Bantwal, Feb 16: The concluding ceremony of the platinum jubilee celebrations of Our Lady of Loretto church was held on Sunday February 15 under the leadership of Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, bishop of Mangaluru.
A holy mass was offered with the bishop as the main celebrant, in the presence of several priests and thousands of devotees.

In his homily, Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza said, “We should thank God for his help. Look back and thank God, look within and feel God, look around and meet God. Look ahead and trust God. You are developing in all the fields and you are succeeding in your life. You should thank God for his support and blessings. You are the children of God. You are the temple of God. We should treat everyone equally. You should not humiliate anyone because all are one and the same.”

“God is everywhere. Help the people who are in need of help. If you do not help them, you will never meet God in church. When you help poor people, you help God, Because God is within them. Trust in God and live your life.” he added.

Loretto Church parish priest Fr Elias D’Souza welcomed the gathering. Platinum jubilee committee secretary Cyprian D’Souza briefed about the history of the church. Writer Roshan Pinto’s book ‘Amrath’ was released by Sr Doreen D’Souza on this occasion.

Mangaluru South MLA J R Lobo felicitated the new gurkars. District In charge minister Ramanath Rai felicitated the former vice presidents, secretaries and gurkars. Logo was inaugurated and the designer of the logo Sunil Lobo was honoured by Oscar Fernandes.

J R Lobo in his speech said, “A church is not only meant for the Catholics. It is a helping centre. Anybody can come and take help from the church. For the past 75 years, Our Lady of Loretto Church has been helping the poor people. Catholic institutions play an important role in educating today’s generation. Dakshina Kannada is a great district because Catholic institutions provide educations to all of students without dividing them on the basis of religion.”
Speaking about the allegations leveled against Christians of converting people from other religions, Lobo said, “Catholics have a helping nature. Our churches provide help to every human being from all communities without any discrimination. We do not convert them. It is wrong.”

Addressing the gathering, Ramanath Rai spoke about the communal unrest experienced in India. He said, “The social status of our country is in danger. Fights are erupting between people. Youths of the country are our the only future. Youths from all religions should join together to prevent communal clashes in our country.”

Former parish priests, assistant priests and Sr Doreen D’Souza were felicitated by Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza.
Addressing the gathering, Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza remembered the 2008 church attack and said, “In 2008 our churches faced lot of troubles. Crosses and statues were destroyed, we did not take revenge on anybody, but we forgave them. We never wish to take any revenge.”

Managing director of Rohan Corporation and director Daijiworld Media Pvt Ltd Rohan Monteiro was also felicitated on this occasion.

Oscar Fernandes, former union minister in his speech said, “Education gives us the opportunity to build a bright future. We have to provide education for kids who are very poor. We should work together and prevent evil forces from breaking our country.”

A project to build homes for the poor to commemorte the platinum jubilee of Our Lady of Loretto church was initiated.

Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza felicitated the present parish priest, vice president, secretary, convener of jubilee committee and other members.

The formal function ended with dinner and later with the staging of a Konkani drama written by Arun Raj Rodrigues.
Fr Antony Lobo, parish priest of Suratkal church, Fr Cyprian Pinto, parish priest of Vamanjoor church, Fr Godffrey Saldanha, parish priest of Neermarga church and Fr Maxim Noronha were also present on this occasion.

Courtesy : Daijiworld