by Richie Lasrado, Resident Editor, Daijiworld.com, Mangalore - Pics Dayanand Kukkaje - Thursday, 3-30 pm
Mangalore, Feb 2: It was on February 2 and 3, 1966 - flat forty years ago - that eighteen priests were ordained in St Joseph's Interdiocesan Seminary in Jeppu. Their names were as follows:
Fr Marian Pinto, Fr Oswald Lasrado, Fr Joseph Kootiyanil, Fr Abraham Moloparambil, Fr Denis Menezes, Fr Mark Valdar, Fr J J Martis, Fr Thomas Vayalil, Fr J B D'Souza, Fr Michael Sequeira, Fr Archibald Correa, Fr Jacob Kallianthanam, Fr Ignatius Rodrigues, Fr J M Shenoy, Fr Robert Fernandes, Fr C R Prabhu, Joseph Kunnath and Fr George Kattumana, designated to Mangalore and other dioceses in India.
Homily by Fr C R Prabhu
The last two mentioned, Fr Kunnath pf Bagdogra diocese and Fr Kattumana of the Vincentin congregation, have passed away. Fr Rodrigues and Fr Sequeira have been rendering spiritual service in the US. That left the remaining fourteen to join together and celebrate the completion of forty years of their priestly service, in St Joseph's Seminary Chapel on early Thursday, February 2 morning. Some of them had arrived specially for the occasion from places as distant as Jarkhand, West Bengal, Sikkim and neighbouring Kerala.
A section of the jubilarians
Perhaps it is for the very first time that a 40th anniversary of sacerdotal ordination was being celebrated in Mangalore.
It was a nostalgic homecoming for all of them. Over the years, they have served in various capacities. Fr C R Prabhu (earlier Camillus Fernandes from Belloor) is a former vicar general. Fr Denis Menezes is the present VG at Gulbarga.
Among the others, there have been teachers, preachers and principals, not forgetting the erstwhile Raknno editor, Fr Mark Valdar, currently serving at Siddakatte in Bantwal.
A concelebrated Mass was offered in the Chapel at 6-30 am with Bishop Aloysius Paul D'Souza as the main celebrant. Other faculty and guest priests too joined the celebration. Fr C R Prabhu, on behalf of the jubilarians, gave a touching homily on 40 years of dedicated service. After Mass a short felicitation function was held.
The jubilarians posing with the Bishop
Seminary rector Fr Victor Machado, who facilitated the entire arrangements and logistics on behalf of the jubilarians, said that although it would look odd to celebrate the 40th anniversary, they all had the same energy and spirit of the seminary days, which would be good enough to see them through, up to their golden jubilee.
Bishop Aloysius, as a one-time contemporary of the jubilarians for about 8 years in the seminary, in his felicitation speech, was in his elements as he singled out each of the jubilarians and recalled their interesting individual traits as he had observed them during the seminary life, which seemed to have got permanently etched in his memory.
The camaraderie percolated to the breakfast table as well where humorous episodes were recalled and pleasantries exchanged. It was indeed a memorable event not only for the jubilarians, but also for the seminarians and others who were present.