Mangaluru, Feb 25, 2017 : St Zuze Vaz (St.Joseph Vaz) Home for the retired priests of Mangalore diocese is all set for blessing and inauguration by Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza on Feb 27 at 10 am, with concelebrated Mass.
Note : After aptly being named after St. Joseph Vaz, who lived in Mangalore in the 1681-84; known as the Apostle of Ceylon. On 21 January 1995, he was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Colombo. He was canonized on 14 January 2015 by Pope Francis in an open-air Mass ceremony at the Galle Face Green in Colombo.
The new Home is located on a plot, measuring 0.99 acres at St Antony’s Charity Institute, Jeppu, main gate at Nandigudda circle. St Antony’s complex already has a modern building designed to accommodate a dozen retired priests. This one is an additional facility as the diocese wanted to have one central facility. The incumbent Bishop has recently retired and is awaiting further orders from Vatican.
The old Mangalore diocese which included the new Udupi diocese has a retirement home for clergy, Vianney Home, since 1884 at the Fr Muller Hospital complex at Kankanady. Until 1956, Vianney Home was run as part of the hospital and Jesuit clergy managing the hospital also resided in this building. In the 1980s the old residence was renovated and made suitable to host 16 retired/old priests.
Since then Fr Muller Institute has grown exponentially. The number of retired/old priests too exceeded the capacity of Vianney Home. At the late Monsignor Fred V Pereira’s initiative, a modern building suitable for hosting 12 priests was established at St Antony’s complex.
For the last few years, the idea of having one centralized facility for retired priests got crystallized and, accordingly, Bishop Aloysius blessed the foundation for a new complex on January 1, 2015.
The new home it is stated is spread over two floors, the new home has a total of 34 rooms on single-occupancy basis (407 sq. ft. each). One floor accommodates the convent of care-taker nuns from the Missionary Sisters of Jesus congregation. There is also a hall for celebratory functions. There is provision for adding more rooms later is a built in possibility. Now, it is sure that retiring bishops and priests will have a palatial residence and religious luxury in the midst of their enthusiastic flock.