Mangalore diocese celebrates 125 years of existence

State govt planning to release ` 50 cr for development of Christians, says Acharya

Mangalore diocese known as the ‘Rome of the East’ celebrated 125 years of its existence at Rosario Cathedral Grounds in Mangalore on Saturday.

The rejoicing began with a Eucharistic celebration on theme “Your own sons will be your ministers of salvation” and Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples Vatican (Rome) Secretary Rev Dr Savio Hon-Tai Fai was the main celebrant.

“The bond of communion between parishes, lay people, religious has increased in leaps and bounds. The diocese has spread the good world not only in India but also the world. This is not merely a jubilee celebration but a celebration of faith,” said Mangalore Bishop Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza at the formal programme organised by the laity, religious and clergy.

“Mangalore diocese has given 42 Bishops and over 1000 priests. This shows the vitality of the diocese. Pope Leo XIII had said that ‘India, your sons will be the ministers of salvation’ and his words have become true. Mangalore diocese has made a significant contribution to the arch diocese of India. We can call this diocese a power house,” said Archbishop of Bombay Rev Oswald Cardinal Gracias.

“The Karnataka Government is planning to release Rs 50 crores for the development of the Christians. It has already formed a committee of 13 members which will be headed by the Chief Minister,” said Minister of Higher Education Dr V S Acharya.

The State government has alloted Rs 276 crores for the minorities and an additional Rs 50 crores will be given to the Christians as a special focus. Of the Rs 50 crores, Rs 15 crore will be spent for the improvement of church buildings, Rs 5 crore for the orphanages and charity homes run by the Christians and Rs 5 crore as an aid to the Christian minorities who are below poverty line to build house.

The remaining Rs 35 crores will be spent for skill development, vocational training, employment subsidy, education subsidy, aid for farmers and others, he said.

He also appreciated the work done by the missionaries in the field of health, education, printing technology and the development of Kannada language.MP Oscar Fenandes said that for any institution to grow, one has to shed sweat and sacrifice. Mangalore diocese has done both.

The contributions are immense. “The Christian missionaries who have involved themselves in the education field have not only corrected our alphabets but also our life. Father Muller hospital did immense work for lepers when society shunned them away. St Aloysius Collge, St Agnes, St Anns and other Christian institutions have contributed a lot for the development of the society,” he said.

“Mangalore diocese is the cradle of religious vocations, a fort of faith. The faith which we follow today has been handed over to us by our ancestors. They have sacrificed a lot for this and we should not let this faith die. This diocese has brought in the coastal region has brought world-wide fame,” said Archbishop of Bangalore Rev Dr Bernard Moras.

“Mangalore diocese has established itself on stones of wisdom, truth, nobility and openess. The Christians give a witness to this with their words and deeds,” said  Rev Dr Savio Hon-Tai Fai.

Felicitations

The Mother Generals (Past and Present) of various congregations, the families who have given all their children for religious life, Couples married for over 65 years, persons aged 100 years and above, MLA, MP and above Cadre of Mangalore origin, families which have contributed highest religious vocations were feliciatated on the occassion.

People who had received Papal honours Octavia Albuquerque, Louis Mendonca, Clarance Pais, Maria Margaret were felicitated on the occasion. Rev Msgr Edwin Pinto who has received the honour but was not present on the occasion was remembered.
The formal programme was followed by a cultural gala ‘Zallok’ organised by Mandd Sobhann and coordinated by Arunraj Rodrigues.

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