Udupi, Dec 31, 2017: The solemn inauguration and blessing of the newly built church building of Stella Maris Church at Kalmady, at a cost of Rs 5 crore, will be held on January 6, 2018. indeed this has been looked forward to by many here.
Church Parish Priest Rev Alban D’Souza told media that the newly built church is an architectural marvel and has all the inherent elements of history, mystery and majesty. It’s caracteristics meet the name of "Stella Maris" which translates to "Star of the Sea"
Stella Maris Church has a humble beginning way back on February 6, 1972. The devotion was further animated and enhanced by Fr Castelino by the solemn installation of the Icon of Our Lady of Vailankanni in 1988. For the past 29 years, pilgrims have benefited immensely by their visits and constant prayers, in particular through the Novenas held on every Saturday at the Shrine.
The parishioners and the visiting devotees have recorded testimonies of miracles and special favours received from Our Lady of Vailankanni. People from all walks of life come to pray in the church.
Unique Concept : The idea of boat-shaped church has a unique background. The parish priest narrated that the book of Genesis in the Old Testament, chapters 6 – 9, narrates the story of Noah and the Ark.
The story of Noah and the flood represents the personal struggle and temptations that each one faces in life and suggests the ways people can protect themselves in times of spiritual trials. ‘The church (building) is in the form of a boat which represents the life of the people. iterally speaking, the Ark of Noah is the vessel through which the world (Noah and the animals of creation) is saved from destruction. The church also comprises a lighthouse-shaped bell tower, the bell is from Germany.
The tower is topped with a very bright light beacon, that represents the help guide used by the sailors in their ships at night. No matter where it is located, the purpose of a lighthouse is always the same; to warn ships of danger and guide them safely on their way. The parish has 102 Families and 474 Catholica.
As a prelude to the inauguration programme, the customary ‘Hore Kaanike’ procession has been organised.
Bishop of Udupi Rev Dr Gerald Issac Lobo will preside over inter religious meet. Pontiff of Shree Barkur Mahasamsthanam Dr Vidyavachaspati Vishwa Santhosh Bharathi Sripadaru, Diocese of Udupi Chancellor Rev Fr Valerian Mendonca and Udupi District Muslim Union President Mohammed Yaseen Malpe will be the guests of honour.
Mangalore diocese Bishop Most Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’souza, Shivamogga diocese Bishop Most Rev Dr Francis Serrao, Kalburgi diocese Bishop Most Rev Dr Robart Miranda and District-in-Charge Minister Pramod Madhwaraj will be present on the occasion. Thousands of devotees are expected for the celebrations.