Thousands of people witness celebrations as Mangalore diocese turns 125

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  • Over 25 bishops, archbishops, cardinal, hundreds of priests, nuns take part in grand finale


Mangalore, 12 February 2012: Apostolic Nuncio in India, the Secretary for Congregation for the Evangalization of peoples at Vatican, more than 25 Bishops and Arch Bishops, over 300 priests, hundreds of nuns and nearly 50,000 people and one celebration... Perhaps, there could not have been a better grand finale to the post centenary silver jubilee celebrations of the formation of Mangalore diocese.


Addressing the oceanic crowd at Nehru Maidan on Sunday evening, Archbishop of Bombay Most Rev Cardinal Oswald Gracias, who is also the president of Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI), said that the nation as well as world is facing a lot of problems because man has become selfish and God has not been given a place in the society. “Give a place to Jesus and the problems will be solved,” he said and re-iterated that the Church is committed to work for the welfare of the poor, upliftment of downtrodden, provide healthcare to the sick and education to the poor.


Lauding the efforts of Mangalore diocese for taking up many novel projects, the Cardinal said that the nation as well as the universe is proud of Mangalore diocese. He also hoped that the Mangalore diocese would scale new heights by the time it is ready for 150 years of celebrations.


Presiding over the programme, Most Rev Salvatore Pennacchio, the Apostolic Nuncio in India, lauded the efforts of Mangalore diocese in starting medical college, engineering college, educational institutions and other projects, and hoped that the diocese would continue to work for the welfare of the needy.


Earlier, Most Rev Savio Hon Tai-Fai, the Archbishop and Secretary for Congregation for the Evangalisation of Peoples (Vatican), said that he could testify that Jesus is amidst the people (referring to the huge crowd). Terming the 125 years celebrations as a huge ‘success,’ he said “success is a journey and its not a destination.”


CM promises help



Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, one of the guests, addressing the gathering, re-iterated that the State government would provide a sum of Rs 50 crore for the welfare of the Christians.


Stating that the Rs 50 crore is only the “initial” contribution, the chief minister promised to allocate more funds in the budget. He also said that he is lucky to be the CM at a juncture when the Mangalore diocese is celebrating 125 years of its existence.


Union Minister for Corporate Affairs M Veerappa Moily thanked the diocese for producing a number of bishops, archbishops, priests and nuns. “Wherever I go, be it North India or South India, I find a priest working for the poor,” he said.Hailing the contribution of parish priests in development of villages, he remembered contribution made by Christians in  field of education, health and social service.


24 bishops feted


Earlier, Archbishop Most Rev Savio Hon Tai-Fai felicitated 24 bishops and archbishops who had come from different parts of the country to take part in the 125 years celebrations. They included Delhi Archbishop Vincent Consesso (Puttur), Bangalore Archbishop Bernard Moras (native of Kuppepadav), Patna Archbishop William D’Souza (Ammembal), Shimoga Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo (Agrar), Bellary Bishop Henry D’Souza (Kinnigoli), Gulbarga Bishop Robert Miranda (Kinnigoli) and Allahabad Bishop Isidore Fernandes (Kalathur).


The Mangalore diocese has produced a total of 42 Bishops out of which 12 have passed away and the rest are either retired or serving in various dioceses.Prior to the stage programme, there was a grand eucharistic celebration and the main celebrants included Most Rev Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Most Rev Salvatore Pennacchio, Most Rev Savio Hon Tai-Fai, Most Rev Bernard Moras and Mangalore Bishop Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza.


Grand cultural programme


Soon after the programme, ‘Chaithanyodaya,’ a dance, drama accompanied with visuals was performed by 300 artistes which introduced the rich history of the diocese. The ballet depicted the birth, growth and future of Mangalore diocese. 


The play began with the history of creation, birth of Jesus, his preachings and disciples. More focus was given to St Thomas, the disciple of Jesus who came to India. It was followed by other important incidents that happened from the 1st to the 16th century, arrival of St Francis Xavier to India which was followed by the migration of Christians from Goa to Canara. The play also emphasised on the integration of Catholics with the local culture with a dance on celebartion of Monthi fest and the persecution of Christians in Srirangapatna by Tippu Sultan.


Towards the end, the play depicted the formation of Mangalore Diocese in 1887, the first Bishop Pagani and various milestones achieved by the diocese. As many as 300 artistes from Alva’s College, Fr Mullers, St Joseph Seminary, St Antony’s ashram and White Doves practised for the play for nearly a month.



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