Mumbai: Cardinal Gracias honours Udupi bishop Dr Gerald Lobo at UKM event
May 5, 2014
Archbishop of Bombay archdiocese, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, praised Christians settled in Karnataka for their hard work, unity, service-mindedness, dedication towards their religion, and spiritual aptitude. He expressed happiness for the emergence of Udupi diocese as the top diocese of India during the first tenure of the Bishop there in such a short period.
He was delivering the benedictory address after presiding over a felicitation-cum-congratulatory function organized by United Kanarites Mumbai (UKM) organization on behalf of the Christian community settled in the metro at St Xavier Engineering College, Mahim (west) on Sunday May 4 evening in honour of the first ever and newly appointed Bishop of Udupi diocese, Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo. A souvenir brought out to commemorate the occasion was also released by the Cardinal.
The function, organized on a grand scale, was presided over by working president of United Kanarites Mumbai (UKM), Albert W D’Souza. Oscar Fernandes, union minister for state in the department of surface transport, national highways, and labour, participated as the chief guest of the function, while former deputy working president of National Minorities Commission, Michael Pinto, working president of Maharasthra State Minorities Commission, Janet L D’Souza, and Blossom Oscar Fernandes, participated as dignitary guests.
In his congratulatory address, Oscar said that Udupi happens to be a historic land in which Vasco Da Gama has set foot for the first time after inventing India. ‘The people of this region are religious and service-minded. People from this area had even volunteered to serve in Karachi, Pakistan, in the past, and therefore, have been acclaimed and acknowledged worldwide for their sincerity of service and orientation towards religion,’. He therefore, felt that the emergence of Udupi as a separate diocese deserves to be lauded, and specifically felt that the appointment of Fr Gerald Lobo as the Bishop there is highly meaningful. He called upon the people to imbibe divine and religious lifestyle of such persons in their lives.
Responding to the felicitation, Bishop Gerald Issac Lobo said that the affectionate honour bestowed upon him by the people of the city directly gets dedicated to Jesus, as he came there as His representative. He said he was accepting the recognition and honour on behalf of Udupi diocese. He stressed the importance of participating in holy meetings on a daily basis by organizing family prayers regularly. ‘We have to read the God’s messages every day and implement the guiding principles in our lives. Let us hold the exalted life of the God in high esteem and be prepared for leading a life that is perennial,’ he added.
In their addresses, Michael Pinto, Janet D’Souza, and other guests, extended their best wishes to the Bishop of Udupi.
On his arrival at the venue, Bishop Gerald Issac Lobo was extended a ceremonial reception, and led to the grand dais. Thereafter, Bishop Gerald Lobo celebrated thanksgiving ceremony. Priests, Fr John Rumao, Fr Lancy Pereira, and Fr Ronson D’Souza participated in the religious rituals connected thereto as celebrants. Flora D’Souza Kalmadi (Jerimeri) and Wilfred Fernandes read out verses from the Bible. Jacinta D’Souza rendered prayer.
The function started with the prayer dance presented by a troupe from Sangeeta Abhinaya Academy. UKM working president, Albert W D’Souza, welcomed and delivered introductory address. Ronny R Mendonca introduced the Bishop of Udupi and delivered felicitation address. Abraham Clement Lobo, Rita D’Sa, and Ruben Buthello, presented the programme, besides introducing the guests. Finance Committee working president, John D’Silva, Food Committee working president, Walter Buthello, Cultural Committee working president, Lawrence Charles Mulund, Prayer Committee working president, Charles D’Cunha, Souvenir Committee working president, Lawrence Coelho, Christian Chamber of Commerce and Industry working president, Henry Lobo, and founder president, Vincent Mathias, honoured the guests by handing over bouquets to them. Lawrence D’Souza Kamani proposed vote of thanks.
Fr Baptist Pais, Fr Rudolph Pereira, Fr Adolph D’Souza, H R Alva Mangalore, a number of dignitaries, various religious leaders from religious orders from Mumbai, religious sisters, heads of different organizations and institutions, and people from Karnataka coast participated in the function in large numbers, and contributed immensely to its success. As part of cultural programme, a troupe led by Fr Dr Charles Vaaz, director of Sangeeta Abinaya Academy presented a cultural grandeur fest and a programme based on the life of Mother Teresa, which aimed at giving a sublime message to the audience.
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