by Denzil Fernandes
Pics by Dayananda Kukkaje
Daijiworld Media Network
Bangalore, Apr 23: The ever-growing and generous support to various communities by philanthropist Ronald Colaco reached its zenith when he personally built and donated a modern church (Holy Rosary Church) to the Catholic community of Venkatala/Yelahanka of Bengaluru diocese on Sunday last.
At a glittering ceremony graced by at least 2,500 people from all walks of life including the locals, Archbishop Bernard Moras blessed the mammoth church and honoured Ronald Colaco and his family acknowledging the great contribution by him to the society.
It may be recalled that recently Ronald Colaco had enabled the renovation of the Hoysala temple in Chikkajala with a pioneering effort, helping the Hindus in the neighbourhood immensely and bringing back memories of the Hoysala dynasty. The Archbishop seemed excited at the beautiful church erected with modern architecture and the latest facilities that included seating in the entire area.
Speaking on the occasion after the blessing, Archbiship Bernard Moras said that Ronald Colaco has been a glowing example of communal harmony, having supported various deserving causes from different communities both in India and abroad.
"Ronald Colaco has now created history by becoming the first community leader to build and donate a church exclusively by a leity to benefit the faithful. Th expenditure for this fully equipped modern church met by Ronald Colaco would not be less than 2.72 crore rupees," the Archbishop said.
Quite fittingly, Ronald Colaco and his family were felicitated immediately after the inauguration of the church.
Acknowledging the honour, Ronald Colaco said that he had a divine call four years ago in one of his early morning dreams, asking him to build a church for the faithful apart from his other charitable activities. Coincidentally, the Archbishop was also planning to build a church in the Yelahanka area and he was interested to discuss the idea with Ronald Colaco. When Ronald and Jean met the Archbishop, there was a concurrence and the project took off in no time. With both the parties agreeing to the noble idea, the project was ‘on’ and in no time, coupled with unending efforts, a stunning all-white church for the faithful was ready.
Ronald recalled the special efforts put in by his son Nigel Colaco who was in charge of the church project among other assignments. He also acknowledged the moral support by his family members including his wife Jean and other son Randall Colaco and his brothers and sister as well. While thanking the Archbishop and the community for providing him this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity of giving this gift to God, Ronald also went on to praise the contribution of the missionaries all over India in their untiring efforts in the educational, social and medical fields.
He also called upon all the members of the community to be united in their efforts to safeguard the interests of everyone around and not to indulge in criticizing or attacking the clergy and missionaries which otherwise will divide our community which is already facing hard times from the fanatics and fundamentalists. The need of the hour is unity at all costs, he said.
The church is a beauty in all its glory with the altar being the centre of attraction. A faboulous carving of the Last Supper takes the prime position of the altar and looks beautiful especially when the lights are on. Another masterpiece is the round tabernacle. All in all, the entire structure is complete with beautiful sound system and chandeliers that adorn the church.
Various church organizations including the Archbishop himself honoured Ronald Colaco and his family with shawls, garland and mementoes. The entire programme was well arranged and it was heart-warming to see the overflowing crowd present till the end.
The parish priest of the church, Fr Prem was eloquent in his vote of thanks when he profusely mentioned the efforts of Ronald and Nigel Colaco in taking special interest to build the church so nicely.
Fr Prem also said that some of the furniture and lighting was specially selected and brought from China by Ronald and Nigel to give a fantastic finish to the church which will now become one of the leading ones in the diocese. He also thanked the clergy from all over including Fr Denis D’Sa of Fr Muller Charitable Institutions, Fr Clement Mascarenhas and community leaders like Valerian Fernandes, Bertha Fernandes, Joachim Serrao, Walter Cyril Pinto, Dennis D’Silva and especially George D’Costa who donated the land long ago to the parish.
The function ended with a grand dinner for the community members who were present for the blessing and opening of the church.