Dr Lawrence Mukkuzhy, bishop, diocese of Beltangady, Dr Geevarghese Mar Makarios Kalayil, bishop, diocese of Puttur, Fr Stany B Lobo, chancellor, diocese of Udupi, Fr Charles Menezes, dean, Udupi deanery, Fr Baptist Menezes, parish priest, Stella Maris Church, Kalmady, Fr Roy Melwyn Lobo, assistant parish priest and other priests from the diocese and neighbouring dioceses were the co-celebrants.
In his homily, Bishop Dr Francis Serrao said, “Jesus gave us Mother Mary. She is a special blessing Jesus gave to mankind. Today, we are celebrating four important events. Today, it is a day we walk with pride. It is the day Mother Mary ascended to heaven, it is the day of our country’s independence, it is the day Our Lady of Vailankanni Centre of Kalmady is being proclaimed as a diocesan shrine and it is the day of golden jubilee celebration of Stella Maris Church. Hence, it is a day we walk with pride with our heads held high. Humans did not come just from soil but also from the divine breath of the almighty. We should live our life with faith. One who leads a selfish life will not attain a permanent place. Mother Mary was always ready to serve the wishes of the almighty. On this occasion, of our Lady of Velankanni Centre being proclaimed as a diocesan shrine we should lead our life like a rosary. This world should become a temple of the Lord. This shrine will help that cause.”
Prior to the Eucharistic celebrations, blessed candles were given to the donors by Fr Baptist Menezes and Bishop Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo. Fr Baptist Menezes thanked all the bishops, priest, all donors, and parishioners for all the support to make the big day a memorable one.
In the formal felicitation programme held after the Eucharistic celebrations, Bishop Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, presided over the felicitation program, While Bishop Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop Dr Francis Serrao, Bishop Dr Henry D’Souza, Bishop Dr Robert Miranda, Bishop Dr Geevarghese Mar Makarios Kalayil, Fr Stany B Lobo, Fr Charles Menezes, Fr Baptist Menezes, Fr Roy Melwyn Lobo,, Sanjay Andrade, vice president, parish pastoral council, Shobha Mendonca, secretary, parish pastoral council, Ida D’Souza, coordinator, 20 commission, and Sandeep Andrade, coordinator, jubilee committee were present on the dais.
On the occasion, birthday of Bishop Dr Francis Serrao was celebrated by cutting a cake.
In his message, Bishop Dr Francis Serrao thanked all the parishioners for inviting on the auspicious occasion and also celebrating his birthday. He thanked the bishop of Udupi and parish priest of Kalmady.
On the occasion, remembering the miracles that took place at the place, he said may more miracles will happen at the shrine.
On the occasion, Fr Richard Mascarenhas, Fr Maxim Misquith and Fr Alban D’Souza who served as the parish priest at Stella Maris Church, Kalmady were felicitated by Bishop Dr Henry D’Souza.
Bishop Dr Henry D’Souza expressed his happiness to be part of the historical event. “Today, the parishioners of Kalmady remember the last 50 years of sacrifice of elders of this parish and thank our heavenly father for all the blessings received during the last 50 years.
“Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo will do miracles wherever he goes. He is the only bishop among many bishops of Karnataka who took charge at two dioceses. And soon after he took over Udupi diocese, many churches got renovated, Attur was declared as Minor Basilica and today another feather has been added to diocese of Udupi.
“On the occasion, we celebrate the 75th Independence Day. Today we have to search where the human beings and humanity are. I quote Dr G S Shivarudrappa who said, ‘For Catholics there is a church, for Hindus temple, and for Muslims mosque where one can feel the presence of God. For Catholics it is Bible, for Hindus it is Bhagavad Gita and for Muslims it is the holy Quran, but where we can see Humanity?’” he said.
Bishop Dr Robert Miranda felicitated Fr Wilson Vitus D’Souza, who had brought the miracle statue of Velankanni from Velankanni.
In his message, Bishop Dr Robert Miranda expressed that all parishioners have put their maximum efforts to celebrate this occasion. “Udupi diocese is one of the major dioceses for three major shrines. More and more devotees visit these shrines in Udupi diocese in large numbers. This shrine and place is calling us to go near Jesus Christ. Today, we all have come here due to the faith in Him,” he said.
Bishop Dr Geevarghese Mar Makarios Kalayil felicitated pastoral council vice presidents, secretaries, gurkars, and 20 commissions coordinators who are serving and who have served during the last 50 years.
Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha released the golden jubilee memorial souvenir. After the releasing the souvenir he said, “A shrine will take us closer to God. From here, the Word of God needs to spread adorations and confessions, which will lead us closer to Him.”
In the memory of the golden jubilee celebrations, a health fund of Stella Maris Church was launched by Bishop Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, while Sandeep Andrade gave information about it.
In his presidential address, Bishop Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo congratulated all on the occasion of the 75th Indian independence and Assumption of Mother Mary feast. “In our day-to-day life, we thank God on every occasion and today we have gathered here in His name. We thanked God and through the mother of Jesus Christ, and we all are blessed with many blessings. Today, we have witnessed a historical occasion over here.
“From a chapel to a full-fledged church, today it has grown like a big tree. Today, 95 families are living over here with faith in God. During the last 50 years, many have sacrificed time and today you are celebrating this day in that remembrance,
“The blessed statue of Velankanni was brought to Udupi from Rosario Cathedral, Mangaluru which was brought from Velankanni. Since then, every Saturday, novena prayers are held with adoration and Holy Eucharistic celebration. Today, we have dedicated and proclaimed Our Lady of Velankanni Shrine as a diocesan shrine which was a dream of many devotees,” he said.
The bishop in his message specially remembered Fr Alban D’Souza. “Today, whatever we see here is because of Fr Albans’s sacrifices and prayers. During his tenure the process of shrine was kicked off. A shrine is not a building, but the place to witness the love and faith of God,” he said.
On behalf of the diocese and parishioners, the bishop felicitated Fr Baptist Menezes and Fr Roy Lobo.
Fr Baptist Menezes welcomed the gathering. Shobha Mendonca thanked all, while Harry Furtado and Jenevieve compered the programme.
Fr Charles Menezes sought the blessings on the fellowship meal.