Mangaluru: The Parish Priest of Rosario Cathedral, Fr J B Crasta, held a press meet at the parish hall here, on April 7.
Addressing the mediapersons, Fr Crasta said that to mark the concluding ceremony of the Rosario Cathedral Centenary, a day of prayer will be organised on April 9, which will begin at 5:30 pm with the Holy mass. The Bishop of Mangaluru, Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, will be the main celebrant.
On April 10, Vocation day will be celebrated at 5:30 pm. On April 11, the parish day will be celebrated. The Bishop of Bareilly, Dr Ignatius D’Souza, will be the main celebrant. Thereafter, a felicitation programme will be held.
On April 12, the concluding ceremony of the centenary celebrations will be held. Dr Aloysius will be the main celebrant and the Bishop of Udupi, Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, will deliver the homily. Bishop of Belthangady Lawrence Mukkuzhy, Bishop of Belgaum Dr Peter Machado, Bishop of Gulbarga Dr Robert M Miranda, Bishop of Bellary Dr Henry D’Souza, Bishop of Shimoga Francis Serrao and Bishop of Bareilly Dr Ignatius D’Souza will con-celebrate the mass.
Fr Crasta also stressed on the importance of the Rosario Cathedral and said that the Cathedral dome is the only one in the entire country. “We have to make the Cathedral as a tourist spot so that people can come and visit the historical place which has 447 years of history.”
Assistant Parish Priest Fr Amit Rodrigues, Principal Rosario College Fr Alwyn, Vice President of Parish council Dolphy D’Souza, Secretary John D’Silva and Elias Fernandes were also present.
About Rosario Cathedral
The English word Cathedral originates from the Latin word “Cathedra”. Cathedra has many meanings such as seat, chair, and sanctuary. It is the seat of the President of the Diocese, who is the Bishop. The church where Bishop’s cathedra/seat is situated is called Cathedral Church. The Mangalore Catholic Diocesan Bishop’s seat is at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Cathedral, Bolara. In the year 1568, the original church was built here. This is the first church of the Diocese of Mangalore. The present church building was built in the year 1915. On the 12th of April 2015, the Finale of the Centenary Celebrations of this beautiful and glorious edifice of Church will be celebrated.
The Rosario Church occupies an important place in the Diocese of Mangalore. In the traditions of Canara Christians, it is a revered church with motherly characteristic. Kannada Karavali Catholics call the patroness of this church as Ruzar Mai who has become an inseparable part in their life, literature, culture and faith. In the konkani Gumtan songs, a mention is made that Ruzar Mai came down from Goa and reached Bolar. To the non-Christians of the place, she has become the mother of the sand. That is why the feast of Holy Rosary is the feast of all the people here.
In the year 1498, Vasco da Gama reached the island which is today called as St Mary’s Island. In 1526, Lopo Vaz De Sampayo, the representative of the Portuguese King, established control over the Canara Coast. Bedanur (Keladi and Ikkeri) leaders who had powers over the coastal area wanted to have business relations with the Portuguese. The Portuguese established a factory here by the name Saint Sebestiavno, a business centre. In 1568, for the spiritual needs of the factory personnel, they established Igreja Nossa Senhora Do Rosario De Mangalore, that is the Lady of Rosary Church, Mangalore. This church was also known as the factory church.
From 1664 onwards, the Marata attacks did not harm the church in any way, but due to the business rivalry between the Portuguese and the Arabs, in 1695, the Arabs burnt down the Mangalore fort and this church too. But the devotees, without any hesitation, put up another church immediately. During these times, Saint Joseph Vaz had rendered his services here (recently he was raised to the stature of a saint by the Catholic Church).
In the year 1784, Tippu Sultan, the ‘Tiger of Mysore’, suspecting the coastal Christians being in favor of the British, decided to wipe off the Christians and ordered that all churches be destroyed and Christians be taken as prisoners to Srirangapattana. During these times, the Rosario Church was also destroyed.
In 1799, the Canara Christians returned to Mangalore. But due to the new rules and regulations of the British, the Rosario Church of Bolara failed to establish its importance. In 1813, the devotees succeeded in building a small church.
Then, the Jesuits established their prominence in the Diocese. In 1915 under the guidance of Father Henry Buzzoni and the able leadership of brother Divo, the present church was constructed. Paul Perrini, then Bishop, blessed the church. We also find the detailed explanations with regard to the important services rendered by Jesuit priest Urban Stein.
The glorious church edifice which we see today is one of the most beautiful monuments of mixed Byzantine and Roman architectures, not only in Karnataka but also in India. This church is built after the model of St Peter’s Basilica of Rome. The dome over the church invites so many from distant miles to this church. 12 central arches, 50 adjacent arches, 48 huge arches, 45 small arches bring excitement to the onlookers, devotes and students of art and architecture.
At the right side of the church, there is an inscription of a Portuguese king. This confirms that the church was under Padrovado, or the Portuguese king’s rule. To any church, the belfry is very important. The bells of the Rosario Cathedral have become very famous. Each year on the first Sunday during the Eucharistic procession from Milagres church to Rosario Cathedral, these bells are tolled for more than an hour. They announce different hours and different events in the church. The belfry gives beauty to the church.
From the entrance of the church to the sanctuary on either side, there are huge pillars on which stand the massive arches exhibiting awe and reverence. The huge pulpit (preaching place), the statue of Our Lady of Holy Rosary in the Sanctuary and the baptistery enhance the beauty of the church.
This huge church is not only the Center of the Diocese of Mangalore but also the Bishop’s official seat of exercising his authority. Bishops Consecration, Annual Blessing of Oils and all other important religious ceremonies are held here. The deceased Bishops’ burial ceremony was also held here and their tombs are found inside the church.
The Finale of centenary celebrations of this huge church is held on Sunday, the 12th of this April. We extend a cordial welcome to our friends, well-wishers and devotees. We extend a cordial welcome to all the journalists for this programme and request you to give wide publicity to the programme.