Moodubelle: Vocations Day Celebrated as part of the Centenary Programme

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

Moodubelle, 03 January 2011: Vocation Day was celebrated as an integral part of the Centenary Celebrations of the foundation of the parish of Belle on Monday, 3rd January 2011 at 10 am with a solemn Mass concelebrated by 18 priests mostly from Belle. Most Rev. Dr. Albert D’Souza, a native of Belle and presently the Archbishop of Agra Archdiocese was the chief celebrant.  Originally, Most Rev.Dr. Salvadore Lobo, Bishop of Buraipur, West Bengal was to be the main celebrant. However, he could not make it  as he was unable to  get the flight from Kolkota due to roadblocks imposed by political parties in Bengal.


Sr. Vinita-Superior of the Loreto Convent, Moodubelle welcomed all the priests and religious women from Belle who have been serving in different parts of India for the centenary celebration of the foundation of the parish. While the priests from Belle concelebrated the Mass, religious women participated in the Mass along with the members of the Parish Pastoral Council who were present in their traditional dresses.


Delivering homily during the Mass, Fr.Deepak D’Souza explaining the relevance of vocation, pointed out how  in the Old Testament God called upon the Prophets to preach to the people and work among them. In the New Testament, Jesus chose his disciples to proclaim the good news to the people. In the same way God has been calling young men and women to dedicate themselves to carry on the mission of Christ. Further he said that on the occasion of the centenary celebrations of the foundation of the parish of Belle a large number of priests and religious women belonging to the parish and working in different parts of India have gathered for the Vocations Day. It is indeed a proud moment for all the priests and nuns from Belle that their parish has completed hundred years.  He narrated the circumstances that led to his own vocation and his choice of the Allahabad Diocese. Fr.Deepak D’Souza also recalled the difficult conditions in the mission centers and his experience of working in various mission centers in North India.


Following the Mass, before a brief stage proramme, the concelebrants posed for a group picture followed by another group picture along with the sisters. Fr. Joswey Fernandes  in his welcome address said that  the occasion is the most happy one as on the occasion of the centenary celebrations a large number of religious men and women had come to attend the Vocations Day. He made a special reference to the three Bishops from Belle-Most Rev. Dr. Alphonse D’Souza, Bishop of Raiganj in West Bengal,  Most. Rev. Dr. Salvadore Lobo, Bishop of Buraipur also in West Bengal and Most Rev. Dr. Albert D’Souza-Archbishop of Agra. He said that, Most Rev. Dr. Alphonse D’Souza  could not attend the programme as he is not well and Most Rev. Dr. Salvadore Lobo could not make it due to unavoidable circumstances. Fr. Joswey welcomed Most Rev. Dr. Albert D’Souza with flowers and also offered flowers to Mr. Henry Fernandes and Mrs. Meera Lobo, Vice president and secretary respectively of the  Parish Pastoral Council, Sr. Vinita, Superior of the Loreto Convent and all the priests and sisters. The floral welcome was quite touching as Fr. Joswey personally gave the roses to each and every one of the priests and sisters.



The choir trained by Fr. Paul Sequeira sang a song specially composed for the Vocations Day. Thereafter, each and every priest and sister gave their self introduction such as their parent’s name, ward, congregation to which they belonged, where they serve and briefly their feelings. During the course of the self-introduction it was found that most of the priests and sisters have been serving in North India in various capacities.


Sr. Veronica (AC) and Fr. Apoline narrated their experience about their own vocations and the type of work that they do in their respective fields. Most Rev. Dr. Albert D’Souza who introduced himself last narrated about his own vocation and how he chose the diocese of Lucknow and presently he is the Archbishop of Agra.


Fr. Lawrence Lobo who completed fifty years of his priestly service, Fr. John Baptist Mendonca who will be celebrating his sacerdotal silver jubilee soon and Mr. Robert D’Souza, Gurkar of St. Thomas II ward whose birthday falls on 3rd January were honoured by Most Rev. Dr. Albert D’Souza. In a lucky draw, Fr. Sunil D’Souza was declared as the “Star of the Centenary”.


Fr. Joswey Fernandes speaking at the end of the programme said that he has great faith in St. Lawrence. Earlier as the parish priest of St. Lawrence Church, Attur-Karkala he celebrated the bi-centenary of that parish. It is a coincidence in his life that as the parish priest of St. Lawrence Church, Belle he was destined to celebrate the first centenary of the foundation of the Belle parish. He greatly appreciated the efforts taken by the priests and sisters from Belle to make it a point to attend the centenary celebrations of the foundation of the parish especially to attend the Vocations Day as part of the celebrations. Fr. Joswey had a special word of thanks for the members of the Parish pastoral Council who had attended the Mass and the programme in traditional dresses. He recalled their unstinted cooperation for the centenary celebrations.


Mr. Henry Fernandes, vice president of the Parish Pastoral Council proposed the vote of thanks. Fr. Sunil D’Souza compeered the entire programme in a lively manner. Fr. Dancy Martis (OFM-Cap) recited the prayers and the grace before the meals following which the priests, sisters and the members of the parish pastoral Council went to the parish hall for meals.



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Comments on this Article
Akil Vijay DSouza, Moodubelle/Bangalore Tue, January-4-2011, 1:56
This is a very nice and unique concept to unite all the priests and nuns of our parish under one roof as part of the centenary celebrations. Hats off to the organizers and thanks to Dr. Eugene, Mr. Anil and Bellevision for the wonderful report and pics. Congratulations to my dear brother Rev. Fr. Sunil DSouza for being the [b]Star of the Centenary[/b]. I just wanted to know, do we have a Meal Distribution(Annasantharpane) to the Poor or some similar programmme as part of the Centenary Feast Celebrations???
HEMPHIL DUBAI, UDUPI Mon, January-3-2011, 3:54
Cyril (Benny) Monis, Boliye/U.S.A. Mon, January-3-2011, 12:55
Thanks to all the priests and nuns of Belle. You are the main reason for the success of Belle parish; your prayer is the reason why Belle as a Parish is blessed so abundantly. Please keep us in your prayers. Also, thanks to my Mousi - Sr. Juliana Mathias A.C. for attending this function. Happy New Year and enjoy the Odlem Pesth. Cyril (Benny) Monis – Boliye/USA
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