- daijiworld.com

Udupi, Jan 31, 2015 : The centenary celebrations of Our Lady of Health Church, Shirva came to a grand close at the Church grounds here on Saturday January 31, with home minister K J George in attendace.

The day began with a thanksgiving Eucharistic mass in the morning led by Mangaluru bishop Dr Aloysius Paul D'Souza, and ended with a fitting formal stage programme to mark the grand finale.

Home minister K J George in his address said, "I never thought I would even become an MLA in my lifetime, but with the support of my seniors in the party, I am a minister today. As a Catholic I say that due to god's blessings I have reached this stage.

"I believe in my community. Today Catholic priests and nuns are rendering service in different fields without expecting anything in return. Because of them, we Catholics are being recognized everywhere," he added.

Urging people to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, he said, "Jesus Christ was born in a hut. He sacrified his life for our sins. We have to follow in his way to serve the people. We have to love and give respect to people of other communities and their holy books. Then they too will do the same for us in return."

He further added, "We see Udupi and Mangaluru twin districts as one. I had visited Shirva when I was a Youth Congress president. As politicians we require prayers and blessings of god to serve the people in a better way."

Udupi bishop Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo in his presidential address said, "Today Shirva Church has completed 100 years, and it is not only because of the help and support of Catholics but also non-Catholics. People of all communities have contributed in the making of 100 years of this church.

"A live example of brotherhood was on the Horekanike day on Friday January 29 when, more than Catholics, the non-Catholics brought offerings and served nearly 3,000 people with snacks," he said.

Lauding the strong educational foundation that Shirva Church has laid by establishing several instituions, the bishop said, "In the six institutions established by Shirva Church, there are 2,567 students from LKG to post-graduates, and 137 teaching and non-teaching staff who render their services by moulding better citizens. The students in the six institutions have been receiving value-based education and making their alma mater as well as Shirva proud year after year.

"Our Lady of Health Church was a light that started burning 300 years ago. Since there nearly 10 to 12 churches have come up, for which this church is the parent church," he said.

Rajya Sabha MP Oscar Fernandes wished all parishioners on the occasion of the centenary celebrations and said, "People of Shirva got the opportunity to have two colleges at a time. In all the dioceses I have visited in India, I have seen at least one priest, a nun or a bishop who is from Shirva. I urge the parish priest and correspondent of the educational institutions to start working on establishing a university here. We will all join hands and make it happen."

Udupi district incharge minister Vinay Kumar Sorake recalled his school and college days and said that many of teachers and principals he studied under were basically from Shirva. "This itself shows the contribution of Shirva people to society," he said.

"The Karnataka state government has already released Rs 10 lac for the development works of Shirva Church. We will also work on the funds for the second phase of the works," he added.

He also lauded the Catholic community for its contribution in the field of education and said, "If today I have reached a certain level in life, it is because of Catholic institutions which gave me value-based education."

Sorake also released the centernary souvenir on the occasion.

Former MLA Lalaji R Mendon and Msgr Baptist Menezes also spoke on the occasion.

Fr Stany Tauro welcomed the gathering, William Machado proposed the vote of thanks and Gilbert Pinto compered the programme.

Students of Don Bosco rendered a prayer song and welcomed the dignitaries with a dance.

After the stage programme, Tulu play 'Elerege Padlochi' enthralled the crowd.

Blossom Fernandes, Hasanabba Sheikh, president, Shirva gram panchayat, Ida Gibba D’Souza, member, Udupi zIlla panchayat, Krishna Poojary, member, taluk panchayat, Udupi, Fr Stany Tauro, parish priest of Our Lady of Health Church, Shirva, Wilson D’Souza, parish pastoral committee vice-president, and William Machado, secretary were present on the occasion.

Morning celebrations

Earlier in the day, Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, bishop of Mangaluru diocese celebrated the thanksgiving Eucharistic mass, with Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, bishop of Udupi, Antony Fernandes, retired bishop of Bareilly, Dr Pius D’Souza, bishop of Ajmer, Msgr Baptist Menezes, Fr Stany Tauro, parish priest, Fr Richard Coelho, administrator, Father Muller Hospital, Fr Wilson D’Souza, Fr Gerald D’Mello, Fr Anil Castelino, priests from Udupi and others dioceses as concelebrants.

Dr Gerald Lobo in his homily spoke on genesis and why He chose Mother Mary and sent his Son Jesus Christ to earth. "Throught Jesus, God carried out his mission. Later, to carry forward this mission, Jesus Christ chosen 12 apostles, and founded the Holy Catholic Church, Holy Eucharistic and Sacrament," he said.

Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo presided over the felicitation ceremony held after the Eucharistic mass.

Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza Dr Antony Fernandes, Dr Pius D’Souza, Msgr Baptist Menezes, Fr Pedro Camilo Simoes, provincial, Pallottines Community, Fr Stany Tauro, parish priest and dean of Shirva deanery, Oscar and Blossom Fernandes, Wilson D’Souza, parish pastoral vice-president, and William Machado, secretary were present on the occasion.

On the occasion Fr Valerian Pinto and Fr Richard Coelho were felicitated for their service as parish priests of Shirva. Fr Stany Tauro was also honoured.

Also, former priests, vice-presidents, secretaries and sponsors were also felicitated.

Dr Gerald Lobo felicitated the bishop Dr Pius of Ajmer diocese, Fr Pedro Camilo Simoes, Dr Aloysius D’Souza, bishop of Mangalore, and Msgr Dr Baptist Menezes.

Dr Aloysius D’Souza appreciated the parish priest and the parishioners for the wonderful support, love and care shown towards him. "Because of Saud Mai's (Our Lady of Health) blessings we have susscefully completed 100 years and in those 100 years many development works have taken place. We should look back and thank God, look inside and feel Him, look around and meet Him and look forward and seek His blessings."

Fr Stany Tauro felicitated Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo on the occasion

In his presidential speech Dr Gerald congratulated all the parishioners. He recalled his four year tenure as assistant parish priest of Shirva parish and said, "Today we are celebrating 100 years of this church. If development works have taken place, it is because of the parishioners who are the main source of everything, and more importantly, it is because of Saud Mai's blessings on us."

Msgr Baptist Menezes blessed the fellowship meal. Nearly 12,000 devotees from in and around Shirva partook in the fellowship meal.

Fr Stany Tauro welcomed the gathering, Wilson D’Souza proposed the vote of thanks. Grynal Shirva compered the programme... read full story ...


Read more about Shirva Parish at www.ourladyofhealth.com

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