Mangalore Diocese Commemorates Epiphany with Grand Eucharistic Procession – KONKANCATHOLIC.COM

Mangalore Diocese Commemorates Epiphany with Grand Eucharistic Procession

January 8, 2024

Mangaluru, January 7, 2024: The Catholic Diocese of Mangalore hosted a soul-stirring Eucharistic procession on Sunday, January 7, 2024, from Milagres Church to Rosario Cathedral. Enthusiastic participation was seen from thousands of Catholics across different parishes within the Mangalore Diocese, exhibiting profound devotion and discipline.

Aligned with Pope Francis’s designation of ‘2024’ as the ‘Year of Prayer’ in anticipation of Jubilee 2025, the procession resonated with the theme “Prayer Unites us with God and with our Brothers and Sisters.”

The event commenced with a solemn mass celebrating the ‘Epiphany of Lord Jesus,’ presided over by Most Rev. Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangalore, at Milagres Church. The Eucharistic procession coincided with the solemnity of the Epiphany, also recognized as the Feast of the Epiphany, Theophany, or Three Kings’ Day, commemorating the first revelation of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles symbolized by the Magi, emphasizing his divine manifestation.

In his homily during the mass, Bishop Saldanha stressed the significance of seeking God first in the Holy Scriptures and then within one another’s hearts. “The Word of God in our hands acts as our guiding star, directing us to Jesus. When we immerse ourselves in reading and reflecting on the gospel, our hearts ignite with its message, making us aware of Jesus’s presence in our lives,” he emphasized.

The adorned vehicle carried the Holy Eucharist through city thoroughfares, commencing from Milagres Church and passing through Hampankattta, Clock Tower Circle, A.B. Shetty Circle, and Nehru Circle, culminating at Rosario Cathedral. The participants, accompanied by musical bands and choir groups, displayed reverence and orderliness, ensuring minimal disruption to the general public. They filled the atmosphere with hymns of praise and congregated at the Rosario Cathedral Grounds to worship the Eucharist and contemplate the Word of God.

Rev. Fr Basil Vas, Parish Priest of Vorkady Church, Kasaragod, delivered insights on prayer, emphasizing its role in fostering relationships with both the divine and humanity. He stressed, “We can’t excuse a lack of time for prayer when we devote significant hours to the digital realm. These modern tools should not just facilitate human interactions but also act as bridges, connecting us with the divine through prayers for others.” He further highlighted, “Each time we engage online, it’s an opportunity to extend prayers to those in dire need. The digital landscape offers a multitude of ways for spiritual connectivity.” Fr Vas emphasized the importance of action in prayer, stating, “If our prayers don’t extend to lifting the fallen, comforting the distressed, and aiding those in need, they remain fruitless in uniting us with the divine and humanity.”

The ceremony at Rosario was animated by Rev. Fr Clifford Fernandes, Parish Priest of Cordel Church, and Rev. Fr. Robert Dsouza, Principal of Lourdes Central School, and coordinated by Mangala Jyothi Liturgical Centre. At the end, prizes were awarded to winners of the contest organized as part of the Diocese’s “Anti-Drug Awareness Campaign.” Bishop Saldanha extended gratitude to all participants, acknowledging their contribution to the success of the procession.

Report by Fr Anil Ivan Fernandes, CCC
Pics by Stanly Bantwal & John Dsouza