Kundapur: The Udupi diocese under the leadership of Kundapur deanery organised the canonization celebrations of Goa-born missionary Blessed Joseph Vaz who was raised to sainthood by Pope Francis in Sri Lanka here on Sunday January 18.
To mark the celebrations a vehicle rally was organised from Immaculate Conception Birth of Virgin Mary Church Gangolli where Joseph Vaz served as a priest. More than 300 vehicles took part in the rally.
Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi Diocese, concelebrated the celebration mass along with Msgr Baptist Menezes (Vicar General of the diocese), Fr Andrew D’Souza (parish priest of St Lawrence Church Bondel), Fr Anil D’Souza (dean of Kundapur denary) and many other priests from the deanery and other places.
In his homily Fr Andrew D’souza said, “In Saint Joseph, we see a powerful sign of God’s goodness and love for the people of Sri Lanka. But we also see in him, a challenge to persevere in the path of the Gospel, to grow in holiness ourselves, and to testify to the Gospel’s message of reconciliation to which he dedicated his life. As much as he loved prayer, he also dedicated himself to serving the poor and the needy. He also had great devotion towards Mother Mary and recited the Rosary every day.” Fr Andrew called the gathering to be faithful and asked them to live in faith especially during trouble and difficulties.
At the end of the mass, Bishop Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo expressed gratitude to all those who helped to arrange the programme smoothly and called upon the gathering to emulate the values of St Joseph Vaz, who served as an example for the people to be committed to the challenges of their faith. The choir, ably trained by Fr Praveen Amrith Martis principal of St Mary’s College Kundapur, rendered the hymns with a melodious voice thus enhancing the solemnity of the celebration.
After the mass, an audio/visual presentation on the life of St Joseph Vaz directed by Vinod Gangolli was presented. Johnson Almeida (vice president of Parish pastoral council), Felciana D’Souza and Leena Tauro (Secretary) and others were present.