Boat shaped church: Kalmady parishioners' dream comes alive

Boat shaped church: Kalmady parishioners' dream comes alive

Boat shaped church: Kalmady parishioners' dream comes alive

The long-standing dream of Stella Maris Church parishioners at Kalmady became a reality on Saturday.

The newly constructed church was inaugurated, blessed and dedicated to the people in the presence of three bishops, many priests and religious men and women from the diocese.

Udupi Diocese Bishop Rev Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, along with Shivamogga Diocese bishop Rev Dr Francis Serrao and Gulbarga Diocese Bishop Rev Dr Robert Miranda, inaugurated the new church by cutting the ribbon at the main door of the church.

Bishop Lobo blessed and sanctified the water used to bless the people and the structure of the newly built church. The inaugural mass was concelebrated by the bishops and priests with Bishop Gerald Lobo as the chief celebrant.

Shivamogga Diocese Bishop Rev Dr Francis Serrao, in his homily, traced the history of the building of the 'House of God' from the Old Testament. The Bishop stressed on the significance of the church and pointed out how it is very closely associated with the lives of the faithful.

The Litany of Saints was recited after the homily. Bishop Lobo then anointed the main altar with the Chrism oil and sanctified it while Bishop Robert Miranda anointed the walls of the church at four main points. Bishop Lobo then recited the prayer of dedication of the church. Bishop Lobo handed over the lit candle to Parish priest Fr Alban D'Souza who lit the candles on the newly blessed altar. Meanwhile, all the lights within the church were switched on and the solemn mass continued.

After the distribution of Holy Communion, the Tabernacle was blessed and sanctified. The ciborium containing the Holy Eucharist was placed inside the Tabernacle. A message and Apostolic Blessing from Pope Francis was read out by Louis Lobo, the convener of the church building committee.

District In-charge Minister Pramod Madhwaraj said that there is a close relation between Krishna Mutt and Malpe as the statue of Shri Krishna was found in the Malpe Sea. Besides, Malpe being the centre of fishing community, the boat-shaped Stella Maris Church has created a record of communal harmony in this area.

Bishop Lobo said worship homes are places that manifest the presence of God and preservation of the sanctity of such places is the responsibility of each and every faithful.

The Bishop said that besides Catholics, people belonging to other religions also visit the church and get favours from Our Lady of Vailankanni. In Indian culture, temples have special meaning as they are symbols of developing a special bond between God and human beings. Temples provide spiritual satisfaction and God's blessings. Christians believe churches are gateways to heaven. In this way, people can experience the divine power. The Bishop hoped that temples and churches become symbols of our unity and provide us lessons of tolerance and brotherhood.

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