Mangaluru: Cordel parish to celebrate 150 yrs under patronage of Holy Cross

Mangaluru: Cordel parish to celebrate 150 yrs under patronage of Holy Cross

Mangaluru, Sep 12: In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Holy Cross Church in Cordel, the parish is set to mark this significant milestone with celebrations on September 14 and 17. The vicar general of the Mangalore Diocese, Fr Maxim Noronha, will lead a thanksgiving mass on September 14th, followed by a festive celebration on September 17th, during which the Bishop of Mangaluru, Fr Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, will conduct a thanksgiving service, as announced by Cordel Parish Priest Fr Clifford Fernandes.

Speaking during a press conference held on Tuesday,September 12, Fr Clifford Fernandes elaborated on the diverse range of programs organized for this occasion. Already, the parish has celebrated Youth Day, Couples Day, Teachers Day, and Health Workers Day. On September 14, the focus will shift to honoring all the heads, secretaries, ward heads, benefactors, and founders who have served the parish. Subsequently, on September 17, the celebration will pay tribute to all the priests and other religious individuals who have contributed to the parish over the years. Upcoming events include Senior Citizens Day, Disabled People’s Day, a Sports Festival, a Fancy Fete, Non-Resident Indian Day, and an All Religious Meet.

A historical journey: 150 years of Cordel parish

September 14, 1873, remains etched in history as the day when Cordel Parish, originally a part of Milagres Church, took its first step toward becoming an independent entity. The Parish Priest of Milagres Church at the time, Fr Alexander Dubois (popularly known as Frad Saib), laid the foundation stone for the Holy Cross Church in Cordel, naming the land “Cordel.” It has now been 150 years since this momentous event.

Frad Saib, the Immortal

Fr Alexander Dubois, who came to Mangalore from France, served at Milagres Church from 1865 to 1877. During his tenure, he extended his ministry to regions like Kulshekar, Bondel, Kelarai, Vamanjoor, Valencia, and Nagori, which fell under his jurisdiction. Walking barefoot to reach these areas, he not only served Christians but also worked for the welfare of all residents. Frad Saib learned Konkani and Tulu, offered healing prayers, and blessed crops for prosperity. His deep spiritual life earned him the reputation of a saint among those who witnessed his actions.

In 1904, Bishop Fr A Cavadini officially designated Kulshekar Church as an independent center on May 31st and appointed Fr M P Colaco as its first parish priest. The number of families in the area was 250 at the time. Fr M Lunanzhii of the Society of Jesus continued the church’s construction efforts, resulting in the magnificent Holy Cross Church at Kulshekar. After a formal inauguration and blessing on January 30, 1912, it opened its doors to devotees. As the number of families grew over time, Cordel Parish became the largest parish in terms of families and population among the 145 parishes in the undivided Mangalore diocese. To better serve the community, new churches were established, but as the 150th-anniversary celebration approaches, the number of families has risen once more, with 1824 families and 44 wards, totaling approximately 7000 parishioners.

Empowering the less fortunate

Since its inception, the parish has initiated numerous projects aimed at uplifting the underprivileged. Schemes such as the House Construction (Revolving Fund) Scheme, Education Fund, Health Fund, and Frad Saib Fund have provided assistance. Additionally, funding is sourced from various other channels. St. Vincent de Paul Sabha also actively contributes to the welfare of the needy, while housing assistance is extended to those less fortunate through the Frad Saib House Construction Committee and the ‘Prakas’ scheme.

Additional amenities

The parish boasts a range of facilities, including the fully equipped Cordel Hall, Cordel Open Auditorium, air-conditioned Frad Saib Hall, and the Church Mini Hall for meetings. A sprawling football field hosts numerous sports competitions, and the church publishes a magazine called “Cordelchem Zaith.”

In conjunction with these celebrations, the 150th-anniversary logo of Cordel Church Kulshekar was unveiled. Vice president Ruth Castelino, secretary Anil D’Sa, and coordinator of the Advertising Committee Laveena D’Mello, along with Elias Fernandes, were present at the event.

Mangaluru: ICYM Cordel unit holds fancy dress, group singing competitions for parishioners

Mangaluru, Sep 6: ICYM Cordel unit conducted Fancy Dress and Group Singing Competitions for the Parishioners.

The competitions began at 2:30 pm by evoking God’s blessings through a prayer song. Ancilla Rodrigues welcomed the gathering. Parish priest Fr Clifford Fernandes along with assistant parish priests Fr Ivan Corderio and Fr Paul D’Souza were present.

The judges for the competition were Sr Lavita, Fr Johnson and Joshal. There were around 100 participants. Prizes and trophies were distributed to the winners of each category. Memento was given to the judges as a token of gratitude.

The programme was compered by Melvita Treza. Ethan D’Souza proposed a vote of thanks.

Teachers and Health Workers Programme held at Holy Cross Church, Cordel, Kulshekar

Mangalore September 3: On the occasion of 150 years celebration of Holy Cross Church, “Teachers and Health Workers Programme”, a half a day of fun and learning Programme was organised on 03.09.2023. A total of 180 Teachers and Health Workers from the Parish participated in the programme. The resource persons for the programme were Dr. Rouchelle Tellis Rozario – Prof and Head – Clinical Microbiology and Infection Control (Yenepoya Medical College and Hospital) and Dr. Mona Mendonca – Assistant Professor, Dept. of History at St. Aloysius College, Managalore and a subject expert in soft skills, life skills, creative thinking, Professionalism, etc.

The first session was conducted by Dr. Rouchelle Tellis Rozario (, who threw light on how to manage stress at home and at work place with a poignant question on whether you are a stress giving or stress taking person or you are a balancing person. She also stressed on various ways of relieving stress. Along with stress management, she also stressed on the need of anger management. Her session was much loved by the participants since a lot of it was drawn from her own personal experiences.

The second session was given by Dr. Mona Mendonca who spoke on how to balance between work and family life along with time management, family management, etc. She stressed upon how everyone needs to give himself/herself a break from routine work. No one needs to be a superman or superwoman in order to please the others. She emphasized on the need of family time in this fast moving world, how we need to be authentic parents and thus we bring up beautiful children. We also need to learn to say no to our children and give them valid reasons for it and that will surely make much difference to their reasoning skills too. She stressed a lot on mental health and how important it is for a balanced lifestyle. Her session was much enjoyed by the participants since she drew a lot from her own personal and professional experience and made the participants light hearted with her session.

The Programme was attended and inaugurated by the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Clifford Fernandes, who in his inaugural address elucidated the important role of Teachers and Health Workers in today’s world and the huge responsibility that we have as Professionals. Rev. Fr. Ivan Cordeiro (Asst. Parish Priest), Rev. Fr. Paul D’Souza (Asst. Parish Priest), Mrs. Ruth Castelino – Vice President (Parish Pastoral Council), Mr. Anil D’Sa – Secretary (Parish Pastoral Council), Mr. Dolphy D’Souza – Co-Ordinator (21 Commissions), Mr. Henry D’Souza – Co-ordinator of the Programme, Gurkars, Ward Representatives, PPC Members and the Organising Team were present at the programme. Ms. Venetia D’Souza compered the programme and Mrs. Ruth Castelino proposed the vote of thanks.

The programme ended with a celebratory lunch and a plan to have more such useful programmes for the parishioners.

Mangaluru: Married couples program held at Holy Cross Church, Cordel

Mangaluru, Aug 22: In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Holy Cross Church, a “Married Couples Program” aimed at couples in their first 15 years of marriage was organized on August 13. The event, lasting half a day, saw the participation of 44 young couples. The Missionary Families of Christ (MFC), led by Melwin Fernandes, oversaw the entire program.

The first session of the day was conducted by Dr Amith and Dr Teena D’Souza. Dr Amith delivered a talk on the role of a Christian husband, delving into the intricacies of his responsibilities as the family’s head. He emphasized the husband’s roles as a priest, pastor, and provider, drawing parallels to how Christ cares for the church. Similarly, a father’s role was likened to that of a priest tending to the spiritual needs of his family. Dr Teena discussed the roles of a Christian wife, highlighting her position as a supportive partner to her husband. She underscored the importance of following the path of faith to become wives and mothers who bring blessings, healing, and growth to their families.

In the second session, Jeswin and Lavisha Castelino explored the theme of ‘Building our homes for God.’ They elaborated on the responsibilities of Christian husbands and wives in creating an environment characterized by faith, service, love, peace, and order. Such an environment, they emphasized, enables families to experience God’s providence and blessings fully. The Castelinos emphasized that a Christian home should exemplify the practice of Christian values.

To keep the participants engaged, the music ministry of MFC taught several action hymns. Christopher Machado from MFC Mangalore introduced the speakers and facilitated an icebreaker activity to encourage active participation among the couples.

Concurrently with the couples’ program, a separate program for all the children of the attendees was organized. This was facilitated by the youth and singles of MFC, featuring various art and craft activities centered around Bible themes, along with instruction in action hymns.

The program was inaugurated by the parish priest, Fr Clifford Fernandes. In his opening speech, he emphasized the pivotal role of Christian couples in nurturing faith-filled families and their status as role models for the younger generation. Notable attendees included Ruth Castelino, vice president of the Parish Pastoral Council, Anil D’Sa, secretary of the Parish Pastoral Council, Dolphy D’Souza, coordinator of the 21 Commissions, Rohan Rego, coordinator of the Married Couples Program, along with Gurkars, ward representatives, PPC members, and the organizing team. Lora Pais served as the event’s emcee, and Anil D’Sa proposed a vote of thanks.

The program concluded with a festive lunch and the announcement of plans for a similar event catering to older married couples within the parish.

Mangaluru: Yuva Cordel – Youth Programme held at Holy Cross Church, Cordel

Mangaluru, Aug 13: On the occasion of 150 years celebration of Holy Cross Church, Kulshekar, “Yuva Cordel” – a half day Youth Programme was organised on August 6 for the youth of the parish. As many as 113 youth participated actively in the programme.

Chris Crasta from MFC spoke on ‘Drug Abuse and Youth’ while Noam gave his testimony on how he is a changed man and away from any kind of addiction today. Vandana D’Souza, lecturer at Roshni Nilaya, shared her knowledge on ‘Mental Health and Spirituality.’ The final talk for the day was by Corrine Rasquinha, founder, White Doves, who enthralled the youth with her singing and her captivating personal journey in the shadow of God. She invited youth to be pro-active and to make a difference to their own lives and then to others.