Pics: Stanley Bantwal
May 17, 2015: The canonization of Blessed Marium Baouardy of Jesus Crucified by Pope Francis in Rome was celebrated at Sacred Heart Monastery, Cloistered Carmel, Kankanady with a solemn mass followed by a brief formal function.
The celebrations began with the Eucharistic mass offered by bishop of Mangaluru diocese Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza. Dr Robert Miranda, bishop of Kalaburagi (Gulbarga) diocese, Msgr Denis Moras Prabhu, vicar general of Mangaluru diocese, Fr Henry Sequeira, chancellor, Fr Pius James D’Souza, episcopal vicar, Fr Richard Coelho, administrator of Father Muller Charitable Institutions, Fr Joe Tauro, Fr James D’Souza, parish priest of Valencia, Fr Elias D’Souza, Fr Deepu Fernandes, and Fr Joseph Martis, rector of Jeppu Seminary were the concelebrants.
The sermon was delivered by Fr Gregory D’Souza, who said, “As Jesus died and rose to heaven, he showed a way for disciples. In the same way the life of St Mary Boauardy is an example for us to follow. It is indeed a happy moment for all of us that a saint lived here and professed her oath in Cloistered Carmel, Kankanady. The Word of God was alive in her life and it has been given fruition by canonizing her a saint.
Narrating the life of St Mary Baouardy, he said, “She lost her parents at the age of two and her brother was her only family, but they too were separated when they were adopted by different families. She never saw her brother again till her death. After being adopted she was not provided education, was tortured and at the age of 12 she was forced to marry, but she was determined to remain single. She was ready to sacrifice her life for the faith she had in God. The greatest gift which we have received from our ancestors and the missionaries is the Christian faith. Are we ready to die to defend it today?”
“Let us pray to the saint and follow in her path in our daily lives,” he urged.
The mass was a mixture of Konkani and Latin.
After the mass, a brief stage programme was held, in which mayor Jacintha Alfred, MLA J R Lobo, MLC Ivan D’Souza, Roy Castelino, president of Konkani Sahitya Academy, Sr Lynette, provincial superior, Apostolic Carmel, Karnataka province, Sr Jacintha of Cloistered Carmel, Fr Scervin, Betharram and other priests were present. The ceremony was inaugurated by lighting the lamp.
Addressing the gathering, bishop of Kalaburagi Dr Robert Miranda said, “This is a joyous occasion for all of us to have a saint who lived in Mangaluru. Just as she showed her spiritual richness to the world, we too have to give our spiritual richness to others. Whenever I come to Mangaluru, I visit the Convent and request for prayers. I feel very happy and honoured to be present on this day of canonization of St Mary Baouardy.
“I thank the Convent for giving spiritual richness to Mangaluru. St Mary Baouardy is a saint of three congregations. It is indeed a happy day for all of us. I thank everyone, both the clergy and the laity who toiled hard to make this day a memorable one,” he added.
J R Lobo released a CD titled ‘Lipon Asallem Dirvem’ (Hidden Tresure), a documentary on St Mary Baouardy of Jesus Crucified, brought out by Divine Media and Cloistered Carmel, Kankanady. MLC Ivan D’Souza released a brochure.
Bannu Fernandes, director of the play that was staged on the occasion, Corrine Rasquinha of White Doves, Elias Fernandes of Four Wings, Fr Richard Coelho, administrator of Father Muller Institutions and Stany Bantwal were honoured.
Secretary of Mangaluru diocese council M P Noronha welcomed the gathering. Sheldon Crasta compered. Fr Pius James proposed the vote of thanks.