Udupi: JIVIT, the Family Life Commission of the Diocese of Udupi organized the first ever “Widows and Widowers’ Day” at Mount Rosary Church, in Kallianpur on Friday, 23rd October, 2015. This is for the first time in the history of the 14 Catholic Dioceses of Karnataka that any Diocese is organizing such an event. 640 widows and widowers of the Diocese of Udupi took part in this rare and meaningful program.
This unique event took off with the Holy Eucharistic Celebration officiated by His Lordship Most Rev Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo, the Bishop of Udupi Diocese. The other concelebrants were V. Rev Fr. Stany B, Lobo, Dean of Kallianpur Deanery and Rector of Milagres Cathedrfal, V. Rev Fr. Fredrick Mascarenhas Dean of Udupi Deanery and Parish Priest of Mother of Sorrows Church, Udupi, Rev. Fr. Chetan Lobo, OFM Cap. The Editor of the Diocesan fortnightly, “Uzvaad”, Rev Fr. Lawrence C. D’Souza, Secretary of Catholic Education Society of Udupi, Rev Fr. Fredrick D’Souza, Parish Priest, Thottam Church and Rev Fr. Philip Nery Aranha Parish Priest of Mount Rosary Church, Kallianpur.
Fr. Chetan preached a meaningful homily where he narrated the plight of widows and widowers in the Bible and later pre and post independence times. He called upon the widows and widowers to hold their heads high and live a life of dignity and respect which Jesus ushered in and envisaged during his time.
After Mass, the widows and widowers were given a meaningful and colourful reception in the Mount Rosary Millennium Hall. Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo presided over the public function. Mrs Lucy D’Souza of Manipal parish, the senior most person among the days’ participants was felicitated during the function. Professor emeritus Mr Alban Rodrigus wished the members present well. Msgr. Edwin Pinto, Rev Fr. Lawrence C. D’Souza, Mr Leslie Aroza Director of Family Life Commission spoke on the occasion.
During in his brief message, Bishop Gerald said that every person in the society has the right to live in dignity and respect. History reveals that in a male dominated society women are looked down upon and the situation of the widows and widowers is still worse. He called upon the members gathered to play an active role in building the diocese as well as the society in their own way. He also urged the catholic associations and the government to help the widows and widowers to live a life of self respect and dignity.
Earlier Mr Leslie Aroza welcomed the gathering and later he thanked all those who helped him to organize this program. Mr Alphonse D’Costa, Secretary of the Diocesan Pastoral Council conducted the programme.