Pics: Sany Digital Studio Kalmady/Udupi
Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi (JD/KR)
Udupi, Jan 14: In a historic ceremony, the Udupi Catholic diocese completed its dream of having its own independent pastoral centre. The long time dream of the diocese came true on Wednesday January 13.
‘Anugraha’, the Udupi diocese pastoral centre was blessed and inaugurated Wednesday at Kakkunje near Ambagilu. Dr Peter Machado, archbishop of Bengaluru blessed the pastoral centre. Fr Valerian D'Souza, advisor, Educare Trust inaugurated the centre by cutting the ribbon. A formal blessing of the premise was also held.
Udupi diocese is in its decennial year. Bishop Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, the clergy and the faithful had a dream project of having a fully facilitated pastoral centre for the new diocese. A site was identified near Kadekar in Udyavar parish and the foundation stone for the project was also laid. But due to the some hindrances, the project had to be stopped. Later on, in a miraculous way, a family from Kakkunje came forward to donate their property for the pastoral centre. John B Carnelio, Steevan Carnelio and family donated their 1.01-acre land for the pastoral centre. In November 2018, the foundation stone was laid for the project. It was projected to be completed in 18 months. But due to the Covid outbreak and various other financial difficulties, the project was delayed again. The bishop and priests along with the faithful and donors have worked whole heartedly for the project. Donors like Michael D'Souza, Educare Trust, and Dr Jerry Vincent Dias, Mandavi Builders and Developers, played a very important role in the project completion. Walter Nandalike, founder, Daijiworld media and Dayan D'souza Mukamar took leadership in organizing a NRI entrepreneurs meet in view of raising funds for the project. ICYM, Catholic Sabha, St Mary's Konkan Community Dubai, Konkani Community Dubai and various other individuals joined hands for the project. Today, after all the hardships, the dream of having a pastoral centre has come true.
A formal felicitation function was also organized on the occasion. Dr Peter Machado, archbishop Bengaluru presided over the programme. Dr Leo Cornelio, archbishop emeritus, Bhopal diocese, Fr Valerian D'Souza, advisor, Educare trust, Fr Stany B Lobo, chancellor, Fr Valerian Mendonca, rector Milagres Cathedral, Fr Dr. Leslie D'Souza, parish priest, Mount Rosary Church, Vinay Kumar Sorake, former minister Dr Jerry Vincent Dias, managing director, Mandavi Builders and Developers, and Balakrishna Shetty, councilor, Kakkunje ward were present on the occasion.
All the donors of the projects were honoured by the dignitaries on the occasion.
Fr Valerian D'Souza received the honour on behalf of Michael D'Souza, Educare Trust. Dr Jerry Vincent Dias, managing director, Mandavi Builders and Developers was also honoured. Sacrifice of John B Corenlio and Steevan Cornelio and their families was recognized on the moment. Patrons of the diocese Milagres Cathedral, Mount Rosary Church Kallianpur and Mudartha family was honoured for their contribution. Help of MLA Raghupati Bhat, and Balakrishna Shetty, CMC member, Kakkunje ward was recognized on the occasion. Representatives of SMKC Dubai, Konkani Catholic Sabha, ICYM Udupi diocese, and Konkani Community Bahrain, were also recognized for their valuable contribution. Representatives of 49 parishes were also honoured on behalf of the faithful.
On receiving the honor, Fr Valerian D'Souza said, "Ever since its inception, the Udupi diocese Bishop had this dream. Today it has become a reality. Let this pastoral centre be a source of inspiration for the clergy and faithful. Michael D'Souza was also involved in drafting Mission 2020-2025 of the Udupi diocese. Through Educare Trust, he has involved in various philanthropy works. The trust is helping a lot of students in Udupi and Mangalore diocese for their education.”
In his words of gratitude, Dr Jerry Vincent Dias said, “The pastoral centre has been named as ‘Anugraha’. It is an ‘Anugraha’ of our Lord Almighty to our diocese. Let the Almighty bless our diocese. Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo has sacrificed a lot for the betterment of the diocese. He gave importance to complete the pastoral centre even before completing the Bishop's House. This is a model pastoral centre in entire India.”
Dr Leo Carnelio, emeritus archbishop, Bhopal diocese said, "From today, Kakkunje village will be having a prominent place in the world map. It is my privilege to be part of this programme. Lord Almighty has inspired the donors and has helped in completing the project.”
Former minister Vinay Kumar Sorake complemented the diocese for having a new pastoral centre. He said, "Udupi district is renowned globally. The Christian community herein has been very significant in its service in education and health sector. Even though the community is only 2% in population, they have rendered service worth 20% of the population. Catholic education institutions offer moral education. They have been very much instrumental in sowing seeds of social service and qualities of societal betterment.”
MLA Raghupati Bhat visited the premise and was honoured by the diocese. Addressing the gathering he said, "It is my fortune to be part of two big programmes of Udupi diocese. I was the MLA during the inauguration of Udupi diocese also. The Catholic community has done remarkable works in the field of education and healthcare in the twin districts. With this pastoral centre, let the district receive more and service from the Catholic Community.”
Bishop Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo thanked each and every person who had worked for making the pastoral centre project, a reality.
In his presidential address, Archbishop of Bengaluru Dr Peter Machado congratulated the bishop of Udupi and the faithful for the pastoral centre and said, “Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo has been a very active person in our Karnataka region. He has worked more than any other bishop of our state. It was his idea to initiate different commissions in the diocese to meet the religious and social needs of the people. He lives for the future. What he has done for this diocese is a model to all other bishops of Karnataka.”
Fr Denis D'Sa, Fr Anil Prakash D'Silva and Fr Steevan D'Souza introduced the donors to the gathering.
Leslie Aroza, secretary, diocesan pastoral council and Alphonse D'Costa, former secretary diocesan pastoral council, honoured Bishop Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo.
Fr Romeo Lewis, estate manager, Udupi diocese gave an introduction about the new pastoral centre and the work to be performed from the premises.
Fr Stany B Lobo, chancellor welcomed the gathering. Leslie Aroza compered the programme. Fr Royson Fernandes proposed the vote of thanks.