As part of the centenary celebrations of Holy Cross Church in Cordel, Kulshekar, a felicitation programme will be held on Saturday, said Valerian Pinto, Parish Pastoral Parishad, Holy Cross Church in Cordel, Kulshekar.
Mr. Pinto told presspersons here on Thursday that the foundation stone of the ‘Holy Rosary Park', which contained the “Mysteries of the Rosary”, would be blessed. The church would have life-size statues and paintings of each “mystery”, depicting the life of Jesus, said Praveen Patrao, vice-president, Parish Pastoral Parishad.
Mr. Pinto said a book on the history of the church, titled Frad Saib and the Church of Cordel written by Devadutta Kamath and Cordel-100, a directory of the Cordel parish, would be released the same day.
He said the foundation stone of the church was blessed by Father Alexander Dubois (called “Frad Saib” in Portuguese and “Kulyarla Ajjeru” in Tulu), on September 14, 1873, who purchased the land on which the church was built. About the history of the church, Mr. Patrao said since Dubois was from France, he built the church here with 60,000 francs, which he got from the sale of his property in that country. However, he died in 1877 and the church work was incomplete. In 1880, the Jesuits came to Mangalore and after they took over the diocese of Mangalore, a priest was asked to complete the church. He rebuilt the church and in 1912, the then Bishop of Mangalore, B. Paul Pereni, consecrated the church. (However, the church of Kulshekar had come into existence in 1904.)
Mr. Pinto said since the church was built by Jesuits, the church had certain features that it shared only with the chapel in St. Aloysius. It had original stained glass and a saint's picture painted on every arch inside the church.
Now, three monuments related to the life of Christ have been installed in the church, within a ‘Garden of Gethsamane', which was unique to this church in Mangalore, he said. However, a similar park does exist in Verapoly diocese in Kochi, in a church called the “Basilica of Vallarpadam Mata”, Mr. Patrao said.
To questions about a case that the church had, Mr. Pinto said Charles D' Souza and others had filed a case against Mr. Pinto, vice-president of the Parish Parishad, and the Parishad, that certain monuments in the church were being demolished. The lower courts had given a stay in February 2009 and on February 10, 2012, the stay was vacated. “Our aim is not to destroy but to make it more appealing to devotion,” he said.
The church had begun building the walls as anti-social elements were using it, he said.