Thanksgiving Mass and Parish Day marks the Centenary of the Foundation of St. Lawrence Parish, Belle

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By Dr. Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Pictures by Anil Alva
Bellevision Media Network

Moodubelle, 01 November 2010: The day that has been eagerly awaited by the parishioners of St. Lawrence Church, Belle dawned on 1 November 2010, the day on which the entire parish community as one family gathered in the church by 10.15 am to celebrate the Centenary of the foundation of their parish exactly a hundred years ago on 2 November 1910. This was the day that the parish community had reserved to thank the Almighty God and their patron Saint, St. Lawrence for the gift of the parish, remember all the parish priests and assistant parish priests who had helped in the growth of the parish and all those lay people who had preserved the faith for the present generation and also manifest their  solidarity and brotherhood by sharing the meal that has been prepared by the parishioners themselves  under the supervision of four eminent caterers of the parish.


Fr. Joswey Fernandes, parish priest in his introductory address welcomed the chief celebrant, Rev. Dr. Valerian D’Souza and other guest priests and all the parishioners to the Centenary Thanksgiving Mass.


The Thanksgiving Mass started with the grand procession of the altar servers, members of the Parish Pastoral Council, all men dressed in dhoti, white shirt and shawl and women in similar coloured saris, members of the Liturgical Committee and all those past vice presidents and secretaries of the Parish Pastoral Council, those parishioners to be honoured and felicitated from the residence of the priests through the main entrance of the church towards the altar. Each of them carried a lighted candle and placed on the specially kept candle stand in front of the main altar totaling hundred candles, each representing a year of the past hundred years of the existence of the parish.


In order to mark the Centenary celebration of the foundation of the parish, the chief celebrant of the Thanksgiving Mass, Rev. Dr. Valerian D’Souza, the former parish priest and the builder of the magnificent new church building five years ago along with other celebrants- Fr. Joswey Fernandes, Fr. Arun Mendonca, Fr. Lancy Saldanha, Fr. Maxim Pinto, Fr. Dancy Martis and Fr. George D’Souza of the Kodialbail Press and the vice president and secretary of the Parish Pastoral Council, Henry Fernandes and Mrs. Meera Lobo ceremonially lighted the candle.


In his introductory remarks, Rev. Dr. Valerian D’Souza expressed happiness to be part of the Centenary celebration of the foundation of the parish and recalled the service rendered by all the former priests and parishioners.



There was overwhelming participation by the parishioners in the Thanksgiving Mass. The church was packed to the capacity. The entire congregation actively participated in singing hymns  and reciting prayers. The parish choir led by Fr. Paul Sequeira with melodious singing raised the spirit of the congregation to new height.


Fr. Dancy Martis OFM (Cap), a native of Moodubelle,  in his homily highlighted the message of the Gospel of the day emphasizing on the Sermon on the Mount. He further said that as the parish celebrates the Centenary of the foundation of the parish through the Thanksgiving Mass and observation of the Parish Day, we should introspect the condition of our own families. He pointed out the problems faced by modern families due to materialistic pursuits and lack of love, affection and concern for the members.  He emphasized the fact that the family that prays and eats together remains united.


All the members of the Parish Pastoral Council participated in the colourful offertory procession and presented various consumer items such as fruits, vegetables, coconuts and grains to the chief celebrant that were kept in front of the altar.


Fr. Lancy Saldanha recited the thanksgiving prayer at the end of the Mass and the choir sang the thanksgiving hymn. Fr. Joswey Fernandes thanked Rev. Dr. Valerian D’Souza, the chief celebrant of the Thanksgiving Mass, Fr. Dancy Martis for his excellent homily and all the priests as well as parishioners for their whole hearted participation in the Thanksgiving Mass. The Mass ended with the hymn in honour of St. Lawrence, the patron saint of Belle Parish.


Following the solemn Thanksgiving Mass a brief stage function was held in the church. Fr. Joswey Fernandes presided over the function.  J.B. Miranda welcomed the guests and the parishioners. At the outset the book consisting of satirical stories titled ‘Kathkutli.Com’ in Konkani written by Alban David Prakash Alva (Bhotam Boliye) was released by Fr. Joswey Fernandes. Bhotam Boliye was also felicitated at the same time.


Thereafter all those couples who have completed 60 years and more of their married life were felicitated by Fr. Paul Sequeira: These couples are: Lawrence and Seraphine Saldanha and John and Agnes D’Souza  from St. Joseph Ward;  and Andrew Gregory and Dulcin Lobo from St. Peter II Ward.


Fr. Lancy Saldanha honoured the previous vice presidents of the Parish Pastoral Council: Augustine Lobo and Charles Quadros from Holy family Ward; J.B. Miranda from Jesu Rai Ward; Ignatius Monis from St. Thomas II Ward; Leo Simon Fernandes from St. Francis Xavier II Ward; Frederick D’Souza from St. Joseph Ward. The present vice president, Henry Fernandes was also felicitated on this occasion.


Fr. Arun Mendonca felicitated the previous secretaries of the Parish Pastoral Council: Leo Simon Fernandes from St. Francis II Ward; Charles D’Souza and Elias D’Souza from St. Isidore Ward; Edward Noronha from St. Peter II Ward; Peter Raphael Aranha from Sacred Heart II Ward. The present secretary, Mrs. Meera Lobo was also honoured at this occasion.



Rev. Dr.  Valerian D’Souza  Mendonca honoured all the  Gurkars who had served their wards for more than ten years: Abraham Fernandes and Charles Quadros from Holy Family Ward; Isaac D’Souza from St. Joseph Ward; Bernard D’Souza and Francis Lobo from  St. Francis Xavier I Ward;  William Alva and Denis Alva from St. John the Baptist I Ward; Jacinta D’Souza and A.K. Alva from Sacred Heart II Ward; Antony Menezes from St. Thomas I Ward;  Leo Simon Fernandes and Paul Fernandes from St. Francis Xavier II Ward; Felix D’Souza from St. Paul II Ward;  Baptist Lobo and Charles D’Souza from St. Isidore Ward; Ignatius Monis and Robert D’Souza from St. Thomas II Ward; Albert Fernandes and Henry Fernandes from Fatima Ward and A.G. D’Souza from Jesu Rai Ward.


Fr. Maxim Pinto, the Director of the Assisi Nilaya felicitated the members of the Girls’ Volleyball team of the Church Aided Higher Primary School that had won the tournament at the Zonal held at Radha Nayak Memorial High School, Yennehole. Sr. Vineetha, who had trained this team, was also felicitated.


Fr. Dancy Martis felicitated the winners and participants in the elocution competition conducted by the Catholic Sabha. Dr. Eugene D’Souza -Media Coordinator of, former President of Bellevision (UAE) Ronald Saby D’Souza , photographer-Anil Alva, decorator Clement Castelino, electrician Roshan Castelino were honoured by Fr. George D’Souza.


Fr. Paul Sequeira felicitated Pravin Castelino-proprietor of the Best Caterers, Henry Alva-proprietor of the Preetham Caterers, Ivan Castelino-proprietor of the Golden Caterers and Felix D’Sa-proprietor of Alwyn Caterers, chief cook- Henry Monis. Chief sponsors of the community lunch-Conrad Mendonca and Henry Fernandes were honoured by Fr. Joswey Fernandes.  All the priests of the parish-Fr. Joswey, Fr. Paul, Fr. Arun and Fr. Lancy were honoured by Rev. Dr. Valerian D’Souza.


In his message to the parishioners Dr. Valerian D’Souza narrated the conditions under which Fr. Casmir Fernandes had built the church and the parish and said that after one hundred years another Fr. Fernandes-Fr. Joswey Fernandes is the parish priest on the occasion of the Centenary celebration. He gave credit to all the past parish priests for developing the parish. However, Dr. Valerian D’Souza said that priests may come and go but it is the parishioners who have been chiefly responsible for the progress of the parish and saluted them.  While complimenting the parishioners on the occasion of the Centenary celebration, Dr. Valerian wished them and their children well, and hoped that there would be unity and cooperation in the future as well.



Fr. Joswey Fernandes in his message highlighted on the motto of the Centenary ‘Let us build the parish unitedly’ and appreciated the unity and cooperation of the parishioners which was manifested on the previous day through voluntary service for the preparation for the Parish Day. He complimented the sponsors and caterers for their excellent cooperation and work.


Mrs. Meera Lobo, secretary of the Parish Pastoral Council proposed the vote of thanks.  The entire programme was excellently compeered by Peter Raphael Aranha, headmaster of Church Aided Higher School.


Following the stage programme at 1.15 pm, all parishioners participated in the community lunch. First, the children and elderly persons were served food, followed by others. There were 12 counters which were well managed by the volunteers properly guided by Charles Quadros and Sylvester Mathias. All the parishioners enjoyed the food and the get-together.



Comments on this Article
E J D SOUZA, MOODUBELLE Tue, November-9-2010, 3:52
cogratulations to Belle parishoners on the ocassion of centenery celebration.However,Belle church is still a faraway place for people from Edmer and surrounding areas.Also,ditto for people from Kodangala,Marne,Orwadi,Uddapadil,Kanaradi,Pernankila etc.It is right time to have 2 new churches for these places.With new churches,we catholics can have good unity,co-operation and therby become force against protestants to whom we are easy catch.Already,basel mission is running a prayer service regularly in one Lobo family.In the past several people have left our church in haste and it is our duty to bring them back to our fold.Our people are generous donors and i believe they will always help for GOD S WORK.
clement and hiral menezes, belle/kuwait Wed, November-3-2010, 1:36
Congratulations to all parishioners of boliye,our patron St.Lawrence may bless us.
Irene lobo, Moodubelle/London Tue, November-2-2010, 6:03
Congratuations to all parishioners of Moodubelle. Thanks to Bellevision for this beautiful coverage with the photographs. May St.Lawrence bless us.
santhosh, moodubelle Tue, November-2-2010, 8:57
Happy parish day to everyone from moodubelle.The whole celebration was good very well organised without any disturbances and nothing.But as you can see from the photo album the whole church is fully packed and there is no space to sit the parishioners who came late (around 10:20 to 10:40). Most of them are youngsters, standing outside and talking themselves .So it is better to put at least some chairs outside with small shamiyana so that all late comers can concentrate in the mass.This is my personal opinion i feel it is the right solution.
Daina Rodrigues, sharjah Tue, November-2-2010, 3:42
congratulations to all parishioners of moodubelle, happy parish day, thanks to bellevision...
Edward Barboza, Kanajar / Auckland Tue, November-2-2010, 1:06
Congratulations to St. Lawrence Moodubelle parishioners and the Belleans on the occasion of celebrating 100 years of foundation of the Parish. Thanks to Dr. Eugene and Anil for the report and the lovely pictures. Nice to see the smiley faces of our relatives, friends and parishioners.
ALFREEDA ARUN, BELLE/BHARAIN Tue, November-2-2010, 12:57
Congratulations to all Parishioners.we thank Lord God and all the Belleans who worked hard to build this Church 100 years ago.Thanks to Dr Eugene and Anil.
Ryan L Noronha, Moodubelle/ Dubai Tue, November-2-2010, 12:03
happy parish day to all. i would like to thank the members of bellevision for the update and making us feel at home. thankyou.
Avith, Moodubelle/Doha Mon, November-1-2010, 11:27
Congratulations to all Moodubelle parishioners.Dr.Eugene and Anil thanks for the report and pictures.
Benedict Noronha, Udupi Mon, November-1-2010, 11:14
The glorification and adoration to God by the Parishioners of St.Lawrence Parish Belle, must have pleased the Almighty God and St. Lawrence, in heaven. Their showers of Blessing on the occasions must have been felt in the hearts and minds of the faithfull who took part in the entire ceremony. Congratulations to all those, who were involved and made it a grand success. This type of activities pleases God and instills enthusiasm and love for God among the faithful. It is I believe, is true evangelization, the Lord intends. May this kind of activities increase and multiply so that the Kingdom of God will spread through out the Wolrd, which is what we pray in reciting Our Father in Heaven.
Eric N Fly, Perampally/DXB Mon, November-1-2010, 6:19
Congratulations to all Belle parishioners and thanks to Bellevision, Dr. Eugene and Mr. Anil Quick Report and Nice Snaps.....
Suraj-Belle, Moodubelle/Dubai Mon, November-1-2010, 4:14
Dear belleans, congratulations. Today we must thank God for giving this opportunity to thank our lord for providing us a church . We are blessed with Good people. Especially in Moodubelle we do not face any communal issues unlike other places. I am glad to be born in belle because our non- catholic brother and sisters are very good, understanding and co-operative. I strongly believe this is untied and bonded by none other than our patron St, Lawrence. We thank you lord for having blessed with our Patron St. Lawrence. The best example what you can is Mr. Mukunda Kamath (known as Mukundam) is being a non- catholic and actively involved in contributing to our Church. I asked him once why are you so generous to our church and his reply was ‘Whatever I am today it is only because of him (showing his finger towards St. Lawrence and whatever I give today is nothing for what I am blessed) I saw a picture of St. Lawrence in Pundalika’s shop and his reply was same and also got to know he is contributing lot to the church. Of course how can I forget Dev (Juice Devu) I see him decorating the St. Lawrence on Besp today all these people.
Manoj and Rima, Moodubelle/Dubai Mon, November-1-2010, 12:59
Ivan Vijay D souza, Kanajar/Bahrain Mon, November-1-2010, 12:17
Congratulations to all parishioners of Moodubelle.May St.Lawrence bless us. We thank u for your spiritual help.St.Lawrence-Pray for us.
sunny fernandes, moodubelle/kuwait Mon, November-1-2010, 11:45
Congratulations to all parishioners of Moodubelle.thanks to anil for fast updates
Victor DSouza, Moodubelle / Doha Mon, November-1-2010, 8:22
Thanks Dr. Eugene and Anil for the report with beautiful pictures in real quick time. Even though we are far away we did not miss anything as you have covered everything and it was as good as being there. You have put up lot of effort behind these back to back reports which started last evening, through until this afternoon.
Lucas Castelino, Moodubelle/ Doha Qatar Mon, November-1-2010, 7:30
Congratulations to all Belleans.Thanx to all who made this event in meaningfull way. Thanx for the quick updates and nice pics.
Akil Vijay DSouza, Moodubelle/Bangalore Mon, November-1-2010, 7:07
Thanks to Bellevision, Dr. Eugene and Mr. Anil for the quick updates on Parish Day. I really liked the dress code of the members of Parish pastoral council. May God bless each and every one of us and help us to keep this one-family thinking through our patron St. Lawrence.
Ivan Mendonca, Kuwait Mon, November-1-2010, 6:13
Thanks for the superfast and quick updates. God bless you.
Vijay Dsouza, Moodubelle Mon, November-1-2010, 6:12
Dear Dr.Eugene
John Peter Fernandes, Moodubelle/Nottingham Mon, November-1-2010, 6:10
Congratulation to all Moodubelle parishioners for your Hardwork. Today your dream has come true. We must thank all the Priests, nuns, and all moodubelle parishioners who have contributed to Belle parish over the 100 years. Thanks to Bellevision for this beautiful coverage with the photographs.
kanya, udupi Mon, November-1-2010, 6:06
Congratulation all the parishioners. Happy parish day. Good job by Anil and Dr.Eugene.I appreciate all bellevision members. Very greatfull work.
Raksha, Moodubelle Mon, November-1-2010, 3:28
Happy Parish Day to all Parishioners of Moodubelle.
Staney D Souza, Dubai / Moodubelle Mon, November-1-2010, 3:12
Congratulations to all parishioners of Moodubelle. May our patron St.Lawrence bless us abundantly and keep us united.
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