Report on the Celebrations held in Mangalore of Canonization of Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified

Certainly it was the power and presence of Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified (Mary Baouardy) that gave the inspiration to the Sisters of the Sacred Heart Monastery Cloistered Carmel Kankanady, Mangalore to envisage a celebration locally, to mark the great event of her Canonization by Pope Francis on May 17, 2015.

The events planned and details worked out were successfully accomplished.. All praise and thanks to God through the intercession of St. Mary of Jesus Crucified.

May 16, 2015, Symposium for Religious (Sisters and Priests)
The Symposium was meant to provide an additional opportunity for the religious of the Diocese to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life with yet another event for taking inspiration for our life through the life and example of Mary Baouardy at the time of her Canonization. The same was organized by the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel at St. Ann’s Convent, under the joint initiative of Sr. Linette AC, Provincial Superior Karnataka Province and Sr. M. Shalini A.C., Superior of St. Ann’s Convent. The Symposium was held at the Conference Hall, St. Ann’s College of Education, Mangalore. About 350 persons took part in the symposium. Prior to the official programme, all the participants were fortified with a hot cup of tea and delicious snacks and the Symposium started at 3.15 p.m. Sr. Linette the Provincial Superior welcomed the gathering, Sr. Linette D’Souza AC compeered the session. The Apostolic Carmel Sisters sang two hymns suited to the occasion one as prayer at the start and the other at the end of the Symposium, composed for the occasion to hail Mary Baouardy. The Theme of the Conference was: ‘Life of Mary Baouardy, an inspiration for Religious’. Fr. Pius James ocd gave the keynote address and moderated the session at which Sr. Liceria dealt with the historical background of her life; Sr. Olivia AC with the spirituality and virtues of Mary Baouardy and Fr. Joe Tauro on the theological perspectives of her life. After the presentation the Moderator invited questions from the floor. The progrmme was concluded with a vote of thanks by Sr. Nirmala Francis A.C. Provincial Secretary. The second part of the programme was very touching. All moved to the Oratory of Mary of Jesus Crucified there was a short adoration led by Sr. Linette and Benediction given by Fr. Pius James. All then stayed back to breathe in the sanctity of Mary Baouardy by going round the place and paying a visit to the room where she lived and the altar at which she made her Final Profession on November 21, 1871. After the prayer session at the oratory, sisters went back to the conference hall to view the documentary screened. The same was produced by Daivik Amrith Media.

Other celebrations connected with the event
In preparation for the golden event of the canonization, a Triduum was held at the Cloistered Carmel Chapel with the Eucharist and homily held on the evenings of May 14, 15 and 16 at 5.30 p.m. Fr. Ravi Santosh Kamath sj. conducted the services on the first two days and Fr. Walter D’Souza ocd on the third day. On all the three days announcements were made to acquaint the faithful about the special celebration on 17 May. Good publicity was given to all the celebrations both in preparation and of the day, through display of banners at strategic public points and also by announcements in the Churches as well as through all the catholic periodicals.. The May 2015 issue of Naman Ballok Jesu, the monthly organ published by the Carmelite Fathers, was dedicated to Mary Baouardy and her life was made known to all and sundry by a free distribution of the issue on May 17 after the celebrations. Thanks to Rev. Fr. Andrew D’Souza, a documentary titled “The Hidden Treasure” (“Lipullen Dirven”) is prepared by Daivik Amruth Media and is made available for viewing in the Daijiworld site, as a tribute to Saint Mary Baouardy and to the praise of God’s glory for giving to the Church such a precious and great saint to inspire everyone in all walks of life!.

May 17, 2015
The gate and the boundary wall of the Sacred Heart Monastery of the Cloistered Carmel Sisters was beautifully decorated with cloth scholups, flowers, and illumination for the celebration and all eyes were drawn to behold the beauty of the place. The celebrations started on May 17, 2015, at 4.30 p.m. with Holy Eucharist, presided over by Most Rev. Dr. A. P. D’Souza, Bishop of Mangalore; Most Rev. Dr. Robert Miranda Bishop of Gulbarga concelebrated. Mgr Denis Moras Prabhu, Rev. Fr. Pius James D’Souza Episcopal Vicar, Rev Fr. Stervin SCJ Superior of Betharram Fathers, Rev. Fr. Joseph Martis, Rector St. Joseph Inter-diocesan Seminary Jeppu, Rev. Fr. Richard Coelho Administrator Fr. Muller Hospital were official representatives. 46 priests concelebrated. Seating arrangement was done for more than 2000 people with the help of TV Screens and shamiyana with chairs in and around the Monastery Chapel and the gallery. The melodious singing by Githanjali Choir led by Mr. Adolph Lobo added rich luster to the .liturgy. Rev. Fr. Wilfred Rodrigues ocd was the Liturgical Animator cum MC. The concelebrants vested on Fr. Muller Hospital premises and walked in solemn procession across the road and entered the Monastery gate and the entrance of the Chapel. Rev. Fr. Gregory D’Souza ocd preached a meaningful homily highlighting the significant aspects of the life of Mary Baouardy, drawing inspiration from the same and applying them to us as baptized Catholics and members of the Church.

"As Jesus died and rose to heaven, he showed a way for disciples. In the same way the life of St Mary Boauardy is an example for us to follow. It is indeed a happy moment for all of us that a saint lived here and professed her oath in Cloistered Carmel, Kankanady. The Word of God was alive in her life and it has been given fruition by canonizing her a saint.

Narrating the life of St Mary Baouardy, he said, "She lost her parents at the age of two and her brother was her only family, but they too were separated when they were adopted by different families. She never saw her brother again till her death. After being adopted she was not provided education, was tortured and at the age of 12 she was forced to marry, but she was determined to remain single. She was ready to sacrifice her life for the faith she had in God. The greatest gift which we have received from our ancestors and the missionaries is the Christian faith. Are we ready to die to defend it today?""Let us pray to the saint and follow in her path in our daily lives," he urged.

An encouraging message was addressed also to the Cloistered sisters of the monastery to live up to their mission of prayer and contemplative living to strengthen the call to evangelize the world.

Many sponsors and donors had generously come forward to defray all the expenses and the celebrations became very meaningful and grand. All were served refreshments and soft drink after Mass. The dignitaries were taken in procession from the Cloistered Carmel Monastery gate to the Fr Muller Hospital premises for the second part of the programme. The place was elegantly arranged for the sound and light programme in Kannada on the life of Mary Baouardy, put up by the White Doves Mrs. Corrine Rasquinha and Mr. Bannu Fernandes being the Director and writer respectively of the play. This was preceded by a half hour official stage programme. Bishop of Gulbarga was the President and delivered his message. The Catholic Leaders of Mangalore were recognized and felicitated with flowers and a memento. The Dignitaries were M.L.A. Mr. J.R. Lobo, MLC. Mr. Ivan D’Souza, Mr. Roy Castelino ,President Konkani Sahitya Academy Karnataka, Mr. M.P. Noronha Pastoral Council Secretary Mangalore Diocese, Four Winds Director Mr. Elias Fernandes, being the lay representatives. Sr. Jacintha ocd of the Cloistered Carmel, Sr. Linette A.C., Provincial Superior, Rev. Fr. Pius James D’Souza ocd, Episcopal Vicar, rev. Fr. Joe Tauro ocd, Superior St. Joseph’s Monastery Kulshekar, Rev. Fr. Stervin SCJ Superior Betharram Fathers, Rev. fr. Richard Coelho Administrator Fr. Muller Charitable Institutions, Rev. Fr. James D’Souza Parish Priest, Valencia Church were the religious persons among them. The other members of the Planning and Coordinating Committee Sistrers Liceria, Sr. Shalini, Sr. Olivia were also honoured with a memento. In recognition of the yeomen service rendered so generously and seeing to the overall arrangement and for being the liaison for the entire programme Mr. Stannny D’Cunha was felicitated. So too were Mr. Elias Fernandes Four Winds Director, Mrs. Corrine Rasquinha Director of ‘White Doves’ and Mr. Bannu Fernandes Writer of the Play – they received a shawl, garland, fruit basket and Memento. At the official programme the Documentary prepared by Daivik Amrith Media was released by Mr. J.R. Lobo and the folder on the life sketch of St. Mary of Jesus Crucified prepared by Sr. Olivia was released by Mr. Ivan D’Souza. The welcome speech was rendered by Mr. M.P. Noronha, Vote of Thanks by Fr. Pius James D’Souza while official programme was compeered by Mr. Sheldon Crasta.

The beautiful sound and light programme on the life of St. Mary Baouardy rendered in Kannada titled “Rahasya Nidhi” was the highlight of the evening. The same was well appreciated. Gentle rain fell on the place like showers of blessing, but it was not torrential so that with open umbrellas the audience was able to sustain their attention undisturbed and appreciate the performance.

St. Mary of Jesus Crucified will remain as a saint for the people of Mangalore. Even though she lived here for little less than two years, her wonderful and impactful influence on the people of Mangalore will remain as a blessing. More than that the Cloistered Carmel Sisters at Kankanady rejoice that she was the Pioneer and co-foundress of the Monastery and has played the role of the prophet to identify the donour for the Monastery and her divine intervention from heaven to point out the location of the place and the start and completion of the Convent at Kankanady in 1882. Mary Baouardy’s Oratory and room occupied by her at St. Ann’s will hereafter become a pilgrim centre and the shrine at Kankanady a place of ;prayer. God be praised in his saint, St. Mary of Jesus Crucified, the Little Nothing, St. Mary Baouardy!

Copyright © 2006   KG Carmelite Province, Bangalore

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