Our Lady of Vailankanni Center at Kalmady declared Udupi Diocesan Shrine
Udupi: Proclamation and Dedication of Our Lady of Vailankanni Center at Stella Maris Church, Kalmady was officially declared as Diocesan Shrine on 15th August 2022, during the solemnly Eucharistic Mass at 10:00 am.
The Decree which was given by the Bishop of Udupi, Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo was read by the Chancellor of the Udupi Diocese Rt. Rev. Fr Stany B. Lobo.
The Holy Eucharistic Mass was celebrated by the Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi and concelebrated by Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangalore, Most Rev. Dr Francis Serrao, Bishop of Shimoga, Most Rev. Dr Robert Miranda, Bishop of Gulbarga, Most Rev. Dr Henry D’Souza, Bishop of Bellary, Most Rev. Dr Lawrence Mukkuzhy, Bishop of Belthangady, Most Rev. Dr Geevargheese Mar Makarios Kalayil, Bishop of Puttur, V. Rev. Fr Stany B. Lobo, Chancellor of Udupi Diocese, V. Rev. Fr Charles Menezes, Dean of Udupi Deanery, V. Rev. Fr Baptist Menezes, Parish Priest of Stella Maris Church and the Rector of Our Lady of Vailankanni Shrine, Rev. Fr Roy Lobo, Assistant Parish Priest and other priests.
The Golden Jubilee Felicitation Programme of the Stella Maris Church Kalmady was held soon after the Holy Eucharistic Mass, during the celebration the past Parish Priests and the Vocations from Kalmady who are currently serving in various places were honoured also the past and present Vice Presidents, Secretaries, coordinators of 20 commission, Gurkars of wards were honoured.
The Vice President of the Parish Pastoral Council, Mr Sandeep Andrade, Secretary Mrs Shobha Mendonsa, Coordinator of 20 Commission Mrs Ida D’Souza, Coordinator of Golden Jubilee Committee Mr Sandeep Andrade were present.
About Stella Marish Shrine Kalmady
Stella Maris Church, Kalmady is a place well known to devotees of Coastal Karnataka and visited by people of all religions. The church located on the right of the Malpe – Thirthahalli National Highway is just 3 km away from the National Highway 66 (Karavali Bye-pass).
A place of solace to many, a healer for the patients, a place of divinity Stella Maris Church Kalmady is beaming with pride as it is gearing up to celebrate 50 glorious years of its inception on one hand and Proclamation and dedication of Our lady of Vailankanni Centre as a Diocesan Shrine on the other.
The church being very close to the Arabian Sea, the name of the church ‘Stella Maris’ meaning ‘Star of the Sea’ is apt. Stella Maris church was built in the year 1972 and inaugurated in 1972, by then Bishop of Mangalore Rt Rev. Dr Basil D’Souza. The church is in its 50th glorious year of inception.
Prior to that, the people of Kalmady had to visit St Anne’s Church, Thottam or Mother of Sorrows Church, Udupi for their spiritual needs.
Fr Charles D’Souza was a native of Kalmady and ordained by Pope John Paul VI. With the combined efforts of Fr Charles and the faithful of Kalmady, a new church was built and it was blessed and inaugurated on February 5, 1972. But the church was under Udupi parish. Priests of Udupi and Kallianpur parish used to come to conduct Eucharistic Mass on Sunday.
Fr Denis Castelino was the first resident priest of Kalmady, and took charge in 1987. In 1991, the Bishop of Mangalore declared Stella Maris Church, Kalmady as an independent parish. Fr Robert Pinto who came after Fr Denis also strived hard to develop the church. After him, Fr Ivan D’Mello took charge and during his tenure, he purchased land for the church adjoining the existing church property.
For some years the parish was in the hands of Jesuit priests. With many developmental works, the Jesuit priests took the church to new heights. Some of the developmental works are the construction of a much-needed cemetery, Grotto for our Lady of Vailankanni etc: Fr Richard Mascarenhas, Fr Joseph D’Souza and Fr Maxim Misquith were the Jesuit Priests who served in the church.
In June 2012, Fr Alban D’Souza took charge as parish priest. Inspired by Noah’s Ark, Fr Alban D’Souza started to construct a new building of Stella Maris Church in Kalmady, in the shape of a boat and the bell tower in the shape of a lighthouse.
The unique architectural masterpiece was inaugurated in a grand ceremony on January 6, in the presence of Rt Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi, Rt Rev. Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, Bishop of Mangaluru, Rt Rev. Dr Francis Serrao SJ, Bishop of Shivamogga and Rt Rev. Dr Robert Miranda, Bishop of Gulbarga.
On July 5th, 2021, Rev Fr Alban D’Souza was transferred to St Lawrence Minor Basilica at Attur, as a Rector of the Minor Basilica and Rev Fr Baptist Menezes took charge as the Parish Priest and Rev Fr Roy Lobo as the Asst Parish Priest.
The Stella Maris Church Kalmady is celebrating its Golden Jubilee of its existing (1972-2022), on 15th, August 2022, with the motto ‘Golden remembrance of faith: Mother Mary inspires’.
The Our Lady of Vailankanni centre at Kalmady is very famous worldwide. The Statue of Our Lady of Vailankanni was brought in procession from Udupi church on August 15, 1988. The statue was donated by Rev. Fr Wilson D’Souza and was brought from Vailankanni Shrine, Tamil Nadu.
The then Mangalore Bishop Rt Rev Dr Basil D’Souza installed the statue at Kalmady on August 15, 1988. After the installation, to this day many miracles have happened at the Centre.
From a chapel to its present status the Centre has come a long way. The priests who served here and the parishioners are the main reason why this place is famous today.