Udupi: Stella Maris Parish, Kalmady celebrates annual feast

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Report by Dr. Eugene D’Souza and Sanjay Andrade
Pictures by Eugene
Bellevision Media Network

Kalmady, 07 February 2010: The annual feast of the Stella Maris (Star of the Sea)parish, Kalmady was celebrated on Sunday, 7th February 2010. Most probably  this is the only parish in the Mangalore Diocese that celebrates annual parish feast on Saturday and Sunday during the last week of January or first week of February every year.

This year, the chief celebrant of the solemn feast Mass was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Mathew Vaz, the parish priest of Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Udupi and Dean of the Udupi  Deanery. In his homily, Fr. Mathew elaborated the theme of this year’s annual feast, “Do whatever He tells you” by giving examples from the Bible.

Following the feast Mass, Fr. Mathew released the  Parish Directory. Fr. Maxim Misquith S.J., the parish priest of the Stella Maris Church wished all the parishioners a happy feast and thanked all the associations and persons who helped in the successful conduct of the annual feast.
Prior to the feast Mass, Fr. Maxim distributed candles of honour to the office bearers of the Parish Pastoral Council, Gurkars and donors. The church and the shrine of Our Lady of Vailankani were elegantly decorated with fresh flowers. The choir added solemnity and colour to the feast Mass with their melodious singing.

The vespers on the eve of the annual feast was celebrated on  Saturday, 6th February 2010 at 5.30 pm.  Fr. Noel D’Almeida(OFM) Director of the Assisi Press, Mangalore was the chief celebrant. Vespers being the celebration of the Word of God, following the readings from the Old and New Testament, Fr. Noel  in  his powerful homily emphasized on the importance of silence and the need to listen, especially the word of God. Narrating the first miracle that Jesus performed in the wedding at Kana, Fr. Noel related the incidents from the Gospel to the modern situations in families in particular and society in general.

After the homily, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed for adoration and was followed by the solemn Eucharistic procession through the road for about one kilometer. The parishioners with lighted candles walked singing hymns and reciting prayers. The band from Malpe played some of the best tunes of the Marian hymns. After the people returned to the church following the procession, the Sacramental blessing was given.
The end of the Vespers was followed by  colourful and exciting fireworks.

The parish of Stella Maris is a relatively small and new parish at Kalmady between the picturesque Malpe beach and Udupi. For the benefit of the Catholic people living in this area, a chapel was constructed  and blessed  on 5th February 1972 at Kalmady because of the efforts of late Rev. Fr. Charles D’Souza.  With the installation of the statue of Our Lady of Vailankani on 15th August 1988 under the leadership of  Fr. Denis Castelino, the Chapel at Kalmady became an important pilgrimage  centre in the entire Mangalore Diocese. The chapel was  elevated to a full-fledged church and  parish on 1st January 1991  by carving out certain portion from the parish of Our Lady of Sorrows, Udupi and St. Anne’s Parish Thottam and Fr. Denis Castelino was appointed as the first parish priest of the Stella Maris parish.

After being constituted as a parish, the Stella Maris church has undergone expansion under  successive parish priests.  Presently, there are only five Wards and 99 families in the parish. The present parish priest, Fr. Maxim Misquith S.J. is young and dynamic.  Under his leadership, the parish council office bearers-Louis Lobo, the Vice President, Franklin Menezes, the Secretary and the members with the cooperation of the entire parish community have taken up the task of providing facilities to the parishioners and the pilgrims. The church has been extended on both sides and the ground is extended and paved with interlocking bricks. An open air stage  was inaugurated recently providing facilities for the parishioners to organize cultural functions. The proposed next phase of extension include construction of a new shrine for Our Lady of Vailankani and a cemetery which has been a long felt need by the parishioners of Kalmady.


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Comments on this Article
Clifford Fernandes, Thottam-Kalmady / Mira Road Mumbai Wed, February-10-2010, 4:41
Thanx to bellevision the team for the wonderful coverage of the feast. Belated wishes to all the parishioners
Flora D souza, Kalmady - Jerimeri (Mumbai) Tue, February-9-2010, 2:41
Beleated Vhodlem fest wishes to all Kalmadians. Hearty Congratulations to the Parish Priest. Nice to see you all by colourful photos.
Roshan D mello, Kidiyoor Mon, February-8-2010, 5:52
This is the first year I missed our parish feast as I was at Mumbai. Nice pics of the feast.
Sylvester Alva, Moodubelle/Kidiyoor/Muscat Mon, February-8-2010, 4:55
Thank you Bellevision, Dr Eugene Mr. Sanjay for publishing the report so quickly. Nice pictures too. Wishing Fr. Maxim and all the Kalmady parishioners a happy feast.
Joy D Souza, Udupi Mon, February-8-2010, 3:13
Thank you bellevision for publishing the report so quickly.
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