Mangaluru, May 31, 2018: Saint Anthony’s Ashram Jeppu, a home for the homeless and care for the needy, was the fruit of a simple devotion that was started at Milagres Church in Hampankatta, on June 12, 1898. It is set to mark 120 years with solemnities and a land mark contribution to the people of Mangaluru. From May 31, Thursday to June 13, 2018, Wednesday. The highlight will be, the blessing of the foundation stone for a modern hundred bed block for mentally ill people.
Bishop of Mangalore, Rev Dr. Aloysius D’Souza, highlighting the needs for a mental asylum in a ashram that houses hundreds of destitute and orphans for more than a century, he stressed that there was considerable justified expression of need from families to have such a facility, as the impoverished cannot look after the mentally-challenged in the circumstances. “Now it is decided to build a 100-bed facility for the mentally-challenged, where half of it will be dedicated to females. It will have psychiatrists, nurses and caretakers in a modern frame work", he said.
Today, May 31, 2018, Thursday, will start TREDECINA (thirteen days Novena) in preparation for the annual feast to be celebrated on June 13 as per tradition. The devotion will be at 11 am, at Jeppu Ashram. The thirteen days observance comprises of Rosary, Adoration, Holy Mass and Novena. As a solemn preparation for the feast TRIDUUM (three days) will be held at Milagres Church at 6 pm. On June 10, Sunday it will start with flag hoisting at 5.30 pm. In view of the completion of 120 years, this year the special feast will be celebrated on two days.
The Shrine completes 120 years on June 12. Most Rev Dr Bernard Moras the Bishop Emeritus of Bengaluru will be the main celebrant of the Holy Mass. He had served the Ashram from 1968 to 1970 as an Asst Director. Priests who served the Ashram in the past will be concelebrating the Holy Mass on that day. Besides this there will be a Holy Mass in the morning at 8.15 am at Milagres Church, at 11 am in the Ashram and 5 pm Holy Mass in Malayalam at Milagres.
On the traditional feast day, June 13, Wednesday, Most Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza the Bishop of Mangaluru will preside over the Holy Mass at 10.30 am at the Ashram. It will be followed by the blessing of the foundation stone for a hundred bed block for the mentally ill people. “Saint Anthony the Miracle Worker” a short play written and directed by John M Permannur , creation by Vincent Fernandes of Mogachi Lara fame will be staged on the occasion.
On the same day June 13, Wednesday, Holy Mass will be celebrated at 8.15 a.m at Milagres Church, at 4.30 p.m Holy Mass in Malayalam at Milagres and main festive Holy Mass at Milagres Church at 6 pm will be celebrated by Bishop Aloysius D’Souza.
“Miracles of Saint Anthony” a Konkani Souvenir published in memory of 120 years was released by the Bishop during the press conference, on June 30, Wednesday. Most Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza the Bishop of Mangalore, Fr Onil D’Souza the director of the Institutes, Fr Francis D’Souza, Fr Peter Gonsalves, Fr Trishan D’Souza and Mr Vincent Mascarenhas, Secretary of Diocesan Media Committee were present at Press Conference.
Brief history of St Anthony’s Ashram Jeppu :
It was on June 12, 1898 Msgr. Michael Placid Colaco the then Asst Parish Priest of Milagres Church started Novena prayer to Saint Anthony. On the following day was the feast of Saint Anthony. A large number of people from around Mangalore gathered for the feast. Since then on every Tuesday Novena has been held in honour of Saint Anthony at the Shrine Altar at Milagres Church. People irrespective of caste and creed come to Saint Anthony in their need and never went away empty handed. That is the strong belief of Saint Anthony’s devotees. The Saint is specially invoked when any thing is lost. It is believed that when things are lost and if Saint Anthony’s help is sought the lost things are found. It has been testified in number of cases by the devotees. As the people received favours from the Saint the people in gratitude offered
their mite in kind and cash. It was in turn distributed to the needy. Gradually houses were put up to house the destitute. In 1930 the land was purchased in court auction in which the present Ashram is situated at Jeppu. After purchasing the land houses were built and the inmates were moved to the present location in 1936. The Institutes also fed hundred of hungry people every day during the World War-I when there was extreme poverty and people didn’t have enough food to eat. Rice was brought from Rangoon(Burma) to feed the hungry who used stand in long queues. At present there are over 400 destitute are sheltered at the Ashram. All their needs are taken care free of cost. People irrespective of caste and creed are looked after here.