Journey With St.Lawrence to the Wards of Moodubelle Parish-V

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Report by Dr. Eugene Dsouza, Moodubelle
Pictures by Anil Alva
Bellevision Media Network

5. St. Thomas I Ward

Moodubelle, 07 April 2010:
St. Thomas the Apostle:
The patron saint of this Ward, St. Thomas, one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus and a dedicated follower. St. Thomas is prominent in the Syriac tradition. He is mentioned in all four Gospels of the New Testament. In the Gospel of St. John, he appears in three episodes, namely offering to die with Jesus on His way to Bethany, interrupting the last discourse with his question, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, and how can we know the way’ and, lastly, doubting the Resurrection unless he touched the wounds of the Risen Lord. After Christ’s appearance he confesses his faith in the words, ’My Lord and my God’ and is thus the first to confess the divinity of Jesus.

Tradition says that at the dispersal of the Apostles after Pentecost, St. Thomas was sent to spread the Gospel among the Parthians, Medes and Persians. According to the 3rd century Acts of Thomas, the first Christians in India were converted by St. Thomas the Apostle, who arrived at Kodungallur (Cranganore), the capital of the then Chera Empire on the Malabar Coast of India in 52 AD. Persians, Greeks and Romans found Kodungaloor as an important centre for their trade. St. Thomas preached the gospel wherever he went, and founded churches.

It is also important to note that the first Christian baptisms in India were performed by St. Thomas. The Syrian Malabar Nasrani people are an ethnic community in Kerala. Their tradition goes back to the very beginnings of first century Christian faith and the seven churches established by St. Thomas the Apostle. Malabar still has a large native population calling themselves ‘Christians of St. Thomas’. St. Thomas was put to death (martyred) in 72AD for spreading the teachings of Christ at Mylapore near Chennai in Tamilnadu. It is believed that his body was transferred to Edessa in the 4th century.

In the Roman Catholic Church the traditional feast day in honour of St. Thomas is December 21. However, in 1970, in order that it would no longer interfere with the days of Advent, his feast was moved to July 3, the day on which his relics were transferred from Mylapore, a place along the coast of the Marina Beach, Chennai in India to the city of Edessa in Mesopotamia (Iraq).

About the Ward I:
St. Thomas Ward I comprises of Tabail, Kandiga, Kamerettu, part of Thirlapalke and Gandhi Nagar. It extends up to Nellikatte towards the west, Red Hill Junction towards the east, Moodubelle-Udupi Main Road towards the north and St. Thomas II Ward towards the south. There are 48 families in St. Thomas I Ward.

There had been a number of vocations for religious life in St. Thomas I Ward. Br. Philip Noronha son of late Joseph and Santana Noronha serves in St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore as Registrar and Hostel Warden. Dn. Valerian Castelino (CSC), son of late Victor and Veronica Castelino studies in Pune. He will be ordained a priest in the month of May. Fr. Vijay Machado, son of William and Cecil Machado is a diocesan priest. Bro. Melwyl Roy Lobo son of Mark and Lavina Lobo is a student of Philosophy at St Joseph’s Seminary for the Diocese of Mangalore.

Br.Melwyl Roy Lobo, Br.Valerian Castelino, Br. Philip Noronha

St. Thomas I Ward has produced a number of eminent persons. Mr. Simon Noronha of Thirlapalke is a reputed and successful businessman in Dubai. He along with his wife Juliana and elder son Snjoy manage the Rainbow Pre Press and Pearl Printing Press in Dubai. Simon has been a generous philanthropist who has contributed considerable amount to the Moodubelle Church when it was being rebuilt and also to the educational institutions run by the Parish. Mr. Simon had the distinction of laying the foundation stone of St. Lawrence English Medium School in Moodubelle.

Simon Noronha and Godwin D’Souza

Mr. Godwin D’Souza, son of Lawrence and Irene D’Souza of Kandiga is the present Secretary of Bellevision (UAE). He has been a very good singer from his childhood and was an integral part of the Parish Choir at Moodubelle.  Godwin was the Secretary of the Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM) while he was in college. Even after shifting to Dubai, Godwin continued his interest in singing ad participated in the singing competition conducted by the Gulf Voice of Mangalore in Dubai and emerged as the semi finalist. He also presented songs during the programme of the Old Students’ Day held on December 30, 2009 as part of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of St. Lawrence High School, Moodubelle.

Mr. Gilbert Menezes of Thota-Tabail is an architect and is a successful businessman. His company ‘Alida Global’ in Dubai provides solutions to interior designing. His brother Mr. Melvyn Menezes was a rank holder in MA (Political Science) Mangalore University – Year 2000.

Gilbert Menezes and Melvyn Menezes

Mr. Mark D’Souza, son of Raymond and Magdalene D’Souza of Kandiga is a successful building contractor in Moodubelle and surrounding regions.

Mrs. Anita Alva is the Gurkarn of St. Thomas I Ward. She is the member of the Parish Pastoral Council, member of the Parish Finance Committee and Catholic Sabha. She was former president of the Parish Choir. Being a good singer, Anita was also a member of the Human Bondage Orchestra Group. Previously Mrs. Anita had been teaching short hand and type writing in St. Lawrence Composite PU College, Moodubelle for 4 years. She is also the ex-president of the Catholic Women’s Council (Stree Sanghatana).

Anita Alva - Gurkarn

Prima D’Souza and Regina D’Souza - Ward Representatives

Mrs. Anita Alva is assisted by two efficient Ward Representatives- Prima D’Souza and Regina D’Souza. Prima D’Souza manages flower dealership.

Visit of St. Lawrence to the Ward: On Sunday 21st March 2010, in the evening at 5.00p.m. around 60 people of St. Isidore ward brought the Statue of St. Lawrence in a solemn procession with singing and burst of crackers and handed over to the Gurkarn of St Thomas Ward I, Mrs. Anita Alva who had led a procession of around 70 members from her Ward to Nellikatte to receive St. Lawrence. Thereafter the statue was brought in procession by the members of both the Wards to Mrs. Anita’s residence.

Fr. Joswey Fernandes, the Parish Priest conducted the prayer service. As 21st March was the birthday of Anora, Mrs. Anita’s daughter, she cut the cake and every one wished Anora by singing ‘Happy birthday’ song. Light refreshment was served to the members of both St. Isidore and St. Thomas I Ward members who had assembled at Mrs. Anita’s residence on this occasion.

During the week, the statue of St. Lawrence was taken to each and every house of the ward and prayer sessions were held. On Monday, 22nd March 2010, the statue was taken to the house of Frederick Alva from the house of Mrs. Anita. On 23rd March to the house of Ligory D’Souza, 24th March-Janet Crasta. On 25th and 26th March, the statue was kept at the residence of Mark D’Souza where Mass was celebrated for the sick and the aged by Fr Paul Sequeira and confessions were heard and communion to the sick was given. On Saturday, 27th March the statue of St. Lawrence was taken to Mrs. Angeline Lobo’s house. After the prayer meeting a simple meal was served to all the people of the Ward.

Fr. Joswey Fernandes blessed the houses of the Ward on different days with the help of Peter Lobo.

As the week beginning with Sunday, 28th March 2010 happened to be the Holy Week, the statue of St. Lawrence could not be taken to Christ the King Ward. Hence, the statue was rested at the residence of Mrs. Angeline Lobo for a week till Easter Sunday on 4th April 2010 and was received by the members of Christ the King on that day at 5pm.


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Comments on this Article
Victor D Souza, Moodubelle / Doha Wed, April-7-2010, 3:34
Nice to read about St. Thomas the Apostle and also about the Ward. Many thanks Dr. Eugene and Mr. Anil.
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