Mangaluru: People of Pavoor Uliya Island celebrated the golden jubilee of the erection of the chapel dedicated to Infant Jesus on Sunday.
Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, bishop of Mangaluru celebrated the Eucharist together with 25 priests most of them Capuchins from all over Karnataka. Three boys and one girl received their first Holy Communion during the Eucharist from the holy hands of the bishop.
There were more than thousand people to participate in the Eucharist and a sumptuous meal prepared by the people themselves was served to all gathered.
In the evening a film called ‘Veera Marana, Raktha Sakshi – John de Britto’ in Kannada was screened as a part of entertainment in which people of all the religion participated and celebrated the event in a joyful manner.
Considering the keen interest of the people and the adventurous efforts of the Capuchins, Bishop Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza was all in praise of the Capuchins and during the celebrations he pronounced the word ‘Capuchins’ more than 50 times. In addition, he declared this island as an independent quasi parish and separated it from Fajir Church and handed over to the Capuchins on a permanent basis (ad perpetuum). A decree of the promulgation of an independent parish (Fr Gerlad Lobo as the first parish priest) was read out by Fr Paul Melwyn D’Souza, the superior of St Ann’s Friary, Mangaluru. Fr Valerian Pinto, the parish priest of Fajir church was present and expressed his heartfelt thanks for the Capuchins. Consequently, it would be a parish of Bantval Varado, hence the vicar vara of Bantval varado, Fr Maxim Noronha welcomed the parishioners of Uliya parish to his varado and thanked the Capuchins for taking keen interest and promised every support and encouragement. Fr Joseph Dolphy Pais, the provincial of the Capuchins thanked the bishop and all gathered for giving the Capuchins a chance to work in this island. The melodious choir by the parishioners of Uliya, animated by Fr Prashanth Noronha added sweetness to the entire Eucharistic celebration. Friends and well wishers who contributed generously towards the entire expenses of the celebration were felicitated by the bishop and the provincial.
It was in 1966, the then bishop of Mangaluru requested the Capuchin Friars from Monte Mariano Farangipet to take care of the spiritual needs of the small island which was a part of Fajir Church dedicated to Our Lady of Mercy. There were 52 families in the island and all were Catholics. Being an island it was very difficult to go to the parish church at Fajir and the people would hardly frequent the Fajir Chuch. Therefore, this island is a ward in itself dedicated to St Antony of Padua was separated from the main parish and given to the Capuchins for all spiritual needs. Once the Capuchins plunged into the ministry, Fr Apollinaris Pinto, the pioneer of this mission, planned to build a modest chapel.
In the year 1968, Fr Liguory Noronha completed the work of the chapel dedicated to Infant Jesus. For the past 50 years several friars from Monte Mariano together with the Capuchin Novice Brothers have taken keen interest to educate the people in various fields. As this is an island, the government did not show much care and interest to put up a bridge to this island. However, the Capuchins with the help of the people around put a hanging bridge during every summer. This year too, to celebrate the golden jubilee of the existence of this chapel, Fr Gerald Lobo, the superior of Monte Mariano, constructed a temporary bridge at the cost of Rs 2.5 lac and it was a great adventure by the Capuchins and the people of Uliya.
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