Mangalore Christian Council turns 50
With an aim to bring Catholic and Protestant leaders on a common platform, an ecumenical movement called Mangalore Christian Council (MCC) was started 50 years ago by St Jospeh Seminary Professor Fr Agnoletto, jointly with the then General Secretary of YMCA V T Cherian.
Today, MCC which has membership from the various Christian denominations in Mangalore, celebrated its golden jubilee at Bishop Jathanna Auditorium of Karnataka Theological College on Thursday.
“Mangalore Christian community is educated, but sadly the faith is still weak. There is a need to understand the differences between Christian denominations, to understand each other better. St Paul says that a church is a body of Christ and each part plays a key role. Similarly, in spite of existence of denominations, there is a need to be united and become one church,” said Karnataka United Forum for Human Rights Secretary Fr Ronnie Prabhu SJ.
“Change is common and in the past 50 years, one has seen different changes in the Christian churches. However, MCC has played a major role in uniting CSI and Catholic church. There is a need to continue this legacy and unite various other Christian denominations,” said CSI Bishop Dr John S Sadananda.
Mangalore Bishop Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D'Souza suggested that one needs to respect and understand the unity in diversity between various Christian denominations. “We should not deter to share our ideas, beliefs and strengthen bonds. There is a need to come together more often to interact and hence enhance relationships,” he said.
“Earlier for a Christian to enter a CSI church was a taboo. There was an atmosphere of hostility. Thanks to MCC, there is friendship and cordiality between Christian denominations,” said Bishop D'Souza.
The pioneers and stalwarts who served Mangalore Christian Community in different capacities during the last 50 years were felicitated. The people who were honoured include CSI former Bishop Dr C L Furtado, veteran musician F M Lobo, Rev Dr John Fernandes, Paul Varghese, Judith Mascarenhas, Sydney Salins, Dr Khoshy, Asha Maben, Rev Dr Victor Machado, Rev Dr Lawrence Mendonca, Rev Fr Stany Miranda SJ, Rev Fr Ronnie Prabhu SJ, Rev Fr Denis D'Sa and T R D Andrews.
A book, ‘A brief History of the Mangalore Christian Council’ was jointly released by the Rector of Karnataka Theological College (Balmatta) Rev Hannibal Cabral and Rector of St Joseph's Seminary (Jeppu) Rev Fr Joseph Martis.
A cultural programme highlighting the theme of unity and solidarity within the community was presented.