Journey with St.Lawrence to the wards of Moodubelle Parish-IV

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Report by Dr. Eugene D’Souza

4. St. Isidore Ward

Moodubelle, 24 March 2010:

St. Isidore - The Patron Saint of the Ward: St. Isidore (1070-1130) was born to very poor but pious Catholic parents at Madrid in Spain. His parents were unable to support him when he was young and sent him to work for a wealthy landowner named John de Vergas for whom he worked for the rest of his life. Isidore married a very religious woman named Maria Torribia, who was also known as Maria de la Cabeza. She also like Isidore became a saint. They had one son who died unexpectedly as a child.

Being deeply religious, Isidore used to rise early to attend daily Mass. Known to pray while working in the fields, he spoke daily to his guardian angel and the saints. One day his fellow-labourers complained to their master that Isidore was always late for work in the morning. According to a legend, when his master investigated the complaint, he found that Isidore was still at prayer while an angel was ploughing the field for him. On another occasion, his master saw an angel ploughing on either side of him, so that Isidore’s work was equal to that of three of his fellow-labourers. Isidore is also said to have brought back to life his master’s dead daughter and believed to have caused a fountain of fresh water to burst from the dry earth in order to quench his master’s thirst.

St. Isidore

Isidore demonstrated his love of people and animals by many acts of kindness and mercy. He spent Sundays and holidays visiting the churches of Madrid and nearby towns. He offered food to those poorer than himself and often did not eat himself until they had finished. The miracle of the multiplication of food occurred when Isidore fed a flock of starving birds and on another occasion when Isidore shared his food with a large group of beggars.

Isidore died on 15th May 1130 at 60 years of age. Isidore was beatified in Rome on 2nd May 1619 by Pope Paul V. He was declared a saint three years later by Pope Gregory XV along with St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Francis Xavier and St. Phillip Neri on 12th March 1622. The feast of St. Isidore is celebrated on 15th May on the Roman calendar. St. Isidore is known as the patron of Madrid where he was born and died. He is also considered as the patron of farmers, peasants, day labourers and rural communities. Besides, he is the patron of the United States National Rural Life Conference.

About the Ward: St. Isidore Ward comprises of Kodangala, part of Thirlapalke, Periyettu and Hirebettu. Manipal lies to the north of St. Isidore Ward, St. Thomas I Ward is to the south, Kuntal Nagar parish boundary to the west and Fatima and St. John the Baptist II Wards to the east. St. Isidore ward is quite vast and the houses are spread over in clusters in different corners of the ward. The topography of the Ward is comprised of hills, valleys and forest land. Most of the families in St. Isidore Ward are hard working and industrious farmers. Hence, St. Isidore, the patron of farmers has been appropriately chosen as the patron saint of the Ward. There are 39 Catholic families residing in this Ward.

Mrs. Anita Mendonca-Gurkarn, Mrs. Cynthia Rebello-Representative

The Gurkarn of St. Isidore Ward is Mrs. Anita Mendonca. As the Gurkarn of the Ward, she is the ex-officio member of the Parish Pastoral Council and the Catholic Sabha of St. Lawrence Parish, Moodubelle. Since one and a half year, Mrs. Anita has been the advisor with the ICICI Prudential.

Mrs. Anita Mendonca is being assisted in the activities of St. Isidore Ward by the Ward Representative, Mrs. Cynthia Rebello who is also the member of the Parish Pastoral Council.

Fr. Maurice D’Souza

There have been two vocations in St. Isidore Ward. Fr. Maurice D’Souza (CSC), son of late Nicholas D’Souza and late Agatha Gaga was born in 1948. He joined the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1971. After the prescribed training he was ordained in 1977. Fr. Maurice D’Souza formerly served as financial treasurer and procurator for the Indian Province and later as the Provincial Superior of the Holy Cross Province of Southern India. Later, he joined Holy Cross Family Ministries to increase mission outreach in the Midwest area of the United States. He has a Masters degree in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame. Fr.Maurice D’Souza is putting his experience in ministry and his education to use to promote the family Rosary.

Sr. Hilda Mary Lobo (FMM)

Sr. Hilda Mary Lobo (FMM), also belonging to the same Ward is the daughter of Baptist and Christine Lobo, and presently serves in the North African country of Ethiopia.

Maxim D’Sa & Calist D’Sa

A number of residents of St. Isidore Ward have done well in their life and career.Mr. Wilfred D’Mello is a lawyer at Udupi. Mr. Elias D’Souza, son of Mr. Peter D’Souza was the past President of Bellevision (UAE) and his brother, Mr. Sigfred D’Souza has been the Webmaster of since its inception. Another member of the Ward, Mr. Felix D’Sa, son of late Thomas and Florine D’Sa runs the business of catering. His brother, Mr. Calisth D’Sa, though visually handicapped had done MA in Sociology in St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai and after teaching for three years in one of the Colleges and SNDT University in Mumbai as visiting lecturer is presently the Principal of Roman And Catherine Lobo School for the Blind in Mangalore. Mr. Maxim D’Sa, son of Mr. Felix D’Sa runs the Primax Service Centre at Moodubelle which deals with computers and air and train ticketing service.

Elias D’Souza & Sigfred D’Souza

Visit of St. Lawrence to the Ward: The Pilgrim Statue of St. Lawrence was welcomed by 52 members of St. Isidore Ward from St. John the Baptist II Ward at the border of both the Wards on Sunday, 14th March 2010 at 5.15 pm and was taken in procession to the residence of the Gurkarn, Mrs. Anita Mendonca where Fr. Joswey Fernandes conducted the prayer service. He also blessed eight houses on the same day in the neighbourhood.

On Monday, 15th March, the statue of St. Lawrence was taken to other houses before being rested at the residence of Mrs. Florine D’Sa where Fr. Maxim D’Souza offered Mass for the sick and elderly in the evening. Following the Mass, Ward Day (Vadyacho Dhees) was observed in which nearly 150 members including some guests from other Wards and non-Christians participated. Fr. Joswey Fernandes, the Parish Priest was present for this function and blessed the newly constructed kitchen for catering of Mr. Felix D’Sa. Those students who had passed the Diocesan Catechism examination with distinction were felicitated by giving them gifts. Elders of the ward who are above 70 years of age were honoured by offering them flowers. The sponsor of firecrackers, Mr. Charles D’Souza and Mr. Felix D’Sa, who sponsored the dinner were also felicitated at the programme. Children presented dances, songs and skits to entertain the gathering. Earlier, Mrs. Anita Mendonca welcomed the guests and the members and Mr. Maxim D’Sa compeered the programme. Mr. Henry Fernandes, Vice President of Paris Pastoral Council and Sisters from Loretto Convent were also present for the programme.

On Tuesday, 16th March, the statue of St. Lawrence was taken to other houses in the vicinity and rested at the residence of Mr. Gerald Mendonca. On Wednesday, 17th March, the statue was taken in procession covering a period of around 45 minutes across the hill to the residence of Mrs. Cynthia Rebello. Among those who walked through the steep and difficult hilly path was 77 years old Mrs. Celestine D’Souza. On Thursday, 18th March after moving from one house to the other, the statue was kept in the house of Mr. Charles D’Souza, brother of Fr. Maurice.

On Friday, 19th March, the Pilgrim statue of St. Lawrence was taken to the cluster of six houses at Periyettu, a distance of about nine kilometres. As it is a long distance, some of the members travelled by rickshaws and bikes. After taking the statue to all the six houses and offering prayers, it was brought back to Moodubelle by the road via Gundu Paade and proceeding further to Nellikatte was rested at the residence of Mr. Dominic Fernandes.

On Saturday, 20th March the statue was taken to the house of Mr. Peter D’Souza where novena and centenary prayers were offered along with Rosary and hymns. On Sunday, 21st March, at around 4.30 pm St. Isidore Ward members began to gather at the house of Mr. Peter D’Souza. After reciting prayers and singing hymns the statue of St. Lawrence was taken in procession to Nellikatte to the accompaniment of bursting of fire crackers. Nearly 65 members of the Ward participated in the procession. At Nellikatte, at around 5.15 pm Mrs. Anita Mendonca, the Gurkarn of St. Isidore Ward handed over the statue of St. Lawrence to Mrs. Anitha Alva, the Gurkarn of St. Thomas I Ward who had come there along with 75 of her Ward members.

Mrs. Anita Mendonca expressed satisfaction at the successful journey of St. Lawrence in St. Isidore Ward. She said that though the area of the Ward is quite vast and people had to walk long distances through hills and valleys, they fully cooperated with this journey and attended prayers, Mass and Ward Day programme in large numbers.


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Comments on this Article
Victor D Souza, Moodubelle / Doha Wed, March-24-2010, 3:49
From the life of each Saints we can learn so many things. In this article we can see that St. Isidore was a simple, hard working, honest person who truly served God and always found time for God. Even today we can see some people even though they are busy with their work they still make time for the service of others and for the service of God. Thank you Dr. Eugene for the wonderful article.
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