The Centenary of a Church marks a very important milestone in its history. It is a time for celebration, not only for the Church itself but for the whole parish community. The grand finale of the centenary celebrations of St. Sebastain Church, Bendore which came to existence in 1913, was held on Sunday, 19 January, 2014 at the parish grounds. While celebrating its 100 years in existence, the Bendore Church is one rare and oldest Church in the area, having rich and sound heritage; precious and vivid meaningful traditions; and unique order of worship and rituals bind together in sacred and staunch faith. It could withstand so far so greatly with the immense grace and guidance of God Almighty.
The much awaited Grand celebration of the St Sebastian Parish Centenary Concluding ceremony began at 4.30p.m, by welcoming the Bishop Dr Aloysius P D’Souza, Archbishop of Bangalore Dr Bernard Moras, Bishop of Mangalore Dr Aloysius D’Souza, and Bishop of Bellary Dr Henry D’Souza at the entrance of the Church premises here on January 19.
The festive mass was celebrated by the archbishop of Bangalore Dr Bernard Moras along with Dr Henry D’Souza Bishop of Bellary, Bishop of Mangalore Dr Aloysius D’Souza along with 89 other priests.
Bishop Henry D’Souza in his homily said that Bendur parish has given many talented people to the society to serve in various fields be it in medical, educational and other fields. He further said that we have to love everyone because Jesus loved us as his own. We have to be the children of God by our deeds and words and not to keep Him away from us.
Bishop Henry advised all to be alert of the cruel mentality of the people, beware of spiritual world and of exclusion. Former Parish Priest Msgr Alex D’Souza was felicitated on the occasion.
The stage programme began with the centenary song sung by hundred singers along with Claud D’Souza. Parish Priest of Bendur Fr Antony Serrao welcomed the gathering. Secretary Parish Pastoral Committee Laveena John read out the annual report.
Archbishop Dr Bernard Moras speaking on the occasion said that from the Bendur Parish many have received religious vocations. But now the religious vocations are very less, we need to ask why there is lack of religious vocations in the parish. We have to encourage the youth to involve more in religious programmes. Our duty is to unite our family and give importance to prayer and become witnesses of Jesus.
Minister of Corporate Affairs, Government of India M Veerappa Moily launched the medical fund on the occasion. Veerappa Moily congratulated the Bendur parishioner on the completion of the Centenary.
Former Parish Priests and Assistant Parish Priests, Vice Presidents of the Pastoral Committee and Secretaries were also felicitated. Fr Peter Noronha was felicitated on the occasion. Fr Antony Serrao was also felicitated by the Archbishop on behalf of the parishioners.
Minister for Youth Services and fisheries Abhaychandra Jain speaking on the occasion said that Bendur Parish is very popular because Late Blasius D’Souza was a great leader from Bendur. When he was in power, he was discussing issues directly with other leaders. Now the MLA of Mangalore South Constituency J R Lobo has filled his place and he will bring glory to the District. We politicians should work with transparency because if anyone try to be corrupt, people will not vote him/her. He also said that Oscar Fernandes has helped to sanction 10 crores each from the Central Road fund to the ministers for the development of the roads. He further said that the Bendur Parish is filled with talents and the parishioners are shining in various fields. Jain congratulated the parishioners and the Parish Priest for completing 100 years.
Dr Henry D’Souza speaking on the occasion said that Our mission is to provide programmes that build the capacity of our youth to reach their full potential and instill in them the tools to transform their lives and their communities. Recalling two achievers who have created history, Sabitha Monis, from Beltangady who is a handicap, she is without hands by birth. She uses her legs to have food and to write, she has completed her education and is now working as a officer. Another girl has won 8 gold medals in her examinations. And the special thing about them is, both are catholics. We have to encourage our children and teach them to dream big.
Minister for Health and Family Welfare U T Khader speaking on the occasion said that whatever he is today, it is because of the education he had in the Catholic institutions. The contribution of the Catholic institutions is tremendous in the society. Shouting slogans for the country, is not true patriotism. The true patriotism is to serve the society selflessly which the catholic institutions are doing it. Power will come and go but the real power that remains is with the priests and nuns because they are the one who train the students to be better citizens. He too congratulated the Parish Priests and parishioners for the Centenary celebrations.
Minster of Forests, Ecology and Environment Ramanath Rai and MLA J R Lobo congratulated the Bendur Parishioners. Souvenir of Centenary Celebration was released by Abhaychandra Jain. Bishop of Mangalore Dr Aloysius D’Souza delivered the presidential address.
Prizes were distributed to five people who won the Centenary bible quiz. Superior General Bethany Congregation Sr M Wilberta BS, Asst Parish Priests Fr John Moras, Fr Michael Santhumayor and Fr Paul Crasta John were also present.
Vice President Ronald Walder delivered the vote of thanks.