Bishop Gerald Lobo Inaugurates Diocese first Infant Jesus Church at Pilar – Shirva
Pics By Prasanna Kodavoor
Udupi: The newly constructed Udupi Diocese first Infant Jesus Church Pilar- Shirva was inaugurated, blessed and dedicated by Bishop of Udupi Diocese Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo in the presence of a large number of priests, religious and parishioners of Pilar, Shirva and neighbouring parishes on Tuesday, January 2.
Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo was welcomed by Fr Stany Tauro Parish Priest of Our Lady of Health Church Shirva and Valerian Machado convener of the Pilar Church entrance of the church road. Later the Bishop inaugurated the newly concreted road for the church sanctioned by MLC Ivan D’Souza with the MLC fund. Fr Valerian Mendonca chancellor of Udupi Diocese inaugurated the new church gate, while David D’Souza president of Mudarangadi Grama Panchayat inaugurated the new high mast light. Later Bishop Gerald Lobo blessed and inaugurated the Presbytery and Belfry.
The grand ceremony of the inauguration and blessing of the church commenced as the Bishop along with Fr Stany Tauro, priests in the presence of a large number of people came in procession in front of the church. Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo along with Fr Stany Tauro and Fr Valerian Mendonca inaugurated the new Church building by cutting the ribbon. Thereafter, the Bishop conducted a brief prayer service in front of the main door and formally opened the doors and entered the church along with the priests followed by the altar servers and the people.
The blessing and dedication of the new church commenced by the Bishop by blessing the water and sprinkling of the Holy Water on the people. This was followed by the celebration of the Holy Mass and singing ‘Gloria…’ by the choir.
In his homily, the Bishop said that the dream of the Pilar parishioners to have a new church building has been realized. It is the symbol of hope, aspirations, hard work and sacrifice of many of the parishioners.
Bishop Gerald Lobo highlighted the meaning of the place of worship (Temple or Church) and traced the origin and development of places of worship since ancient times and pointed out that it was King David who thought of building a grand temple for God. However, he was not destined to complete the Temple and it was his son Solomon who built a grand Temple in honour of Yahveh (God).
At the end of the Mass, Fr Stany Tauro expressed gratitude to Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo for blessing and dedicating the new Church and all the priests who had participated in the Holy Mass.
Fr Stephen D’Souza, Director of Liturgical Commission of Udupi Diocese compered the ritual of the blessing and dedication of the church.
Soon after the inauguration, blessing and dedication of the new church, a felicitation function was held. The programme was presided over by Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo. Other dignitaries on the dais included: Vinay Kumar Sorake-MLA of Kaup Constituency, Ivan D’Souza, Chief Whip Karnataka legislative council, Msgr. Baptist Menezes Vicar general of Udupi Diocese, Fr Felix Fernandes Provincial of Salesian Don Bosco Konkan Goa Province, Fr Valerian Mendonca Chancellor Udupi Diocese, David D’Souza president Mudarangadi Grama Panchayat, Wilson Rodrigues and Shilpa Suvarna ZP member, Michal Ramesh D’Souza TP. Fr Stany Tauro Parish Priest Our Lady of Health Church Shirva, Wilson D’Souza vice president, Leena Machado secretary Shirva parish pastoral council, Valerian Machado Coordinator, Pilar Church, Melwyn Aranha Coordinator Parish Commission, Fr Kiran Nazareth SDB, Incharge Pilar Church.
In his message, Vinay Kumar Sorake complimented the Parish priest and the Shirva and Pilar parishioners for constructing and inaugurating such a beautiful church. He lauded the contribution of the Christian community in all fields of life. He said that though the Christians constitute barely 2 percent of the Indian population, their contribution to the nation is more than 20 percent. Christians are active in various fields and said that the Catholic institutions have played a prominent role in the development of the nation by promoting quality education. Their role in the twin districts in promoting education and health care needs to be appreciated.
In his presidential speech, Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo said that in Indian culture, places of worship have a distinct place. The Bishop complemented the parish priest and people of Pilar for their efforts in erecting such a beautiful church building within a short period. He said that the people of Pilar have poured their love, sacrifice and labour into the construction of the new Church building. It was their dream which has become a reality. He said that for Christians, Church is like the door to heaven as all rituals right from the birth till death are performed in the Church.
Former parish priests, contractors, Engineer, Sponsors, donors, Fr Stany Tauro (Parish Priest), Fr Kiran Nazareth, SDB (Director of Don Bosco Youth Center Shirva), Wilson D’Souza (vice president PPC), Leena Machado (Secretary PPC), Melwin Aranha (Convener of 18 commissions) Valerian Machado (Co-ordinator of the Chapel) were felicitated on the occasion.
On behalf of the Diocese of Udupi, Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo felicitated Fr Stany Tauro and Fr Felix Fernandes Provincial of Salesian Don Bosco Konkan Goa Province as a token of appreciation for their great work in Pilar.
Ivan D’Souza, Chief Whip Karnataka legislative council, Msgr. Baptist Menezes Vicar general of Udupi Diocese, Fr Felix Ferandes Provincial of Salesian Don Bosco Konkan Goa Province, Fr Valerian Mendonca Chancellor Udupi Diocese also spoke on the occasion.
Wilson Machado and Emilda Mathais compered the stage programme.