Udupi: To mark the third anniversary of the Establishment and Installation of the first Bishop of the Diocese, the blessing of foundation stones for three major and urgently required projects – the Pastoral Centre, Home for Retired Priests and the Minor Seminary – was held at Diocesan land, Kinnimulki here on Thursday, October 15.
The programme began with a prayer service under the leadership of Fr. Steevan D’Souza, director of Divya Joythi. Msgr Baptist Menezes, Vicar General of Udupi diocese, welcomed the gathering.
Rev Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, bishop of Udupi diocese, blessed the foundation stones. Vinay Kumar Sorake (district minister in-charge) laid the foundation stone for the Home for Retired priests, Bishop Gerald laid the stone for the Pastoral Centre and Alphonse D’Costa (Secretary of diocesan pastoral council) laid the foundation stone symbolically.
In his message Vinay Kumar Sorake said that he considered himself fortunate to lay the foundation stone for the Home for Retired Priests as they are the persons who serve the society and dedicate their lives for the benefit of the community. He complimented Bishop Gerald Lobo for completing three years as the Bishop of Udupi and wished him well for all the projects of the diocese. He also assured government help to the projects.
Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo in his presidential message endorse the preliminary remarks made by Msgr. Baptist Menezes and reiterated that with a strong faith in God and goodwill of the people of the diocese the three basic projects would be completed. The Bishop further said that during the first three years attempts were made to build the community and the community has come forward to give support to the projects. He recalled his visit to the Gulf countries recently along with Rev. Msgr. Baptist Menezes and Rev.Fr. Denis D’Sa, PRO of the diocese and the overwhelming support that the people of the diocese working in the Gulf countries had promised and it was they who insisted that the Bishop should start the projects and financial help would follow. The Bishop explained the nature and purpose of these three basic projects.
The Pastoral Centre would have three phases: Administrative building for 18 Commissions; Training centre and an Auditorium for major diocesan functions. As a number of priests have crossed the age of 65 years, a home for the priests who would retire at the age of 75 has become essential as those priests who spend their lives in the service of the church and people should have a decent place to spend their retired life. The third project, Minor seminary is essential as the prospective candidates for priesthood have to be identified and trained before sending them to seminaries for priestly training.
Alphonse D’Costa proposed the vote of thanks. Fr Denis D’Sa, PRO of the diocese, compered the programme.