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Catholic Sabha Udupi Pradesh organized the first laity convention of Udupi diocese ‘Samudayotsav 2020’ on Mount Rosary Church premises, Kallianpur on 19th January, 2020.

It was inaugurated in a unique way by Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi Diocese along with Mrs Margaret Alva, Ex-Governor of Uttarakhand; Mr Antony Mendonca, Retired KS Officer; Rev. Fr Francis Assisi Almeida, lawyer; Mr Gabriel Vaz, senior journalist; Dr. Vincent Alva Principal of Milagres College, Kallianpur; Mr Albert D’Souza, Model Bank, Mumbai; Mrs Janet D’Souza, AICU Secretary; Mr Assisi Gonsalves, AICU President; Mr Rolphy D’Costa, President of Catholic Sabha Mangalore Pradesh; John D’Silva; Rev. Dr. Leslie Clifford D’Souza, Parish Priest of Mount Rosary Church; Mrs Pramila D’Sa, President of Catholic Stree Sanghatan, Rev. Fr Ferdinand Gonsalves, Spiritual Director of Catholic Sabha, Mr Alwyn Quadros, President of Catholic Sabha Udupi Pradesh; Mr Santosh Cornelio Secretary of Catholic Sabha Udupi Pradesh; Mr Valerian Fernandes, Convener of Samudayotsava 2020; Mr Elroy Kiran Crasto, zonal president and others were present on the dais.

During the programme “Our Constitution and Rights” written by Edward Larsen D’Souza and “The History of the Catholic Sabha” authored by Dr. Gerald Pinto were released.

Addressing the gathering Bishop Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo said, “The roots of democracy are being weakened. Compared to the last 25 years today we have the number of elderly people in our diocese and number of Christians is decreasing. As a community we are third in numbers in our district. We are losing our strength to fight for our rights. We are citizens of this country but have failed to prove that we are of Indian origin. We are still depending on the Church for everything.”

Speaking on the occasion the Chief Guest of the programme Ex-Governor Uttarakand Margaret Alva said, “Udupi diocese is still in its beginning stages, but with a lot of efforts you have organized this convention. NRC requires to produce the birth certificates of our Grandfathers and our ancestors. This is not only applicable for Christians and Muslims but affects people from all walks of life. I will not fill the form to prove my citizenship, even you will also not fill any forms to prove your citizenship. Are Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah freedom fighters? We have not seen our PM’s academic certificate but he is asking our people to bring their certificates”.

Mrs. Margaret Alva, expressed concern over the ongoing incidents in the country. She said that the recent protests and violence against the CAA and NRC have been great impediments to the progress of the nation. Though not directly, there has been an attempt to intimidate the Christian community. The protest and political machinations by vested interests against the installation of the statue of Jesus Christ at Kanakapura is one of the examples of such intimidatory tactics. If there is no opposition to put up statues of anyone, why there should be objection for the installation of the statue of Jesus Christ, asked Mrs. Margaret Alva. She further said that the government that had won mandate from the people on the promise of ‘Good days would come” has been behaving in an autocratic manner neglecting the welfare of the poor people.

J.R. Lobo, retired KS Officer delivered the keynote address on the ‘Present Condition and Future Vision of the Christian Community’.

Retired KAS Officer Antony Mendonca, senior journalist Gabriel Vaz and Advocate Fr Assisi Almeida replied to the talk by JR Lobo. Dr Vincent Alva principal of Milagres College Kallianpur moderated the Talk.

Mr Alwyn Quadros welcomed the gathering and Mrs. Mary D’Souza proposed the vote of thanks. Mr Leslie Arouza and Edward Larsen D’Souza compeered the programme.

The valedictory function was presided over by Mr Alwyn Quadros President of the Catholic Sabha, Udupi Pradesh; Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi Diocese; Mrs Janet D’Souza, AICC Member; Mr Joylus D’Souza, President of Karnataka Christian Development Corporation; Mr Albert D’Souza President of Model Cooperative Bank, Mumbai; Mr Anil Lobo, President of MCC Bank,Mangalore; Mr Lancy D’Cunha, President of AICU; Mr Lancy D’Cunha, President of Catholic Sabha Mumbai; Mr Raphael D’Souza; Rev. Fr Ferdinand Gonsalves, Spiritual Director of Catholic Sabha Udupi Pradesh, Mr Gerald Rodrigues Treasurer, Mr Robert Menezes, elected President; Mr Valerian Fernandes former President, and others were present on the dais for the valedictory function.

The ICYM members of the Udupi Diocese presented variety entertainment programme during the lunch break.

“If everyone uses his or her talents for the welfare of the society the benefits are enormous and hence it is important that everyone in the Christian community should manifest their talents and abilities for the betterment of the society”, said the Bishop of Mangalore Diocese Dr Peter Paul Saldanha.

Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha was speaking as the chief guest at the valedictory function of the historic Samudayotsava 2020 organized by the Catholic Sabha of Udupi Diocese at the grounds of Mount Rosary Church, Santekatte, Kallianpur.

Further speaking, the Bishop said that even though the Christian community is a minuscule minority compared to other religious communities, its contribution in the fields of education, health and social service has been remarkable. The Christian community being disciplined and peaceful and having been not vociferously responsive to many important issues and its advantage has been taken by many vested interests. There are also attempts to paint the Christian community in negative colours. In this respect, the Christian community has to be alert. Leadership in the Christian community should not be confined to the four walls of the Church but manifest their leadership qualities by doing social work beneficial to all communities.

Ivan D’Souza, member of the Karnataka Legislative Council who was another chief guest in his message said that in recent times there have been many dark shadows on the Christian community. Hence, they have to be vigilant. Though there are many community leaders among the Christians, it is important that they should pay more attention in entering the political field.

During the discussion programme convener of the committee Walter Cyril Pinto placed before the audience 9 resolutions addressed to the government at the Diocesan level.

On this occasion, Christians of Udupi Diocese who have achieved greater heights in different fields abroad as well as in different states such as the cooperative movement, Directors of APMC, Gazetted and higher officials as well as those who have been serving in different organizations were felicitated. These achievers included: John D’Souza, Kundapur (Media), Julian Danti (Progressive Farmer), Roshan D’Souza, Belman (Social Service) and Francis Andrade, Kalmady (Traditional Medicine). Besides these, John D’Silva, the doyen of cooperative movement was conferred with the `Lifetime Achievement’ honour.

Mr Elroy Kiran Crasto welcomed the gathering and Mr Santosh Cornelio delivered the vote of thanks. Mr Edward Larsen D’Souza, Mrs Suja D’Souza and Mrs Jenevive D’Souza compeered the programme.

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