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Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:03:46 PM (IST)  

Belgaum diocese creates history, appoints layperson as Laity secretary

Belgaum diocese creates history, appoints layperson as Laity secretary

Cressida Chadichal

Belgaum, Jun 20: Bishop Peter Machado of Belgaum has appointed a laywoman, Clara Fernandes as the secretary of the Diocesan Laity Commission, thus creating history.

This is the first instance in the Church in Karnataka where a layperson has been appointed for the post of laity secretary. Hitherto, priests were appointed for the post.

Clara Fernandes is also the president of the Catholic Association of Belgaum diocese. On the national-level she holds the posts of the national secretary, All India Catholic Union and executive committee member of Catholic Council of India.

The appointment of a layperson to a responsible post in the Church is very significant in the 50th Year of Vatican II and in keeping with the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium #37- “Let the spiritual shepherds recognize and promote the dignity as well as the responsibility of the laity in the Church. Let them [the shepherds] willingly employ their [the laity] prudent advice. Let them confidently assign duties to them [the laity] in the service of the Church, allowing them freedom and room for action”.

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Comments on this article
Raymond Kotkar, Godholi/Nigeria
Monday, November 10, 2014

I kindly request the president of christian association of belgaum district to bring the mutual trust and understanding between the people and church which as per my observation is not too strong in faith as before

Monday, June 24, 2013



Flora Dsouza, Kalmady (Jerimeri-Mumbai)
Saturday, June 22, 2013

Congratulations Clara I am proud of you. All the best and every success for new assignment..

THERESA LOBO, Mukamar-Sharjah
Saturday, June 22, 2013

Congratulations Clara on your new appointment as the Laity Secretary of Belgaum Diocese. Good luck and all the very best. May God Guide you in your work and bless you in abundance.

V.Baretto, Bantwal-Bangalore
Friday, June 21, 2013

Reform in Christian Organizations is a welcome measure. We have to change to times. This is followed by the appointment of a nun in Udupi Diocese to take care of the Finance of the Diocese. We expect such changes in Bangalore too, particularly having an english service on Sundays in Rajajinagar which we are craving the last few years

Vincent Rodrigues, Katapadi/Bangalore
Friday, June 21, 2013

Very encouraging step of The Bishop in appointing layperson as Laity Secretary.Hope,this will work out well and more ladies will join in future in religious centres since the ladies are highly capable in handling any assignments.Congrats to the Bishop and Clara Fernandes as well.All the best.Thanq.

Vas, Mangalore
Friday, June 21, 2013

mdsouza, mangalore, Appriciated your sugesstion, in case lay persons are appointed as stated...our institutions will be more closer lay people...

@ joachim fernandes, mangalore. I am not agree with your comments.. In case there is revenue (salary) for common church priest why there is no salary (revenue) for the head of institution? then clarify how these priest will sustain to manage their daily life?? further more there will be willing to serve Hundred of lay persons self less (similar to priest).

Joseph T, Mumbai
Friday, June 21, 2013

Hearty congratulations Clara. May you be an able instrument in the hand of God to bring renewed strength in the Church

Joe Britto, Nakre/Bangalore
Friday, June 21, 2013

A correct and bold step by Bishop Peter Machado. More Bishops & Archbishops should adopt this as it will real help the people come closer to the church . Belgaum is indeed a unique place in Karnataka and in India and it's people and more especially the Catholics have made a niche for themselves in the society due to their hard work and dedication in the fields of Education, & Charity. A look at Clara Fernandes will suffice to tell that she is indeed the right choice and that this landmark event will go a long way to ensure the Church in Karnataka will floursih and importantly our youngsters will come forward to play a more proctive role in fulfilling its goals.

joachim fernandes, mangalore
Friday, June 21, 2013

good suggestion by mdsouza. however i would like to know how who are those people would like to be the director/administrator/manager of hospitals/engineering colleges/Printing press/Bettada mane estate, and receive no salary for the job? priests who work here donot receive salary but work selflessly for the good of the institute. good luck for selfless service.

Ravi Bhaskar Shenava, MANGALORE
Friday, June 21, 2013

Next only to DK-Udupi-NK, it is Belguam which is having highest concentration of Konkani speaking Catholics in Karnataka. Belgaum City is just 35 Km from Goa Border, and Belguam Dist is having about 90 KM of common border with Goa, hence this high number of Catholic families living here since last 400 years.
Belgaum-Cantonment and Khanapur Taluk has highest Catholic population, but in Khanapur the education level of Christians is comparatively low, may be due to more Marathi schools there and also they are financially weaker as compared to Mangalorean Catholics.
Earlier mainly Goans used to become Bishops of Belguam diocese. But after Mangaloreans started becoming Bishops of Belguam there is a fast progress among Belgaum dist Catholics. ( I had my high school education in a Catholic school in Khanapur & College Education in Belgaum))

Congrat Madam Clara Fernandes.

Wilson DSouza, Moodbidri
Friday, June 21, 2013

Whether he/she is laity or religious, men or women, everybody is expected to do their duty sincerely. God will not spare anyone.

David Lobo, Mangalore
Friday, June 21, 2013

Congratulations and good news.

Elvin Colaco, mumbai
Friday, June 21, 2013

C0ngratulations to Bishop Peter on 'Walking the Talk' of Lumen Gentium and to Clara on this new role in addition to the many hats that you already wear. Wish you all success.
The bishop of Nagpur has appointed a lady,Janice D'Mello as the Diocesan Coordinator of SCCs. I wonder why other dioceses are shying to acknowledge the legitimate place of women and their boundless potential in actualising the Mission of the Church like the servant who kept the talent buried in the ground. Cheers to our lay women ! Elvin Colaco, National Service Team for SCCs.

Austin Prabhu, Nantur/Chicago
Friday, June 21, 2013

Congratulations Clara on your appointment as Laity Secretary. Show men's world that women are equally capable of doing things the best way. Wish you all the best and God bless.

mdsouza, mangalore
Friday, June 21, 2013

Bishop of Udipi and Bishop of Belgaum, we all admire your courage and determination to provide major role for lay people especially women in church administration. Thank you your holiness.
Honorable Bishop of Mangalore, we have an opportunity here. It is time to appoint lay people as director/administrator/manager of hospitals/engineering colleges/Printing press/Bettada mane estate. Not all posts atleast one.Please.

Well Wisher, Karnataka India
Friday, June 21, 2013

Rev. Bishop Peter Machado of Belgaum diocese nice to read your job of appointing a laywoman Calra Fernandes as the secretary of the diocesan laity commission Bishop Peter Machado as you created history in the church of Karnataka by appointing first time a layperson for the post of laity secretary. well done Bishop you did a very good work let all the bishop of Karnataka diocese and also let they all put in to practice and let them all walk in your foot prints to drive out the partiality and corruption of the priest (specially from the secular priest and secular bishops) by appointing lay persons for all the main responsible positions in the church and in the Christian institutions After Bishop Gerald of Udupi diocese you Bishop Peter Machado second Bishop of Belgaum diocese crated a new record in the history christian diocese. It is really nice that the message (whip) of Pope Francis opened a new era in the Christian dioceses

Well Clara Fernandes congratulation for your position of Laity Secretary of the diocese of Belgaum. Keep it up and deserve it. work hard and gain the confidence of your superiors and the clergy and all lay people from your diocese

joe gonsalves, Mangalore
Friday, June 21, 2013

I join several others in congratulating Bishop Peter Machado in appointing a lay person as a laity secretary. This is a move in the right direction. The Catholic church is composed of the laity and the clergy and if there are no ecclesiastical objections why should a lay person not hold a position of a lay secretary.

It is my wish that the other dioceses follow this trend and act likewise.

Joe Gonsalves

Charles D'Mello, Pangala
Friday, June 21, 2013

Change is a must in life as well as our policies...!!!????

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Congrats DEAR madam "all the best"

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Congrats Clara, at your new appointment as the Laity secretary of Belgaum Diocese. All the best to u, I appreciate Bishop's new initiative to make a difference in the Church in karnataka state.

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