The St Antony’s Ashram at Jeppu, one of the oldest Ashrams in Mangaluru, will have a state-of-the-art wing for mentally challenged, to mark the 120 years of the Ashram.
Informing the same to reporters here on Wednesday, Ashram director Fr Onil D’Souza said that the foundation stone for the 100-bed wing will be laid on June 13, when the Ashram was established in 1898. Of the 100 beds, 50 will be reserved for men and 50 for women.
Novena from today
Stating that the Tredecina (13 days’ Novena) would begin on May 31, preparing for the annual feast on June 13, Fr D’Souza said the devotion will be held at 11 am for 13 days at Jeppu Ashram, which would comprise rosary, adoration, holy mass and Novena.
However, as an immediate preparation for the feast, Tridum (3 days) will be held at 6 pm at Milagres Church. It will start with flag hoisting on June 10 at 5.30 pm.
Fest on June 12
Bishop Emeritus of Bengaluru Most Rev Dr Bernard Moras will be the main celebrant of the holy mass on June 12, the day the shrine completes 120 years. He had served the Ashram from 1968 to 1970 as assistant director. Priests who served in the past will concelebrate the holy mass. There will be a holy mass at Milagres Church at 8.15 am, in the Ashram at 11 am; and a holy mass in Malayalam at Milagres at 5 pm.
June 13 being the feast day, Most Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza will preside over the holy mass at 10.30 am, which will be followed by the blessing of the foundation stone for the new unit. Later, “Saint Anthony the Miracle Worker,” a play written and directed by John M Permannur will be staged.
Fr Peter Gonsalves, Fr Trishan D’Souza and Vincent Mascarenhas were present.
120 years of service
Speaking on the Ashram, Fr D’Souza said that Msgr Michael Placid Colaco, former Asst Parish Priest of Milagres Church, started Novena prayer to Saint Anthony on June 12, 1898. The next day was the feast of St Antony, when a large number of people from around Mangalore gathered. Since then, every Tuesday, Novena has been held in honour of St Anthony at the Shrine Altar at Milagres Church. People in need, irrespective of caste and creed, come to St Anthony.
As the people received favours from the Saint, the people offered their mite in kind and cash, which was given to the needy. Gradually, houses were put up for the destitute. In 1930, land were the Ashram stands today was purchased in court auction. Houses were then put up here and the inmates were moved in 1936. The Institutes also fed hundreds of people every day during the World War I. Rice was brought from Rangoon (Myanmar) to feed the hungry who used to stand in long queue.
There are 400 destitutes, irrespective of caste and creed, sheltered at the Ashram. All their needs are met for free.