Mangaluru, Aug 05, 2019 : With the Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha presiding and Dr.Julian Saldanha, R.M.O. of District Wenlock hospital, Mangaluru chief guest. St. Christopher Association (R) Estd.1967, in Mangaluru city celebrated its Annual Feast and General Body meet, August 4, Sunday at Rosario cathedral. This Association is a body of vehicle owners and drivers and has a membership of over 1700. President of the Association, Francis D’ Souza welcomed the gathering.
The chief guest Dr Julian Saldanha, in his message said that the driver of a vehicle has great responsibility for safety and comfort of the passengers, and he has to handle the vehicle carefully following the traffic rules. The driver’s life and health in vital on the road. He is the guardian of lives in his vehicle and hence needs the protection of God.
The children of the members of the Assn. were honoured by the spiritual director and treasurer of the Assn., very Rev. Fr. J. B. Crasta with cash and kind awards for securing distinction in their respective fields of study. Also honoured, Ms.Primal for her outstanding achievement in the field of sports. Dr. John Edward D’silva , a member of the Assn. was felicitated and honoured for securing PhD. in management.
Rev. Fr. J.B.Crasta exhorted the members to be in good relationship with the public and by their selfless service to be a model to others. The president in his speech appreciated the good work done by the Assn. for the past 52 years in their service to the society they should show compassion, cooperation, tolerance even to the people of other religions. In this way they should strive to bring peace, harmony and trust among them.
Earlier a solemn holy Mass was celebrated by Bishop of Mangalore, Rev Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha in the cathedral, it was attended by most members and a large general congregation. Bishop exhorted the members to see that their spiritual lives are on the right path before they sit at the wheel just as they would ensure that their vehicle is well maintained/looked after and on the right road. He gave examples of how prayer has kept people safe even in grave danger and asked all to pray specially and invoke St.Christopher when in fear. After the Mass the Bishop blessed the many vehicles lined up in the court yard of the Cathedral - he prayed over them and sprinkled holy water. The members of the association showed great enthusiasm and joy on the occasion as always and pledged to be good citizens on the road.
Brief Journey : St Christopher Association, known earlier as St Christopher Society, came into existence on March 3, 1967, to take up the problems of Catholic vehicle owners and drivers. The main aim was to work for their welfare. The society took St Christopher, a friend of travellers, as their patron saint.
Then, 19-year-old auto driver Alphonso Fernandes took the first step towards the establishment of the society. He along with four driver friends, informed about their intention to the then bishop of Mangalore, Basil S D’Souza. The bishop encouraged them, but said that the strength of three or four people would not be sufficient for the prestigious project.
When the team met the bishop again after few days, more than a hundred enthusiastic single-minded youth and middle aged members were present. The bishop appointed his secretary Fr Fredrick Pereira as chaplain to guide the society. More than a hundred vehicles were blessed after the mass held at Kodialbail Chapel on July 30, 1967. The constitution for the society was approved on the same day, Blasius D’souza a young lawyer and political aspirant was a leader.
The creative work of other members and their unselfish service provided fuel to the members of the organization and their families. The association, therefore, became famous in the state showing that nothing is impossible in deed with single-minded effort. thus good carries on from year to year....