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Centre of Our Lady of Vailankanni at Stella Maris Church, Kalmady was officially declared as the Diocesan Shrine on 15th August, 2022.

The solemn Eucharistic Celebration began at 10:00 am. The official Decree given by the Bishop of Udupi, Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo was read by the Chancellor of the Udupi Diocese V. Rev. Fr Stany B. Lobo.

The Holy Eucharist was celebrated by Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi and concelebrated by Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangalore; Most Rev. Dr Francis Serrao, Bishop of Shimoga; Most Rev. Dr Robert Miranda, Bishop of Gulbarga; Most Rev. Dr Henry D’Souza, Bishop of Bellary; Most Rev. Dr Lawrence Mukkuzhy, Bishop of Belthangady; Most Rev. Dr Geevargheese Mar Makarios Kalayil, Bishop of Puttur; V. Rev. Fr Stany B. Lobo, Chancellor of Udupi Diocese; V. Rev. Fr Charles Menezes, Dean of Udupi Deanery; V. Rev. Fr Baptist Menezes, Parish Priest of Stella Maris Church and the Rector of Our Lady of Vailankanni Shrine; Rev. Fr Roy Lobo, Assistant Parish Priest and other priests.

 

Soon after the mass, Golden Jubilee celebration of Stella Maris Church was held at the Church premises.

The programme began with the presentation of the Documentary of Stella Maris Church and welcome dance on LED screen. Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi; Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangalore; Most Rev. Dr Francis Serrao, Bishop of Shimoga; Most Rev. Dr Robert Miranda, Bishop of Gulbarga; Most Rev. Dr Henry D’Souza, Bishop of Bellary; Most Rev. Dr Geevargheese Mar Makarios Kalayil, Bishop of Puttur; V. Rev. Fr Stany B. Lobo, Chancellor of Udupi Diocese; V. Rev. Fr Charles Menezes, Dean of Udupi Deanery; V. Rev. Fr Baptist Menezes, Parish Priest of Stella Maris Church and the Rector of Our Lady of Vailankanni Shrine; Rev. Fr Roy Lobo, Assistant Parish Priest;The Vice President of the Parish Pastoral Council, Mr Sanjay Andrade; Secretary Mrs Shobha Mendonsa; Coordinator of 20 Commissions Mrs Ida D’Souza; and Coordinator of Golden Jubilee Committee Mr Sandeep Andrade were present on the dais.

Parish Priests who served in the church in the past and the Vocations from Kalmady who are currently serving in various places were honoured. The past and the present Vice Presidents, Secretaries, coordinators of 20 commissions, Gurkars of wards were also honoured.

 

About Stella Marish Shrine Kalmady

Stella Maris Church, Kalmady is a place well known to devotees of Coastal Karnataka and visited by people of all religions. The church located on the right of the Malpe – Thirthahalli National Highway is just 3 km away from the National Highway 66 (Karavali Bypass).

A place of solace to many, a healer of the sick, a place of divinity, Stella Maris Church Kalmady is beaming with pride as it has geared up to celebrate 50 glorious years of its inception on one hand and Proclamation of Our lady of Vailankanni Centre as the Diocesan Shrine on the other.

The church being very close to the Arabian Sea, the name of the church ‘Stella Maris’ meaning ‘Star of the Sea’ is apt. Stella Maris church was built in the year 1972 and inaugurated in 1972, by then Bishop of Mangalore Rt Rev. Dr Basil D’Souza.

Prior to that, the people of Kalmady had to visit St Anne’s Church, Thottam or Mother of Sorrows Church, Udupi for their spiritual needs.

Fr Charles D’Souza was a native of Kalmady and ordained by Pope John Paul VI. With the combined efforts of Fr Charles and the faithful of Kalmady, a new church was built and it was blessed and inaugurated on February 5, 1972. But the church was under Udupi parish. Priests of Udupi and Kallianpur parish were rendering their services on Sundays to cater to the spiritual needs of the people.

Fr Denis Castelino was the first resident priest of Kalmady. He took charge in 1987. In 1991, the Bishop of Mangalore declared Stella Maris Church, Kalmady as an independent parish. Fr Robert Pinto who came after Fr Denis also strived hard to develop the church. After him, Fr Ivan D’Mello took charge and during his tenure, he purchased land for the church, adjoining the existing church property.

For some years the parish was was under the spiritual care of Jesuit priests. With many developmental works, the Jesuit priests took the church to new heights. Some of the developmental works are the construction of a much-needed cemetery, Grotto of our Lady of Vailankanni etc: Fr Richard Mascarenhas, Fr Joseph D’Souza and Fr Maxim Misquith were the Jesuit Priests who served in the church.

In June 2012, Fr Alban D’Souza took charge as its new parish priest. Inspired by Noah’s Ark, Fr Alban D’Souza started to construct a new building of Stella Maris Church in Kalmady, in the shape of a boat and the bell tower in the shape of a lighthouse.

This unique architectural masterpiece was inaugurated in a grand ceremony on January 6, in the presence of Rt Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi, Rt Rev. Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, Bishop of Mangaluru, Rt Rev. Dr Francis Serrao SJ, Bishop of Shivamogga and Rt Rev. Dr Robert Miranda, Bishop of Gulbarga.

On July 5th, 2021, Rev Fr Alban D’Souza was transferred to St Lawrence Minor Basilica at Attur, as the Rector of the Minor Basilica and Rev Fr Baptist Menezes took charge as the Parish Priest and Rev Fr Roy Lobo as the Asst Parish Priest.

The Stella Maris Church Kalmady is celebrating Golden year of its existence (1972-2022), on 15th August 2022, with the motto ‘Golden remembrance of faith: Mother Mary inspires’.

Our Lady of Vailankanni centre at Kalmady is very famous worldwide. The Statue of Our Lady of Vailankanni was brought in procession from Udupi church on August 15, 1988. The statue was donated by Rev. Fr Wilson Vitus D’Souza and was brought from Vailankanni Shrine, Tamil Nadu.

The then Mangalore Bishop Rt Rev Dr Basil D’Souza installed the statue at Kalmady on August 15, 1988. After the installation, to this day many miracles have happened at the Centre.

From a chapel to its present status the Centre has come a long way. The priests who served here and the parishioners are the main reason why this place is famous today.

Raising the status of Our Lady of Vailankanni Centre to a Shrine will definitely attract devotees from all around in the days to come. This will also help in bringing about harmony among the religions in Kalmady area through the powerful intercession of Our Lady Of Vailankanni.

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