New York, Jul 15: Mangalorean community, mostly from the Metro New York area, came together on Saturday, July 11 in East Meadow, New York to felicitate Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza of Mangalore. Bishop is on a short visit to the U.S. As he spends his time meeting with Mangaloreans, he spares no effort to educate them on the growth and challenges faced by Christians and his own diocese in Mangalore.
Nearly 200 Mangaloreans with their children joined the program at St. Raphael’s Church Auditorium to felicitate the Bishop at an evening of music, dinner and dance. The evening began with a concelebration of Mass at St. Raphael Church in which many of the Mangalorean clergy based in New York area and serving in various parishes participated.
Fr Ozzie Mascarenhas, a Jesuit from Karnataka Province, and currently a Professor of Marketing and Ethics at the College of Business Administration, University of Detroit Mercy in Michigan felicitated the Bishop on behalf of Mangaloreans. AP D’Souza, was also a student of Fr. Ozzie (as he is popularly known). Speaking of the Bishop, Fr. Ozzie said Bishop is a man of compassion, mission and vision.
In his address to the Mangalorean community gathered at this program, Bishop AP gave a bird’s eye-view of the work being done in Mangalore Diocese and particularly in the field of lay apostolate and spiritual renewal, education and health services to the needy and many other Pastoral care projects for the people. He placed before the community a vision for the future development of the community in Mangalore and urged everyone to help in realizing the vision. He thanked the community for the moral and material support provided to the Christian community, particularly during the challenging situations experienced in recent months by Christians in Mangalore.
As an immediate response, Vinod Menezes, a prominent businessman in Pennsylvania gave a check for a substantial amount to support the healthcare programs of the diocese. Bishop took this occasion to meet with many other prominent Mangaloreans and well-wishers of the diocese during the dinner that followed the formal program.
The whole event was meticulously organized under the leadership of Fr. Joe Lobo, a priest from Mangalore Diocese currently studying in New York, and a team of a few prominent volunteers from the community. Sharell Kamath, as an M.C., ensured an efficient flow of the evening. Charles Rodrigues proposing a vote of thanks asked the guests to participate in many more such programs in the future.
Befitting the occasion was a surprise announcement of the formation of a month-old Mangalroean Association led by its elected President Manish Aranha. “Hampen Kutters”, a newly formed band, under the lead player, Praveen Lobo, kept the crowd rocking for the rest of the night. Reportedly, Hampen Kutters are now inundated with demands to play at every community program! It was a great community event that brought a lot of Mangalorean families together and the Bishop’s visit was a source of grace, blessing, joy and celebration.