Archbishop Dr Bernard Moras of Bengaluru Archdiocese presided over a solemn and con-celebrated Eucharist to mark the culmination of year-long 175th jubilee of St. Patrick’s Church in Bengaluru on August 13 (Sunday).
In his homily, Archbishop Moras urged the faithful to render service to the people as service to Church is service to people of God. He said we have a beautiful church built 175 years ago for the people of God to receive blessings from Him. All the people, of the parish, those in the city and those from outside who visited the church received blessings and salvation through this church. God worked for the good of all through the church. The number of those received communion – the body and blood of Christ- is innumerable which nourished their spiritual life. The number of those received sacraments is countless. Besides, in this chapel (church), very large number of people commended their spirit in the hands of God to receive eternal reward for their services. All those people who prayed in this church, were received in His bosom.. Also people of other religions who visited the church received blessings in abundance.
Archbishop Moras who turned 76 on August 10 reminded the congregation that the reason for ‘our being present today is because of the blessings each one received. What Jesus began 2000 years ago should continue. What he (Jesus) had entrusted Peter goes on. The jubilee celebrations should remind everyone that service of the Church is indeed service of the people. Dr Moras exhorted all present to build a community of Church today in a special way. This is nothing but communion of the faithful. However, it is not a structure, but a living community of church. Archdiocese of Bangalore has built a living Church to give life to others and not to ourselves. One should witness the glory of Christ through the services to humanity.
Referring to the day’s readings, he said we see Peter jumping into the water to meet Jesus. In the context, Dr Moras narrated a story of a child caught up in a multi-storied building which caught fire. One could see people rushing out. One child was left out alone in the smock and darkness. There was a cry from the balcony of the building. The father of the child asked him to jump out. The child told him that he could not see him. The father said, “ I can see you, just jump”. The child jumped from the 5th floor and he was saved. The child had full trust in his father.
Today, we are like Peter. Peter said” Lord, if it is you…I shall come walking over water. Peter at first thought it was a ghost. However, he could recognize the words of Jesus. Many a time, we ask God in our problems, trials and difficulties, why they happen. But we should know God allows them to happen. Nothing happens haphazardly. Peter began to sink. Jesus asked him what happened to his faith. Jesus helps him out stretching out his hand. Archbishop Moras emphatically said every faithful Christian and Catholic should trust the Lord. “The Lord will never, ever ’let us down.” If Jesus is not there in our lives, in our families, we are sure to sink Peter and friends were crossing and sinking without Jesus.
Concluding his message on the occasion, Archbishop said, ‘during the 175th year of this church we shall profess our faith in our joys and sorrows.’
Among others present for the con-celebration included Archbishop Robert Le Gall of Toulouse of France, Fr Bonal Henri, Regional Provincial of MEP in India, Msgr C Francis, Vicar General and Parish Priest of St. Patrick’s Church.
During a felicitation function soon after the Eucharist, St. Patrick's Coffee Table Book to mark the 175 years milestone of the Church was launched. Also a souvenir was released on the occasion. In his welcome address, Msgr C Francis presented a brief history of the parish. He said St. Patrick's Church, Bengaluru has completed 175 glorious years. To celebrate this milestone, a Coffee Table Book is launched, which unfolds the story of this dynamic Church (formerly a Cathedral): how it came into existence, the struggle of its founder Fathers and the vibrant Parish it is today. He said this is a moral parish in India.
Msgr Francis said Archbishop Moras is a person of courage and commitment. Archbishop brought in tremendous growth to the archdiocese. He eulogized the Archbishop for all his hard work and achievements.
Describing the book, he said this multi-coloured book of about 148 pages captures the history of St. Patrick's in all its uniqueness: right from the Grant of Land, the initial construction of the Church, its subsequent expansion and the architectural marvel that it presents today in the heart of central Bengaluru. The book also gives interesting historical details about the growth of this vibrant parish over the ages. The Coffee Table Book chronicles the origins and growth of the Catholic Church in Bangalore. It showcases rare photographs and contains detailed historical information that provides an excellent insight into everyday life in those early times. The team that worked hard for the Book includes Col. Christopher Rego (Retd.), Pramodh Naidu, Marianne De Nazareth, Ryan Lobo & Gregory De Nazareth.
While launching the coffee Table Book, Archbishop Moras lauded Msgr C Francis and his team for their efforts and thanked him and his collaborators. He thanked all concerned on his personal behalf, on behalf of all people of the archdiocese and all the priests. Dr Moras also honoured Msgr C Francis, parish priest and Msgr S Jayanathan, Vicar General and former parish priest. Archbishop made a mention of the shifting of the cathedral to the present location and change of name to St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral. He said the services rendered are more beautiful than the church itself. The service St Patrick’s Church renders reflects what the Church does in the State as a whole. This institution (St Patrick’s) has grown a toll one.
Those present on the occasion included Dominic Mc Allister, British Deputy High Commissioner, Francois Gautur, Consul General of France, Ms Claudia Brueske, Deputy Consul General of Republic of Germany, Blaz Strasser, Consul General of Switzerland, Kamal Pande, DGP, Polic Administration and Charles Lobo Post Master General of Karnataka. All special invitees and guests were presented with shawls and garlands.
Coffee Table Book, autographed by Archbishop Moras, was auctioned for Rs 125,000. The highest bidder was Francis Pinto. The bidding began with 50,000.
Archbishop Robert Le Gall from France released a souvenir on the occasion. Gregory De Nazareth presented a slide show with rare photos of the past and elaborated the content. Col. Christopher Rego spoke on the background of the Coffee Table Book and about the contributors. Fernandez spoke of the outreach programme of St Patrick’s at Kadisenahalli. Fr. Joseph, the parish priest, presented the prevailing situation.
Students of Good Shepherd and youth of St Patrick’s performed dances. Members of the parish sang a group song. Mark Rego compered the function in which a large people attended. Prizes were distributed for bible quiz conducted earlier. Wilma Pinto, secretary, parish council, proposed a vote of thanks.
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