Oct 24 : Members of the “Konkani-Kutaam (Family) Rome” recently assembled to celebrate the annual feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (‘Monti Fest’) and honour the new Bishop of Mangalore Rev. Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha who was ceremoniously consecrated on September 15, 2018. On a brief official visit to Rome, and bid farewell to his ‘former family’ where he lived and taught in the last few years at the Collegio del Verbo Divino (S.V.D) in the heart of Rome. Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay, who is attending the synod in Rome, also visited the celebration and wished the new Bishop of Mangalore.
The Eucharistic Celebration was presided over by the new Bishop of Mangalore Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha together with the newly appointed General Minister of the SVD, Rev. Fr. Budi Kleden and over 35 Indian priests. The Bishop of Bellary Rev. Dr. Henry D’Souza (in attendance for the synod now on), preached a thematic sermon on the importance of women in society. In addition to over a dozen of other Indian Sisters belonging to various congregations at study or in service in Italy, there was gathered another 50 or so lay members of the ‘Rome Kutaam’ . The festive get-together and socializing was held in the adjacent SVD Hall, was graced also by Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Bombay with Msgr. Fr. Santiago Michael and Fr. Jacob Aranha. After the welcome address by Fr. Sunil D’Souza (current Gurkar of the Kutaam), Fr. Elias Frank conveyed Appreciation to the new Bishop of Mangalore followed by sentiments of felicitation expressed by both, Cardinal Gracias and the Bishop of Bellary.
Invited to speak, Bishop Peter Paul recalled his fine memorable years with the ‘Kutaam’ (Family) in Rome of which he was former Gurkar. Fr. Lancy Dias compered the program and Fr. Naveen D’Souza raised the vote of thanks. Before closure everybody joined in thankful prayer and happily enjoyed the ‘home-made’ meal prepared and offered by religious as well as families. Needless to say, in his witty humour and regular style our beloved new Bishop did not fail to entertain the community while at tea with his medley of popular songs, much to their delight … and his own ! Gladness and joy overflows, as the new bishop embarks on a new mission at home.