Our Lady of Vailankanni Center in Kalmady has been declared a Diocesan Shrine of Udupi
Udupi: Proclamation and Dedication of Our Lady of Vailankanni Center at Stella Maris Church, Kalmady was officially declared a diocesan sanctuary on August 15, 2022, during the solemn Eucharistic Mass at 10:00 a.m.
The decree which was given by the Bishop of Udupi, Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo was read by the Chancellor of the Diocese of Udupi Rt. Rev. Father Stany B. Lobo.
The Eucharistic Mass was celebrated by Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi and concelebrated by Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangalore, Bishop Francis Serrao, Bishop of Shimoga, Bishop Dr Robert Miranda, Bishop of Gulbarga, Bishop Henry D’Souza , Bishop of Bellary, Bishop Lawrence Mukkuzhy, Bishop of Belthangady, Bishop Dr Geevargheese Mar Makarios Kalayil, Bishop of Puttur, V. Rev. Fr Stany B Lobo, Chancellor of the Diocese of Udupi, V. Rev. Fr. Father Charles Menezes, Dean of the Dean of Udupi, V. Rev. , assistant pastor and other priests.
The Golden Jubilee Congratulation Program of Stella Maris Church in Kalmady took place shortly after the Eucharistic Mass. During the celebration, former priests of the parish and vocations of Kalmady who are currently serving in various locations were also honored, as well as past and present vice presidents and secretaries. , coordinators of 20 commissions, neighborhood Gurkars were honoured.
The Vice President of the Parish Pastoral Council, Mr. Sandeep Andrade, the Secretary Mrs. Shobha Mendonsa, the Coordinator of Commission 20 Mrs. Ida D’Souza, the Coordinator of the Golden Jubilee Committee Mr. Sandeep Andrade were present.
About Stella Marish Kalmady Sanctuary
Stella Maris Church in Kalmady is a well-known place for worshipers in coastal Karnataka and visited by people of all religions. The church located on the right of the Malpe – Thirthahalli national road is only 3 km from the national road 66 (Karavali Bye-pass).
A place of solace for many, a healer for patients, a place of divinity The Stella Maris Church in Kalmady beams with pride as it prepares to celebrate 50 glorious years since its establishment on the one hand and Proclamation and Dedication of Our Lady of Vailankanni Center as a diocesan sanctuary on the other.
As the church is very close to the Arabian Sea, the name of the church ‘Stella Maris’ meaning ‘Star of the Sea’ is appropriate. Stella Maris Church was built in 1972 and inaugurated in 1972, then Bishop of Mangalore Rt Rev. Dr. Basil D’Souza. The church is in its 50th glorious year of establishment.
Before that, the people of Kalmady had to visit St. Anne’s Church, Thottam or the Mother of Sorrows Church, Udupi for their spiritual needs.
Father Charles D’Souza was from Kalmady and ordained by Pope John Paul VI. With the combined efforts of Father Charles and the faithful of Kalmady, a new church was built and it was blessed and inaugurated on February 5, 1972. But the church depended on the parish of Udupi. Priests from the parishes of Udupi and Kallianpur used to come and lead the Eucharistic Mass on Sundays.
Father Denis Castelino was the first resident priest in Kalmady and took office in 1987. In 1991 the Bishop of Mangalore declared Stella Maris Church in Kalmady as an independent parish. Fr. Robert Pinto, who succeeded Fr. Denis, also endeavored to develop the church. After him Father Ivan D’Mello took over and during his tenure purchased land for the church adjoining the existing church property.
For a few years, the parish was in the hands of Jesuit priests. With many development works, the Jesuit priests took the church to new heights. Some of the development works are the construction of a much needed cemetery, a grotto for Our Lady of Vailankanni, etc. : Father Richard Mascarenhas, Father Joseph D’Souza and Father Maxim Misquith were the Jesuit priests who served in the church.
In June 2012, Father Alban D’Souza took over as parish priest. Inspired by Noah’s Ark, Father Alban D’Souza started constructing a new building of Stella Maris Church in Kalmady, shaped like a boat and the bell tower shaped like a lighthouse.
The unique architectural masterpiece was inaugurated in a grand ceremony on January 6, in the presence of the 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 5, 2021, Reverend Father Alban D’Souza was transferred to the Minor Basilica of St. Lawrence in Attur, as Rector of the Minor Basilica and Reverend Father Baptist Menezes took office as parish priest and Reverend Father Roy Lobo as assistant parish priest. .
Stella Maris Church in Kalmady celebrates its Golden Jubilee of its existence (1972-2022), on August 15, 2022, with the motto “Golden Remembrance of Faith: Mother Mary Inspires”.
Our Lady of Vailankanni center in Kalmady is very famous all over the world. 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 D’Souza and was brought from the shrine in Vailankanni, Tamil Nadu.
The then Bishop of Mangalore, Rt Rev Dr Basil D’Souza installed the statue in Kalmady on August 15, 1988. After the installation, to date, many miracles have happened at the Centre.
From a chapel to its current status, the Center has come a long way. The priests who served here and the parishioners are the main reason why this place is famous today.
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