Rosario Institutions ( Rosario High School, Rosario English Medium and Ursula Kannada Medium School, all located in the premises of Rosario Cathedral, Mangaluru) Accommodate Hundreds of Migrants Stranded in City, Waiting To Go To Their Native Places
Mangaluru: Quoting Holy Bible in Mathew 25: 31-40 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me”- and following on these words, the management of Rosario Institutions run by Rosario Cathedral, Mangaluru did the right thing by accommodating hundreds of stranded migrants in Mangaluru, who for past few days have been trying their luck to catch a train to go back to their native places, either in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and few other Northern India states. But with no proper guidance and the right information, they come walking from far and near, to the City- and at the end of the day, they have to spend the night in open air, after not finding a train to take them home.
As they say that “We will all be strangers, sometime”, the Bible affirms – strongly and unequivocally – the obligation to treat strangers with dignity and hospitality, and nice to note that what exactly Rosario Institutions management did. Within the New Testament, which Christians read in continuity with the Hebrew Bible or “The Old Testament,” the most often cited passage dealing with welcoming the stranger is from Matthew 25: 31-40, as mentioned at the beginning. And The stranger is Jesus in disguise” “‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” said Jesus, and it befits what Rosario institutions management did for these strangers (migrants) stranded in Mangaluru with no food, water or shelter. However, as in Bible, the principles regarding welcoming the stranger are broad-reaching and unambiguous.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean, Fr J B Crasta-the Parish Priest of Rosario Cathedral said, “In the wake of Covid-19 the Department of Education has requested Rosario High School, Rosario English Medium School and Ursula Kannada Medium School to hand over to District Administration to accommodate people who are suffering due to lockdown. Accordingly the correspondent had advised the heads of the school to hand over the keys to the concerned authorities. Later Guruprasd the Thasildar, Asst Commissioner Madan Mohan and members of Covid-19 Task Force visited the school and made all the arrangements with the heads of the institutions and correspondent “
“On Wednesday, 13 May 2020, nearly 400 migrants traveling to Bihar, Jharkhand and Gorakhpur were accommodated in Rosario Cultural Hall. The Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese, the Most Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha has expressed his full support to cause, in fact he visited the venue and distributed drinking water bottles to all of them. He has expressed his willingness to accommodate more people in the schools in the days to come. The department is supplying food in packets during their stay here. Even tonight (14 May) we are expecting few hundred migrants, and we are happy to provide them accommodation without any hesitance” added Fr Crasta.
Fr J B Crasta, Fr Flavian Lobo-the the Assistant Parish priest and along with a few lay people are monitoring the situation along with the Asst Commissioner and Thaslidar of Mangaluru. The whole Covid-19 Task Force is also taking keep interest in the hour of crisis in Mangaluru. The Thaslidar contacted the Bishop and expressed his satisfaction over the arrangements made at Rosario by correspondent.
I end this column with a “A Prayer for Migrants”-
” Good and Gracious God, We pray for all people who are migrating particularly those who are forced from their homes or separated from their families because of threats of violence and persecution. We ask that you protect and keep them safe. Although we come from different countries, and have our origins in different cultures, we were created by you, and are made in your image and therefore we all share an inalienable dignity that is deserving of respect. Lord we ask that you give us the strength to defend those who are marginalized, to give aid to those in need, to come to the defense of those who are poor or vulnerable, and to welcome those who are on the move into our homes and into our hearts. Through our Lord, who lives and reigns with you”.