- Media Release

Mangalore, Apr 24, 2009 : ‘Cordelcho Frad Saib’, a Konkani play on the life of French missionary Fr Alexander Dubois (Frad Saib) was staged at Holy Cross parish grounds, Kulshekar, on Thursday April 23.

Bangalore Christ University international affairs director Dr J W Lobo was the chief guest on the occasion.

Dean of studies of St Joseph’s Inter-diocesan Seminary Fr Ronald Serrao was the guest of honour.

Dr Lobo, speaking on the occasion, said that Frad Saib’s uncle Fr John Dubois had witnessed Tipu’s persecution of Christians and Frad Saib was inspired by his uncle’s missionary zeal to come to Mangalore and carry on the missionary work.

Fr John Dubois had built a make shift church at Ganjama near Srirangapattana for the few surviving Christians till Tipu’s death. The D’Silva family at Shaktinagar and the Pinto family of Niddel, both in Cordel, survived the door-to-door search for Christians by Tipu’s soldiers while thousands of others were led to Srirangapattana in the late 18th century.

The survivors supported Frad Saib in his mission to revive the faith among those who were later freed from Tipu’s captivity.

Bennet D’Silva, corporator Bhaskar, parish council secretary George D’Souza, drama convener Sushil Noronha, Cordel Holy Cross parish priest Fr Valerian Pinto, assistant parish priests Fr Vincent Saldanha, Fr Arun Lobo and Fr Victor Vas were present on the dais.

Playwright Fr Ronald Serrao, directors Fr Vincent Saldanha and Fr Arun Lobo were felicitated.

The play depicts the persona and religious vigor of Frad Saib, his commitment to uplift the poor and downtrodden regardless of caste, creed, and religion. He wore the cassocks of the Carmelite Order and served as parish priest of Milagres from 1865 to 1877 at a time when there were only two churches, Milagres and Rosario Cathedral in the entire taluk here.

Many stages were set up at the venue with the backdrop of Fr Saib’s house in France, a replica of Bishop’s House, Milagres Church, and Holy Cross Church. Over 200 artistes strived to project their best performance that brought thundering applauses from spectators. It was indeed successful in depicting the missionary struggles of Frad Saib before the new generation of faithful.

The musical troupes of Simon Pais Bajal and Ashley Kulshekar provided the music. The stage was set by Alwyn Bajal, lighting was by Ben’s Electricals, Aanson Sounds Kulshekar provided the sound systems. Giriappa Idya was the make-up artiste and the dances were choreographed by Merlyn Fernandes and Shalini D’Souza.

George D’Souza welcomed the gathering while Victor Vaz proposed the vote of thanks. Lita Rasquinha compered the programme.

Over 3000 spectators were present to witness the historical play.

About Holy Cross Church, Cordel

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