Dubai, Jul 6: Fr Baptist Menezes, episcopal vicar of Udupi Vicariate visited Dubai on his way back from Canada. Since he is expected to head the proposed Udupi diocese, Karaval Milan Dubai, an association comprising 19 parishes from Kundapur and Kallianpur Varado, had organized a get-together in his honour at the residence of its director, Wilson D’Sa, recently.
The programme began at 8.30 pm with a prayer, followed by the welcome address, delivered by Karaval Milan secretary, Pius James DSouza. Episcopal vicar, Fr Baptist Menezes, was escorted to the dais by Karaval Milan president, Eric DSouza. Karaval Milans well-wisher and managing director of CAB Real Estate Dubai, Alfred D Souza, was present. Karaval Milans treasurer, Rony Byndoor, gave a brief introduction of the episcopal vicar.
Eric D Souza, president of Karaval Milan, honoured the episcopal vicar with floral bouquet, while director of Karaval Milan, Wilson DSa offered fruits to him. Alfred DSouza presented a memento on behalf of the entire Kundapur and Kallianpur Varado to the visiting dignitary. Children and ladies representing every parish of the above Varados presented flowers to him, which gesture was especially appreciated by the episcopal vicar.
In his address, Fr Baptist expressed his joy and happiness at the unity, cooperation and commitments shown by the members of various parishes to work together, and invoked the blessing of the Almighty for them, in recognition of the commendable work they have been doing under the banner of Karaval Milan. He said he knows the hardships people are facing here, and advised them to exercise caution while making donations to any entity. He asserted that the donor has the right to know how the donations he makes, are being utilized by the recipients. He asked the members of Karaval Milan to send a copy of the advice to him for reference, whenever funds are sent by them to the parishes. He offered help in case they faced any problems in this regard.
A question-answer session followed. Fr Baptist answered many questions from the members. He explained the roles of the parish priest, parish council, wardens (Luwaads) and the parishioners. He also explained his role as the episcopal vicar. Before concluding, he again highlighted and emphasized the issue of accountability earlier touched upon by him. He also told that the people facing any problems can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the members said that he was very much impressed by the straight-forward nature of the episcopal vicar, and expressed the opinion that the Catholic community needs an aggressive leader like him to protect the interests of the community. At the same time, he also expressed his reservations about the episcopal vicar succeeding in getting the unstinted support of all the people from within the community in the fulfillment of his vision for the proposed Udupi diocese.
Karaval Milan members requested the priest to immediately open a blogspot in the name of episcopal vicar, to enable the faithful to get their doubts and questions clarified through this medium. They expressed the opinion that this will lead to added transparency in the administration and the accountability of the leaders. The episcopal vicar immediately agreed to the suggestion and asked Karaval Milan to extend their wholehearted support for the cause.
He also informed the gathering that he plans to honour all the Konkani artists from all the fields very soon. He said that he would love to see at least some names from out of Karaval Milan members, who have excelled in different fields, in the list of such artists. He also promised Rony Byndoor to send his collection of hymns to the latter and to publish the same in the diocese book.