Udupi: The closing ceremony of the centenary celebrations of Our Lady of Health Church Shirva was held at St Mary’s Grounds here on January 31.
The solemn centenary celebration mass in the morning was concelebrated by Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese along with Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo Bishop of Udupi, Dr Antony Fernandes Bishop Emeritus, Diocese of Bareily, Dr Pius D’Souza Bishop of Ajmir, Msgr Baptist Menezes Vicar General of Udupi Diocese, Fr Stany Tauro parish priest Our Lady of Health Church Shirva and other priests
There was a brief felicitation programme after the Mass. The programme began with a welcome dance by the students. Fr Stany Tauro parish priest of the church welcomed the gathering.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, Bishop of Mangaluru called upon the people to strengthen their faith and keep alive the spirit of family life. He greatly appreciated the progress that has been made by Shirva parishioners and reminded them that it was their ancestors who had preserved the strong faith which has been like the spring that has been flowing through one generation to the other.
Former parish priests, assistant priests, vice president, secretaries of the parish pastoral council and the Donors were honoured by the Bishop with a shawl, garland and memento. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo the former assistant parish priest and present bishop of Udupi diocese was honoured by Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza.
In his presidential address Bishop Gerald said that the Centenary celebrations is an opportunity to recall and thank God for the graces he has showered on us through the people who have toiled to build this church and the fruits of which are enjoyed today. The faith that we have received from our forefathers has to be handed over to the next generation, he added.
Fr Pedro Camillo Simons, Pallotine Provincial, Msgr Baptist Menezes, Blossom Fernandes, William Machado and others were present.
In the evening the grand finale of the centenary celebrations was held. Fr Stany Tauro, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Health Church Shirva welcomed the gathering. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi Diocese presided over the programme.
K J George, Minister for Home Affairs in his speech said that when we respect the Holy Scriptures and priests of other religion then we will also be respected. Lord’s grace is important to face every difficulties in our life. Catholic churches are serving the human community with great love and affection. The sacrifices of our elders in the past have strengthened Our Lady of Health Church, Shirva. He also said that Lord’s grace has strengthened him to lead the Home Ministry and to serve the people irrespective of caste and religion.
Bishop Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo said that the faith of our elders have strengthened us. The sacrifice, brotherhood and bonding towards each other is the greatest gift of our elders in leading us to the centenary. We are united among all the religions in Shirva which is needed to be respected.
Vinay Kumar Sorake, Minister for Urban Development and Minister-in-charge district, Oscar Fernandes, MP Rajya Sabha, and Former MLA Lalaji R Mendon also spoke on the occasion.
Ida Gibba Dsouza, ZP Member; TP Member Krishna Poojary; Shirva Gram Panchayat President Hasanabba Sheik; Wilson D’Souza, Parish Pastoral Council VP; William Machado, Parish Pastoral Council Secretary; Blossom Fernandes; Assistant Parish Priests Fr Anil, Fr Wilson, Fr Jerald and others were present.