Mangaluru: It was a Joyous event for the entire parish of St Lawrence Church, Bondel –Mangalore to receive Bishop of Mangalore Diocese, Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha for the Pastoral Visit from July 23 to 25 2022.
Rev Fr Andrew Leo D’Souza- Parish Priest, Rev Fr Peter Gonsalves-Principal St Lawrence English Medium School, Rev Fr Lancy D’Souza – Asst Parish Priest, Reginald D’Souza -Vice President, Steevan Noronha –Secretary Parish Pastoral Council, Rev Fr Melwin Pinto MSIJ, Rev Fr Vipin-Betharam along with Newly First Holy Communicants, Altar Servers , ICYM/YCS , Parish Pastoral Council Members, representatives from various Associations of the Parish, and a large number of Parishioners accorded a Cordial Welcome to the Bishop with a flower bouquet and later in a grand procession accompanied him to the serene ambience of the well decorated St Lawrence Church, Bondel at 4.00 p.m. on July 23, 2022.
The Parishioners assembled in large numbers to witness this three day “historical event”. After the formal welcome, a meaningful prayer service was held in the church, thew Bishop addressed the entire Parish Community, conducted catechism for the parishioners on church teachings. The Bishop celebrated Holy Mass at 5.30 p.m with all the priests of the Parish and Rev Fr Thrishan D’Souza, Bishop’s Secretary. Later the Bishop visited the cemetery, blessed and offered prayers, interacted with a few Parishioners.
At 6.30 p.m. Bishop along with the parish priests’ team had a Parish Pastoral Council Meeting and later finance committee meeting, Bishop interacted with all the Parish Pastoral Council members & Convener of each Commission, and gave his inputs and suggestions on various issues, and the day concluded with a dinner with them.
On July 24 2022, Sunday at 7.30 a.m. Bishop addressed the entire parish community, conducted catechism for the Parishioners on Eucharist, The Bible and its importance in daily life importance to proclaiming and meditating on the Word of God. Later Bishop celebrated the Holy Mass. Rev Fr Andrew Leo D’Souza, Rev Fr Peter Gonsalves & Rev Fr Lancy D’Souza, Rev Trishan D’Souza, Rev Fr Melwin Pinto concelebrated the mass.
There was a short stage programme at 10.00 a.m for which the dignitaries were escorted to the dais.The Programme commenced imploring God to pour out his blessings in abundance upon the Parishioners, Rev Fr Andrew Leo D’Souza welcomed the Bishop as well as the entire parishioners.
All the associations &Commissions presented their reports for the past five years and the Bishop appreciated everyone for their active involvement in the association activities. The Bishop was then felicitated for completing four years as the Bishop of Mangalore Diocese.On the occasion of Grandparents day To express the unconditional love of grandparents MrsGretta Menezes a senior citizen of Carmel Ward Felicitated by our Bishop with a shawl & flower bouquet.
St Lawrence English Medium Students achievers of board exams & distinction students felicitated by the Bishop. The 21 Commission Heads, Heads of All association presented sapling’s to the Bishop as a token of love which were planted in the church premises in the memoryof our dear Bishop’s Pastoral visit .
All 36 WardGurkars were given a kit by the Bishop which contains prayer books for all the occasion. The Annual Parish Report was presented by the Parish Pastoral Secretary Steevan Noronha, later Bishop addressed the gathering & blessed the faithful, Br Steevan (Betharam) compered the programme. Reginald D’Souza, Vice President proposed the vote of thanks.
At 4.00 p.mBishop planted the Sapling at PWD ground, Bondel ground as part of environmental protection run Catholic Sabha Mass Cleanliness Drive. Later Bishop visited the Sisters convent’s & religious houses and interacted with them and the second day concluded with dinner at Mary Hill convent.
On Monday, July 25, At 7.00 am the Bishop visited the sick of the parish, offered prayers and gave Holy Communion.,
At 8.15 a.m.Bishop offered mass for the St Lawrence English Medium school children. At 9.00 a.m he visited St Lawrence Kannada Medium School interacted with Principal, Teachers & Students.
10.00 a.m. Visited St Lawrence English Medium School & had a Teachers’ Meeting.
At 11.00 a.m. Bishop visited some parishioners. Then at 12.30 p.m. lunch. Therefore Pastoral visit was concluded with a prayer service, and later Bishop returned to the Bishop’s house.
The Pastoral visit was a unique experience for the entire parish, which enabled the people to express their faith and belongingness to the Church. We hope and pray that this visit will enable us to live a committed Christian life in the years to come.