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Udupi: Boat-shaped Stella Maris new church in Kalmady to be inaugurated on Jan 6

Pics: Kevin Rodrigues

Daijiworld Media Network – Udupi (JD /KR)

Udupi, Jan 3: Inspired by the Noah’s Ark, the new building of Stella Maris Church in Kalmady, Udupi is built in the shape of a boat and also has a bell tower in the shape of a lighthouse.

The unique architectural masterpiece is the first boat-shaped church in the state and will be inaugurated in a grand ceremony on January 6 at 9 am in the presence of Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi, Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, Bishop of Mangaluru, Dr Francis Serrao SJ, Bishop of Shivamogga and Dr Robert Miranda, Bishop of Gulbarga.

More than 10,000 devotees are expected to take part in the inauguration function which will be followed by a public felicitation programme. A fellowship meal will also be served to all the devotees.


Old church

On account of the inauguration celebrations, musical evening extravaganza ‘Wilfy Nite’ has been organised at 5.30 pm.

Hore Kanike Procession on Jan 3

As part of the inauguration celebrations a “Hore Kanike” procession will be flagged off by Pramod Madhwaraj, Minister for Fisheries, Youth Empowerment and Sports, at 2.30 pm on January 3 at Malpe. The procession will be followed by an inter-religious meet at 4.30 pm.

Unique Concept and Architecture

The concept behind the unique boat-shaped architecture of Stella Maris Church is Noah’s Ark. The Noah’s Ark is a biblical story, tells how all creation was safeguarded from being destroyed in flood. Similarly, the church aims to be the ark which will provide refuge to people and help them sail through hard times of life.

The new church has been built at a cost of Rs 5 crore and can accommodate 1,000 people at a time. The main altar is also designed in boat shape and the walls are adorned with beautiful paintings depicting the life of Jesus.

The Belfry tower

The belfry tower replicates the Kaup light house. The tower is nearly 80 ft in height and the staircase is also constructed similar to the light house design. The bell is brought from Hamburg Germany and weighs 305 Kg. The image of Our Lady of Vailankani is carved on the Bell.

Just like the light house guides sailors to the shore, the bell tower symbolizes to be a ‘guide’. While the world is compared to a sea of temptation, the tower and the bell aims to remind people that Jesus saves us when we call upon him.

Also, Udupi being a coastal town, the boat-shaped church and the bell tower adds more charm to the city. A climb to the top of the tower provides a scenic view of the beautiful Kalmady surrounded by small ponds and lush fields.

Stella Maris Church provides solace to many

Stella Maris Church, Kalmady is a place well known to devotees of Coastal Karnataka and visited by people of all religions. The shrine of Our Lady of Vailankani is known to be a place of miracles and provides solace to many.

The church located on the right of the Malpe - Thirthahalli National Highway is just 3 km away from the National Highway 66.

Very close to the Arabian Sea the name of the church ‘Stella Maris’ meaning ‘Star of the Sea’ is apt. Stella Maris church was built in the year 1972. Prior to that, the people of Kalmady had to visit St Anne’s Church, Thottam or Mother of Sorrows Church, Udupi for their spiritual needs. With the efforts of Fr Charles D’Souza the church was established in Kalmady.

Fr Charles D’Souza, a native of Kalmady, bought land for the church spending money from his own pocket. Fr Charles was ordained by Pope John Paul VI. With the combined efforts of Fr Charles and faithful of Kalmady, a new church was built and it was blessed and inaugurated on February 5, 1972. But the church was under Udupi parish. Priests of Udupi and Kallianpur parish used to come to conduct Eucharistic Mass on Sunday.

Fr Denis Castelino was the first residing priest of Kalmady, took charge in 1987. In 1991, Bishop of Mangaluru declared Stella Maris Church, Kalmady as a parish. Fr Robert Pinto who came after Fr Denis also strived hard to develop the church. After him, Fr Ivan D’Mello took charge and during his tenure he purchased a land for the church adjoining the existing church property.

For some years the parish was in hands of Jesuit priests. With many developmental works the Jesuit priests took the church to new heights. Fr Richard Mascarenhas, Fr Joseph D’souza, Fr Maxim Misquith were the Jesuit Priests who served in the church.

In 2012, again the church administration was transferred to secular priests. Fr Alban D’Souza took charge as parish priest in June 2012. Fr Alban is known to have cured many patients through his prayers. He was instrumental in developing St Joseph Vaz Shrine in Mudipu, where he served earlier.

When he came to Kalmady, he had many responsibilities to perform. As he was known to everyone as priest of prayer, people from faraway places came to visit him. The increase in the number of devotees prompted the church administration to construct a new building.

Shrine of Our Lady of Vailankani

The Vailankani shrine of Kalmady is very famous worldwide. The Statue of Our Lady of Vailankani was brought in procession from Udupi church on August 15, 1988. The statue was donated by Fr Wilson D’Souza, and was brought from Vailankani, Tamil Nadu.

The then Mangaluru Bishop Basil D’Souza installed the statue in Kalmady on August 15, 1988. After the installation, to this day many miracles have happened here and so there will be official declaration about the diocesan shrine.

The shrine is visited by many people, irrespective of religion. The fisher folk of Malpe are known to visit the shrine before going on voyage.

From a chapel to its present status the shrine has come a long way. The priests who served here and the parishioners are the main reason why this place is famous today.

Tune into will bring the live web streaming of the event from 8.45 am onwards on Saturday, January 6.  



Comment on this article

  • clayten kinnyq, mumbai

    Fri, Jun 1 2018

    just visited the Stella Maris church in Kalmady with my family. stayed for around 5 days. Had a very wonderful experience with the local people or the parishioners. The place simply beautiful and had a prayerful experience at the church. The church itself is a marvel and Malpe beach was wonderful praise to our lady of Velankanni.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Mary, Dubai

    Sat, Jan 6 2018

    Praise God!
    Beautiful Church. Good Concept. God bless your children

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Petk, Kudla/USA

    Wed, Jan 3 2018

    Beautiful architecture and concept. Peace reigns when we all believe in our own Gods and rely on the Supreme to help navigate life. May the event become successful and people participate and donate generously. Also pray to God that let common sense win over vengeance and animosity in my beautiful Dakshina Kannada. Let us pardon each other's mistake and rise above rest as a mature society.

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse


    Wed, Jan 3 2018

    Excellent architecture...Good Work...God Bless all...

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • FLORA DSOUZA, Kalmady - Jerimeri (Mumbai)

    Wed, Jan 3 2018

    Hearty Congratulations to Fr. Alban and to all my dear Kalmadians for this great achievement and I am very proud to see its progress... Mother Mary.. Star of the Sea and Mother Velankini may bless all the devotees..

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Florine Dsouza, Kelarai

    Wed, Jan 3 2018

    Beautiful church...very attractive... Mother Mary bless us all

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shammi, Karnataka

    Wed, Jan 3 2018

    Wow! MashaAllah.
    I like the concept of this Architecture mind blowing,Noah's(PBUH)ark.Please display Noah's story also,like u can make in one small area as museum .This will be toruist attraction also.
    Thanks to the team for providing such beautiful church.

    DisAgree Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Agee, Indian-UAE

    Wed, Jan 3 2018

    Very beautiful!

    God Bless you all , I believe his will be one of the beautiful Churches.

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent Rodrigues, Bengaluru/Katapadi

    Wed, Jan 3 2018

    Superb construction and excellent plan.Praise the Lord

    DisAgree Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Luv, Mangalore

    Wed, Jan 3 2018

    Beautiful Church !!
    commendable they built this architecture for 5 crore ..

    DisAgree [4] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Wed, Jan 3 2018

    I will be there on the 6th ...

    DisAgree [7] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Gabriel, Sagar

    Wed, Jan 3 2018

    Mother Mary the Star of the Sea really deserves the Pilgrim Ship Church of the Kalmady Parish. Prayerful Wishes for Grand Inauguration.

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • John Vas, mangaluru

    Wed, Jan 3 2018

    Congratulations to REV FR . ALBAN & PARISHIONERS
    Very magnificient beautiful design of the church will attract more & more devotees, tourists to Malpe . Praise GOD for the donors.

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • S. M. Nawaz Kukkikatte, Dubai

    Wed, Jan 3 2018

    Very beautiful architecture unique and creatively.
    May almighty ALLAH bless to all.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Wed, Jan 3 2018

    S. M. Nawaz Kukkikatte, Dubai.
    Though you are not a Christian, I appreciate your Humbleness & Honesty ...

    DisAgree [4] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Marian D'Souza, Falnir Mangalore

    Wed, Jan 3 2018

    Simply Superb, Real Masterpiece, God's Love, It's so wonderful. Praise The Lord.

    DisAgree Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

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Title : Udupi: Boat-shaped Stella Maris new church in Kalmady to be inaugurated on Jan 6


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