Bishop Gerald Lobo Blesses new Udupi Diocesan Cemetery for Priests at Mount Rosary, Kallianpur
Udupi: Mount Rosary Church, Santhekatte, Kallianpur, set aside and donated a substantial portion of its spacious Graveyard exclusively for the burial of priests of the Udupi Diocese, the place where the remains of the dead people are buried, otherwise interred, commonly known as Cemetery.
The ceremony of blessing the Cemetery took place on Monday, 2nd November 2020, on the ‘feast of all souls day’, after the 7:30 am Holy Mass. The Bishop of Udupi, Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, concelebrated the Mass, with Vicar Fr Dr Leslie D’Souza and Assistant parish priest Fr Steevan Fernandes, for the repose of all the parishioners, who are physically not living with us and believed to be in the heavenly abode or on their way and whose mortal remains were buried in this holy place to remind us of the rich legacy of their love, sacrifice and life in Christian faith.
In his well-woven homily, Bishop explained the need of praying for the departed brethren, meaning the resurrection of the bodies and the life everlasting in heaven with the risen Lord with references of the Scriptures.
Under the supervision and special care of the parish priest Rev. Dr Leslie C D’Souza, his assistants earlier Fr. Clany D’Souza and now Fr Steevan Fernandes and others, the area earmarked was neatly cleaned, prepared, planned burial rows and given a serene and peaceful look to the Cemetery and its surrounding. It is rightly a beautiful gift to the Diocese, and a token of reverence to the priests served / serving, by the Rosarian’s, Kallianpur.
Statues of Crucifixion of Jesus with Mother Mary, Apostle John and others at the foot erected on an attractive marble platform under an arch-shaped shelter attract the visitors from a distance.
Soon after the Holy Mass for all the departed souls of the parish, a special prayer session was conducted in the Cemetery, led by the Bishop. Parish Priest Fr Dr Leslie D’Souza welcomed the Bishop and all those gathered and expressed his satisfaction in reserving a holy piece of land, under the holy feet of Mount Rosary, for Priests of the Diocese. The Bishop blessed the area sprinkling holy water with other priests and thanked the Parish Priest Fr Leslie, who is known as a perfectionist who wants everything to be the best and his team worked tirelessly and honoured the special donors with candles.
While thanking all, Ronnie Saldanha, the secretary of the Pastoral Council, expressed gratitude to Bishop for praying for the loved ones taking eternal rest in this holy place and blessing the Cemetery reserved for priests. He remembered the contribution of the donors in various ways, like statues etc., Elias D’Souza and others who have done the civil works, and all the parishioners for their cooperation.
The Bishop in his concluding remarks endorsed the Vicar’s message to’ keep the three places viz, place our birth, place of worship and this last destination for our dead bodies in this life, neat and clean as they are holy, and not to be a place of fear but a place of hope and to relax, spend little time to call back the memories of our forefathers….’The unique feature of the Diocese of Udupi, he said, ‘there is no separate graveyard for priests, the people who lived, sacrificed their whole life will be with laity even after their departure from this world’.
Necessary precautions were in place, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, like wearing a mask, physical distancing, sanitising etc.
Report Submitted by P. Archibald Furtado, Barkur
Pictures By Melwin Joy Mascarenhas