The Parish Priest and the Faithful of St. Maria Goretti Church, Hirgana celebrated its Silver Jubilee on 21 February, 2017. The day began with the receiving of the Bishop of Udupi, Rt. Rev. Dr. Gerald Lobo. This was followed by the Solemn Eucharistic Celebration presided over by the Bishop and concelebrated by Rev. Fr. Anil Cornelio, Parish Priest of Hirgan; Rev. Fr. Roshan D’Souza, Principal; Rev. Fr.Lawrence D’Souza, Secretary, CESU; V.Rev. Fr. Joswey Fernandes, Dean of Karkal Deanery; V. Rev. Fr. Fredrick Mascarenhas, dean of Udupi Deanery; Rev. Fr. Harold Pereira, Director, SCC Commission; Rev. Fr. Vincent Crasta, Director of Proclamation and Evangelisation Commission and many others. In his homily, Bishop Gerald Lobo explained the meaning of the word Jubilee in the Bible and highlighted the significance and important dimensions of a jubilee year. They are, remembrance, call to repentance, reconciliation, walking with the Lord and Jubilation. He wished spiritual abundance to the people of Hirgan parish and said that it was his wish and prayer that people would live up to a hundred years of blessings from the Lord.
A felicitation programme was organized after the Mass. It started with a prayer song by Savitha and Team. Rev. Fr.Anil Cornelio welcomed the gathering. Mr. Rosario Castelino delivered the key note address. Most. Rev. Dr. Gerald Lobo, Rev. Fr. Anil Cornelio, Rev. Fr. Roshan D’Souza, Rev. Fr. Cyprian Pinto, Former Parish Priest, Sr. Mable FMM, Sr. Nancy Superior Nava Jeevan Convent, Hirgan, Mr. Rosario Castelino, Vice-President of the Parish Pastoral Council, Vanitha Vaz, Secretary Parish Pastoral Council were present on the dais.
The following persons were honoured on the occasion:
1. Former Parish Priests
2. Brothers who had served in the parish
3. Vocations from the parish
4. Former Vice presidents
5. Former secretaries
6. Former Gurkars
Rev. Fr. Cyprian Pinto spoke on behalf of the honoured former Parish Priests. He recalled the happy days he spent in Hirgan parish as its first Parish Priest. He thanked Bishop Basil D’Souza of happy memory for appointing him as the Parish Priest of Hirgan. He said that Hirgan parish and all the people were close to his heart. He thanked God and Maria Goretti for the blessings he received to build the new Church. He also remembered the donation he received from Bishop Gerald Lobo when he was the Director of CODP Mangalore. Messages were also delivered by Sr.Mabel FMM who represented the Provincial of FMM Sisters, Sr.Pushpa Joseph FMM; Re. Fr. Roshan D’Souza, Principal of the School, Hirgan.
The Presidential Address was delivered by Bishop Gerald Lobo. In his Speech he extended Jubilee greetings to all the parishioners. He said that the parishioners are aware of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan and it was his wish that all in the parish benefit from the 18 Commissions and their work. He also reminded people that the Holy Father Pope Francis has issued a pastoral letter, “Amoris Laetitia” (Joy of Love) to the whole Catholic Community across the globe which highlights the mission of the family. The Diocese has also declared this year as the year of “Lectio Divina”, through which all families should benefit from the Word of God, to read and meditate on God’s Holy Word. He also asked people to make sincere efforts to read the entire Bible this year. He thanked people for remembering and honouring the former parish priests who had rendered their service to the parish. He said that it was a very good gesture on their part. He wished people God’s abundant blessings. He thanked the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Anil Cornelio for renovating the Church and for facilitating a meaningful celebration of the Silver Jubilee. He also thanked Rev.Fr. Roshan D’Souza for his services to education by securing 100% results last year in SSLC examinations. He also thanked the parish for several vocations to priesthood and religious life and wished many more to blossom as the diocese was in dire need of vocations.
The Bishop then honoured Fr. Cornelio on behalf of the diocese with a shawl.
Rev. Fr. Anil Cornelio presented mementos to the guests. Vanitha Vaz proposed the vote of thanks and Rev. Fr. Thomas Roshan D’Souza led the gathering for the grace before meals. All present participated in the fellowship meal that followed.
Cultural Programme in the evening
The cultural programme started with a prayer dance by childen. The Vicar General of Udupi Diocese, Msgr. Baptist Menezes, Rev. Fr. Anil Cornelio, Rev. Fr. Roshan D’Souza, Sr. Nancy Salins, Mr. Gopal Bhandary, Former MLA of Karkal, Mr. Santosh Shetty, President GramaPanchayat, Hirgan, Ms. Sumana Rao, President Grama Panchayat, Kukkundur, Mr. John Pinto, Mr. Rosario Castelino, Ms. Vanitha Vaz were present on the dais.
Rev. Fr. Roshan D’Souza welcomed the gathering. Sri H. Gopal Bhandary inaugurated the programme by lighting the lamp. He also addressed the gathering. He offered his jubilee felicitations to the Bishop and all the parishioners. He thanked the Catholic Community for their selfless service in the fields of health and education. Mr. Santosh Shetty and Ms. Sumana Rao also delivered their speeches.
Prizes were distributed to the winners in different games organized by ICYM. Mr. Bujanga Aachary was felicitated by Rev. Fr. Anil Cornelio for his service of more than25 years in carpentry.
In his presidential address, V. Rev. Msgr. Baptist Menezes praised the people of Hirgan for their enthusiasm and faith. Through an interesting story he admonished people to be sign posts of goodness today.
Msgr. Baptist Menezes was honoured by Rev. Fr. Anil Cornelio, Mr. Gopal Bhandary and Ms. Sumana Rao. Rev. Fr. Anil Cornelio presented all present on the dais with a memento. He also presented a memento to the Poppa Drama Team, Kaup. Ms.Philomena Castelino proposed the vote of thanks.
A documentary on the parish prepared by Mr. Vinod Gangoli was screened. Dr. Ashok and Ms. Latha compered the programme. All present enjoyed the drama staged by the Poppa Drama Team.