Mangaloreans accord a rousing welcome to the Bishop in Chicago

Reproduced from Mangalorean.com

Press Release

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Chicago, July 10, 2009: The Mangaloreans of Chicago area, under the leadership of Mangalorean Konkan Christian Association of Chicago, greeted Bishop of Mangalore, Most Rev. Dr. Aloysius D’Souza, spiritual leader of Mangalore Diocese, with a rousing welcome. The celebrations were held at the Holy Spirit Church of Techny Towers. The Techny Towers is the landmark of the Divine Word Missionaries in the US.

This program began with solemn Mass celebrated by the Bishop, along with co-celebrants Fr Riche Vaz and Fr Henry Sequeira.  The Bishop gave a touching homily asking everyone to help the needy by representing Jesus Christ in them.  Dorthy Rego and Rexon D’souza with Daphne Fernandes on the Keyboard arranged a melodious choir in Konkani during the Mass.

After the Mass a felicitation program was organized to honor our dear Bishop. Mr. Lawrence Mascarenhas, the president of the MKCA welcomed the gathering. In his welcome message he gave brief description of Association’s activities in supporting the community back in Mangalore and especially, in supporting victims of communal unrest in Orissa. In his message he stated that in support of Christian community back in India, the Association has raised finance to build houses, appealed both Indian and US Presidents, along with US Senators to intervene in bringing peace to the communally ravaged areas of State of Orissa.

Fr Riche Vaz introduced the Bishop of Mangalore to all the people present.  The personality of Bishop is best summed up in his own motto, “With the Compassion of Jesus Christ”.  In his person, the Mangalore diocese has received continuous leadership in the pastoral orientation for clergy and laity. His noble character has made his person synonymous with compassion, love and service. He shepherds’ a large catholic population and leads many educational, medical, engineering, technical and social welfare organizations.

Later a Mann Pathr (Letter of Honor), written in immaculate Konkani was read out and presented by Dr Austin Prabhu to our beloved Bishop. In response to the wonderful honor showered upon him, the Bishop of Mangalore praised the wonderful cultural promotional activities conducted by the MKCA, USA. He apprised the Mangalorean expatriates of the various developments in the Diocese of Mangalore in the recent years. Notable among them were the opening of the new dedicated Cancer Research Institute at Fr Muller’s Medical College and Hospital, St Joseph’s Engineering College, up-gradation of high schools to Pre-Universtiy colleges. He stated, St Josephs Engineering College is proud to have supported lot of poor students who were not able to meet the financial demands of higher education. Also 38 new schools were started during his tenure most of them being English Medium schools in rural areas to help the poor students in meeting the current and future challenges of globalization. These were long felt needs by the local community. The Bishop of Mangalore has started a Medical Relief Fund for the poor who are suffering from major ailments like Cancer, Cardiac and Kidney related problems. The Bishop has set a target of 20 million INR for the same. Already the bishop has been able to collect donations of 12.3 million INR for the same. The Bishop of Mangalore appealed to all Mangalorean Catholics to help him reach the target so as to help the poor and the needy in the diocese of Mangalore. He expressed his optimism in reaching the target soon. To aid Bishop’s vision, MKCA had urged all the attendees to voluntarily donate money to Bishop’s Medical Relief Fund. Moreover the bishop plans to start a housing assistance program for the poor from the year 2010.

A grand memento was presented to the Bishop by Fr Henry Sequeira. The vote of thanks was proposed by the secretary of MKCA, Ms Vissia D’Souza.   She especially thanked Fr. Richie Vaz in arranging this pastoral visit and providing this great venue for MKCA in organizing this most memorable event.  Later a social program along with dinner was arranged at Techny Towers Conference and Retreat Center, where the attendees interacted with the Bishop and photo session. Also a video on the history of the Catholic Church at Mangalore was displayed. All the audience marveled to witness great, rich history for Mangalore Diocese’s Catholic Church from its humble beginning to the current status being called as “Rome of East”.

All the attendees savored the typical Mangalorean style dinner arranged by MKCA members, consisting of famous authentic ‘Dukra Maas’ prepared especially to this program by Mark and Loretta Rodrigues.

The program was concluded singing Laudathe Dominum led by Dr Austin Prabhu. This program was compered by immediate past president of MKCA, Stany D’Souza.

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