With ‘Mog Ani Maipas’ CASK Felicitates Bishop of Mangaluru Dr Peter Paul Saldanha

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With ‘Mog Ani Maipas’ CASK Felicitates Bishop of Mangaluru Dr Peter Paul Saldanha

With ‘Mog Ani Maipas’ (That’s Konkani for ‘Love and Affection’) Catholic Association of South Canara (CASK) Felicitates Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha

During the Episcopal Ordination and Installation of Most Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha -Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese on 15 September 2018, he had highlighted about “COAT OF ARMS’ comprising of Cross-To be conformed to the image of the Crucified Jesus; Open Bible – Represents the Joy of the Gospel ( Evangelli Gaudium) ; Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary- Indicates God’s merciful Face ( Misericordiae Vultus); Holy Family- Pastoral care towards all families ( Amoris Lasetitia); Green Tree at the side of flowing waters- Care for our common home (Laudato Si)

Mangaluru: As they say ‘Better Late Than Never’, even though the new Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha was ordained on 15 September 2018 at Rosario Cathedral, nearly one and a half month later, Catholic Association of South Canara (CASK ) felicitated the Bishop on Tuesday, 30 October 2018 at a function held at Avila Hall, St Agnes College, Mangaluru-the one reason for the delay was that the Bishop was away in Rome after His ordination. Prior to the Formal Function, a Mass was celebrated by the Bishop, along with Fr Santhosh Kamath of St Aloysius College, Mangaluru at St Agnes Chapel at 5 pm, attended by a Chapel full of Catholic Faithful.

With over 1250 CASK members spread across India and several countries of the world, the Catholic Association of South Kanara(CASK), is the oldest Catholic Laity Organization in South India, established in July 1914 and Registered under the Societies Act in 1925. CASK publishes a monthly magazine entitled “Mangaluru” since July 1927, one of the oldest monthly magazine in the country with the credit of uninterrupted publication for 91 years. Over the last 104 years, CASK has worked towards fulfilling the following Objectives of the Association – Promote the educational, economic, cultural, social and general welfare of the community; Render assistance to the under-privileged and vulnerable groups of society, irrespective of religion, caste, creed or any other distinction; Act as the voice of the community in upholding its rights and privileges; Inter-act, network and function as a link to unite the community spread across India and abroad.

CASK also organizes regular programmes for its members and also special programmes for students, youth, women and other target groups. CASK celebrated its centenary during 2013-2014 and successfully launched and implemented many programmes in honor of the Centenary, a few among them are-Promotion of Blood, Organ and Whole Body Donations” in collaboration with Fr Muller Hospital; Personality Development Programme” for School/College Students; CASK Education Fund” has been substantially scaled up in order to provide annual scholarship to deserving students irrespective of religion, caste, creed or other distinctions; Provision of Safe Drinking Water in Schools; Footwear for Barefoot School-Going Children.

And for the FIRST time CASK had organized a “Dialogue and Discussion Session” with the newly nominated Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese, which received a good response and proved to be a successful successful initiative, with many in the audience putting forth their queries/grievances to the Bishop. The Formal Function of the Felicitation of the Bishop began with a audio/visual prayer displayed on the screen, followed by welcome address by Ms Nayana Fernandes-President of CASK. Then followed the introduction to the “Coat of Arms”-where Ms Shalet Pinto narrated about the “The Cross”; Ms Gulobi Fernandes on “The Bible”; Ullas Rasquinha on “The Sacred Heart of Jesus & Immaculate Heart of Mary”; Ms Patsy Lobo on “The Holy Family”; and Anand Pereira on “The Green Tree”.

Now the moment of the day was to felicitate the Bishop, where Dr Derek Lobo read the citation, and the citation was presented to Bishop Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha by Ms Nayana Fernandes and Mario Saldanha (secretary of CASK); presentation of memento by Ms Patsy Lobo and walter D’Sa; and since the Bishop is a ardent environmentalist and lover of plants, and very much interested in Green Revolution, he was presented with two potted Indoor plants by Dr Anand Pereira and Capt Vincent Pais. The CASK members didn’t want to felicitate the Bishop with all “Unwanted Goodies”- so there was No Peta, No Shawl, No Fruit Basket, No Flower Bouquet, No Garland – just a simple and neat felicitation- and I liked this initiative taken by CASK. Kudos!

After felicitation, addressing the audience Bishop Rev Dr Peter P Saldanha clarifying on “Why Mangaluru is called “Rome of the East” said, “Even though I lived in Rome for so many years, I still can’t understand why Mangaluru is called the “Rome of the East”- Is it because of the many Catholic institutions in the City”- that Could Be!; Is it because the sound and nature of the Church Bells that ring in Mangaluru resemble those in Rome? That could be! But one thing I can definitely say is that because of the generosity and love towards the poor, that Mangaluru is known as ‘Rome of the East’. Like in Rome, the poor are taken care in abundant, and therefore Mangalureans truly become the real Rome, when we help the less fortunate,”.

“I can very much say that we, Mangaloreans have a kind heart towards the needy and the poor. Even in the Bible it says that merciful and generous towards needy and the poor. Pope Francis is also emphasizing on the same topic, to be helpful to the needy. Pope says that it is not just enough to read the scriptures in the Holy Bible, but we need to show them in our action, thereby help the less-privileged. We need to share our food among the hungry. You won’t believe that in Rome, no one wastes food, not even a grain of rice from their plate- so if you don’t want to waste food, eat less? (laugh). Yes, there are many people who need help. Ever since I came back from Rome after my ordination, large number of people visit Bishop’s House in need of money, food and shelter. But I have tried my best to oblige everyone to my capacity, but never sent anyone back disappointed. This is not my money which I am helping these needy, it is your (laity) money, and we are using it wisely towards the poor” added the Bishop.

The Bishop further said, “My humble request to those who have enough wealth kindly share a portion of it with the needy and the less-privileged. You can even sponsor or adopt one or two poor students who can’t afford to do their studies due to lack of funds. As Catholic faithful in your respective parishes try always to show your love and care towards the poor. Cut down your lavish spending, and share that amount with others in need. Parents should inculcate these values of sharing and caring among their children, so that they could be the real children of God. Let us all make a difference in the lives of the needy/poor”.

Following Bishop’s speech it was for the FIRST time a ‘Dialogue and Discussion Session’ was held on the theme of “The pastoral plan for Mangaluru Diocese Expectations from the Laity.”, where the audience had an opportunity to put forth their queries/grievances to the Bishop and get it clarified and answered by Him.
Among the few queries posed at the Bishop were:

Q: In earlier days, Parish Priest or Church priests used to visit Catholic homes to comfort the people at home, but these days seldom anyone visits-could we continue the same practice even now?

Bishop: I do understand that priests hardly visit homes of the faithful these days. The main reason being the life of a parish priest has been hectic- lots of people visit his office or church with issues or other things. Even Pope insists that clergy visit Catholic homes whenever they find time. But the amount of work given to a parish priest presently is enormous. With cities being cosmopolitan at present, but I will still direct the church priests at least visit sick or old age people homes, homes after funeral to console them. I will surely do my best in this regard.

Q: Why is that we are seeing a lot of divorces among young couples these days, including some after having small kids. Any solution to control this from happening?

Bishop: The institution of marriage is in trouble today. The divorce rate is anywhere from 50 percent for first marriages to 80 percent for subsequent marriages. Perhaps, as a result, more and more couples are choosing to live together without bothering to get married. Divorces are not only happening in Mangaluru, but all over the world. I know that in earlier days we didn’t see many divorces here in Mangaluru. Yes, time has changed, world has changed. Sad to note even love marriages don’t last long. The first thing young couple should do before or after marriage to get a thorough counseling from a experienced and knowledgeable counselor. We the diocese will look into this issue, and will come with a appropriate solution soon.

Q: Instead of Mass only in Konkani in many churches for children after Catechism class, why can’t we have a split mass, both in English and Konkani language?

Bishop: I am not too supportive to this idea, since I want to promote more of Konkani language, since this land is a Konakani speaking land, and we should strengthen our ‘Konakan Baas’, and we should speak the real Konakni langauge, and not like “Eat Putha”, “Sleep Putha”, “Where are you going Putha’ etc. Let our children imbibe Konkani language, and speak as much as they can. Even parents should encourage their children to communicate in Konkani. Even while I was in Rome, I used to spend time going though Konakani Bible readings on YouTube. Sorry, introducing English Mass for our children, I am reluctant on that.

Q: Why can’t rich Catholic families share their wealth among the poor, and not only tithe during Sunday Mass? In Mumbai churches, they have started funds for the poor people, why can’t we start that here too?

Bishop: Good question, and I fully support it. Rich families should contribute little more than what they give during Sunday mass. Sharing and caring will make a difference in people’s lives. Even our Pope insists that Catholics to be generous towards the needy. Regarding starting a Fund Project for the Poor in parishes will really be a good initiative, but could be done only in the City churches, but to do it in remote places, where even during Sunday collections, the amount collected at some churches range between Rs 1500-Rs 2500. But we can implement this funding project for the needy in Mangaluru City. We will work on it.

Q: Why can’t we still practice “The Seven Steps Method” to keep our faith strong and alive?

Bishop: The Seven Steps Method is still continued in many cities including Mumbai, which comprises of Invite- where we remind ourselves that the Risen Lord is with us. Would someone like to invite Jesus in a prayer and welcome him?; Read; View with Wonder; Listen-We keep silence for a few minutes and allow God to speak to us; Share; Plan for action-What new tasks needs to be done? WHO will do WHAT and WHEN? In Step 6 we may also share some examples of how we have applied the “Word of Life” in certain situations of daily life.); Pray- Anyone who wishes may pray spontaneously. ‘The Seven Steps’ and ‘Group Response’ methods to be adapted creatively to meet the needs of the Community. But you can still follow your own method-create your own method to promote and keep your faith strong. You can follow the Bible method also.

Following the discussions with the Bishop, moderated by R C Rodrigues and assisted by Dr Anand Pereira and Ms Ratna Pinto, Lancy Dçunha- President of All India Catholic Union made an announcement saying, “Let me brief you all about the forthcoming anniversary celebration of AICU. In a way CASK is no stranger to AICU, it having been affiliated to the national body since 1950. Neither is Mangalore stranger to AICU as it had held its AGM in Mangalore in 1951. It may be recalled that an eminent Mangalorean, AC Rebello, though resident of Bombay then, hosted the first National Congress in Madras in 1919. It is a happy coincidence that AICU is commencing its centenary celebrations with another Mangalorean, me, as its President”.

“AICU is the largest, nationwide Catholic lay body recognized by CBCI, with affiliated Catholic Associations at diocesan levels. Presently we are organizing Flag Rallies through dioceses and major centres in India. The Flag Rally was started from Velankanni on August 17 and is moving around dioceses. It has entered Karnataka and is passing through Mangalore and Udupi and will exit to Goa on November 24. Thank you for hosting our flag as part of your pre-arranged function here. I am thankful to CASK for offering me this platform to greet and seek your support for the success of AICU centenary celebrations and its renewal, specially centred on promoting national integration and fusion of Catholics with the rest of the communities with whom we aspire to live in harmony and contribute our mite for the all-round development of India. In this quest, I solicit your support especially in the context of the upcoming centenary celebrations” added Dçunha.

The vote of thanks was proposed by Capt Vincent Pais, and the entire function was professionally compered by Ms Rose Saldanha, member of CASK. After a bunch of selfies and group photos, the audience went home with sweet memories and precious time spent with Bishop Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha.

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Dr Derek Lobo
5 years ago

Dear Alfie – Thank you very much for your superb and well-crafted article on the Felicitation of Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha by CASK, along with appropriate photographs. I am particularly grateful to you for mentioning and appreciating the simple yet highly dignified honouring of the Bishop we did – by not seating him on a throne or special chair and not adorning him with paraphernalia like shawl, peta, fruit basket – We presented him with a meaningful 12-point citation, a memento and two Air-purifying Indoor Plants which His Lordship can cherish and treasure. As I mentioned in my introduction, CASK… Read more »