- Daijiworld.com

Mangalore, Feb 11, 2012 : The grand finale, the first day of the two-day post centenary silver jubilee celebrations of the Mangalore Diocese took off on a erential note with the Eucharistic Celebration on the Rosario Cathedral open Grounds on Saturday February 11.

The day first of the celebration was known as the “Day of the Laity, Religious and Clergy” and all the three groups attended the Eucharistic Celebration in large numbers to celebrate the theme “Your own sons will be your ministers of Salvation”.

The celebration was presided over by Dr Savio Hon Tai-Fai, SDB, Secretary, Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples Vatican, Rome, Cardinal Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai, about 22 bishops and a galaxy of 424 priests representing the clergy and the religious category. People of the diocese also attended the celebrations in a large numbers making it a grand celebration befitting the 125 anniversary of Mangalore diocese. The Eucharistic Celebration was held in the open grounds of Rosario Cathedral.

Dr Savio Hon Tai-Fai led the procession of the Cardinal, the Archbishop, the Bishops and the priests to the dais to commence the Eucharistic Celebration of the mass. In his sermon Dr Savio talked about light and beauty with reference to salvation, the theme of the celebration.

The mass was followed by a stage programme which witnessed a series of felicitations followed by a rich doze of cultural programmes. The stage programme was presided over by Dr Savio Hon Tai-Fai with Oswald Cardinal gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai as the chief guest. Dr Bernard Moras, Dr V S Acharya and Oscar Fernandes were the guests of honour.

It was a unique programme where recognition was accorded to those who qualified for it in different categories instituted on this occasion. Dr Bernard Moras, Archbishop of Bangalore, felicitated 12 Superiror Generals, both past and present, of various congregations. The parents or family members of those who have given their all children for religious life were felicitated by Oscar Fernandes, (MP). This included sub-categories like one child one vacation and all children to religious vacation. Families who have highest vacations with 5 children and above in the service of god were felicitate by Dr Savio Tai-Fai. There were as many as 19 families who were honoured in this category. Four persons who are above the age of 100 years were also feliciated by Oscar Fernandes. Then there was the category of married couples (10 couple) leading a marital life for 65 years and above who were honoured by Bishop of Mangalore Aloysius Paul D Souza. Fr Walter Albuquerque was honoured for his contribution to lithurgical music. Oswald Cardinal Gracias also felicitated 5 individuals namely Maria Margaret D Sa, Louis Mendonca Octavia Albuquerque, Chev Clarence Pais and Msgr Edwin Pinto who had received the papal order from time to time.

In his presidential address Dr Savio talked about the importance of wisdom, truth, openness and integrity in all walks of life. He congratulated Mangalore diocese for its vital contribution in the service of god and the society. Chief Guest Oswald Cardinal Gracias said the only way we can evaluate the performance of the diocese in the last 125 years through the number of vocations the diocese has given. “These vocations have benefitted not only Indians but also the people of the entire world by giving salvation. The diocese also has contributed to the social and economic welfare of this district and through that to the overall progress of the nation”, he said.

Bishop of Mangalore Aloysius Paul D Souza who welcomed the gathering pointed out that Mangalore is rightly called as the Rome of India considering the contribution of the diocese in the service of god. He also said that through its immense contribution the diocese has shown that they have become ministers of salvation in the true sense.

He further added that “our forefathers have contributed to the social and economic welfare of the land by putting a sturdy foundation and today we are celebrating the futility of their hard work”. He called upon the diocese to continue the good work it has started and emerge as the powerhouse of the church.

Archbishop Dr Bernard Moras congratulated the clergy, the laity and the religious people of the diocese for their contribution in bringing international name and fame. “Our ancestors have done a wonderful job by putting a strong foundation for our religious faith in this part of the land. This diocese is a cradle of vocations, the one which has contributed 42 bishops to the community and has put a strong foundation for our religious beliefs” Dr Bernard Moras stated. Arch Bishop also pointed out that the work of the Mangalore diocese in Bidar should be written in golden letters in its history and recalled the efforts of late Bishop Bazil D Souza in creating Bidar diocese.

Dr V S Acharya, Miniser for Higher Education, Government of Karnataka pointed out that it is our duty to remember the contribution of the diocese to the religious, social and economic progress of this coastal region and he has come to express gratitude on behalf of the government. He said it is a matter of pride for all of us that diocese activities have brought about national and international fame to the diocese. His government, he said had realized that minorities especially Catholics were not getting any centralized attention they deserve. Having realized this, he said his government has released Rs 50 crores for the welfare and development of Christians.

Oscar Fernandes in his message to the public recalled “it is our duty to remember the services rendered by the diocese for the welfare of the society in general thus taking its name and fame beyond the frontiers of the country. He said “constant efforts and hard work is needed for the growth of an organization. Due to the hard work, perspiration and sacrifice the diocese has put a strong foundation for the religious faith of the Catholics. He also commended the contributions of our educational institutions and our health care centers in the service of the society saying “we are what we are because of these institutions”.

The stage programme was followed by cultural extravaganza presented by the members Mandd Sobhann. About 250 artistes performed on the stage giving the public a glimpse of the evolution of Konkani language, Konkani culture, our songs, theatre and drama over the years.

Sushil Noronha, Secretary of the Diocesan Post Centenary Silver Jubilee Celebrations proposed a vote of thanks. Vincent Alva and Trishna Pinto compered the programme.

On Sunday February 12, 'day of thanksgiving' will be observed on the theme 'Be Witness to Jesus, Build the Kingdom of God' at Nehru Maidan at 4 pm... read full story ...

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