A Man with Mission & Vision
By Our correspondent
Here is an exclusive interview taken about the mission in Srirangapatna in the diocese of Mysore. Fr. Jerald Sequeira, ordained priest from Bantwal, Mangalore for the diocese of Mysore, has started Abbe Dubois high school for the socially backward people in the background of the Bi-Centanary of the parish at Ganjam, Srirangapatna, Mandya district missionary diocese of Mysore.
The Abbe Dubois high school was started to commemorate the historical person namely Fr. Dubois, popularly known as Abbe Dubois. The school aims to give a Christian presence in the background of 200 years of Christian existence and the great mission undertaken by Abbe Dubois from 1800-1823 A.D. in Srirangapatna.
Rev. Fr. Jerald Sequeira, being a priest engaged in education and socio-pastoral work has studied the situation of Srirangapatna, a mission abandoned for over 175 years. Education is the only asset for the poor to stand equal in the competitive society. Hindus & Muslims who are in majority have come forward to support the efforts of Fr. Jerald. Where diocese could not start a school due to paucity of funds, it is the great effort of Fr. Jerald Sequeira to start a high school namely Abbe Dubois High School which has the following objectives.
1. To witness Christ presence.
2. To keep the historical name of Abbe Dubois, to inculcate his service in the minds of the Indian people at large & particularly to the people around Srirangapatna.
3. To boost education of the unprivileged, under-privileged and socio-economically deprived sections of the people namely SC & ST and Fisher folks of the areas.
FRENCH PADRE IN MYSORE 1800-1823 A.D
Abbe Dubois had a great service done to the people of India
1.He built several churches in the Mysore Mission at Srirangapatna and Bangalore namely St. Mary’s Bascillica in 1806 A.D.
2.Abbe Dubois is the first one to write a book on Hinduism called “Hindu Customs, Manners, Traditions & Ceremonies” which is said to be a “Hindu Bible ever written by a catholic priest.
3.Vaccination: When the whole area was struck with small-pox, Abbe Dubois went to France brought vaccination and said to have started a big campaign for vaccinating the people by which, he saved hundreds and thousands of lives. Thus was called as Maha Swamy or Great Lord.
4.He was revered by Hindus specially by Brahmins, Nairs & Lingyats for his knowledge and accommodation on religion & God.
5.It is he who re-converted the Kanara Konkani Christians back to faith in the year 1800 A.D. and established a church at Ganjam, Srirangapatna called Immaculate conception Church or popularly known as Abbe Dubois Ancient Historical Church.
It for this reason that Abbe Dubois a man of history popularly known but forgotten Giant, is brought back to remain in history by Rev. Fr. Jerald Sequeira, by establishing a society in his name and a school to continue his great mission and to carry on a service minded mission through selfless service for the people.
DEPORTATION & THE KONKANI CHRISTIAN CAPTIVITY AT SRIRANGAPATNA (1784 FEB. 24TH ASH WEDNESDAY)
In 1784, Tippu-Sultan the tiger of mysore is said to have captured Christians from all over Kanara coast when they were on their way to the church on Ash Wednesday. Then he destroyed 23 churches and out of the material built Sultan Bathery in Manglore.
People were tortured and were brought to Srirangapatna. Other religion was imposed on them and our fore-fathers underwent circumcision and thus a community of 1000’s of people had to leave their homes forcibly and in a way brought faith to Srirangapatna. Many died on their way few escaped by might and rest were taken to Srirangapatna into captivity.
After 16 years of imprisonment Christians were set free on the eve of May 4th 1799 on the day of Tippu’s death in the fourth Anglo-Mysore war. It was after this Abbe Dubois was invited to build the church and a sizeable number of people marched back home only to see their fallen fortresses and had to grieve for the departed dear ones.
The great events like Christian captivity, death of Tippu, establishment of the Church, re-conversion from other religion, and return of Christians back home and the mission of Abbe Dubois for 23 years has definitely left behind indelible marks in the history and the mission of the church at Srirangapatna.
It is in this background, the work of Rev. Fr. Jerald Sequeira, a konkani priest from Mangalore has taken a courageous step, which church is not able to do in the present circumstances. Bi-Centanary of the church at Ganjam at the cost of 5 lakhs, establishment of a museum at the cost of 7 lakhs with collection of antiques and now Abbe Dubois memorial high school at Ganjam, Srirangapatna at the cost of 24 lakhs, are going to be big landmarks towards the development of a great ancient mission.
From 1999 onwards the Abbe Dubois high school has given good education for the poorest of the poor. Not it stands in need of well-wishers to complete it. Fr. Jerald Sequeira has established a charitable & educational Society for this purpose. Well-Wishers, Benefactors & Benevolent Donors are requested to come to his aid and join in his great efforts towards education of the poor and the needy.
1. Rs. 12,00,000/- to complete the high school
2. Rs. 3,50,000/- for yearly maintenance
3. Rs. 3,50,000/- for boarding, 1/4th of the cost of the boarding construction.
(Boarding will be undertaken at the cost of Rs.14 lakhs.)
The following would be the address:
Send your donations, Cheque, DD only to:
ABBE DUBOIS E&C SOCIETY
GANJAM POST, P.O. SRIRANGAPATNA
MADHYA DIST. KARNATAKA (INDIA)
Account number as SBM-7183
SRIRANGAPATNA BRANCH. AS ABBE-DUBOIS EDUCATIONAL AND
It is not so easy to work amidst people who are growing more sectarian & linguistics & fanatics. Amidst-troubles, as he is a konkani he has gone through many difficulties. It is for us to support and help out our missionaries of this kind who have guts and courage. He is very much liked by many Hindus and Muslims for they are his great support. Let us join hands and to do something by helping the poor for education and build-up the mission.
Contact persons in Dubai are:
Oswald D’Sa, P.O. Box-51841, Dubai, U.A.E Mobile: 6765985
Noel Rego, P.O.Box-6442, Dubai, U.A.E Mobile: 6505120
Agnello, Dubai, U.A.E Mobile: 7988150
Norbert Monis, P.O.Box-412177, Dubai,U.A.E Mobile: 6317741
Vinny Machado, P.O.Box-30877, Dubai, U.A.E Mobile: 6991127
RoyFrancis, P.O.Box-5752, Dubai, U.A.E Mobile:4758134
Arogya Nathan..po box-3627 dubai.... 050-7641709
Vinny D'sa po box 15583 dubai ... 050-3463507
Annie D'souza po box no 50777.dibai. 050-7596008
Charles D'souza po box 51841 dubai...050-3938353
Sannu/Sheela D'sa po box 27126 dubai.050-4960577
Viresh/Pranitha... dubai .. 050-7479258
Roy/Amitha D'souza.dubai.po box 2811..050-5594519
Cyril Alvars...abu-dhabi..po box 2977.050-4468373
Gregory abu-dhabi..po box 505.......050-5526037
Boniface crasta. abu-dhabi po box46806........
Rajesh. jebel ali.po box 22398 .... 050-7632054
Vivian/ Melwin D'souza dubai........ 050-5525339
Steven/Kiran D'silva.po box 749..... 050-6765842