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40 Priests Of Ballari Return “Recharged” After A Pilgrimage To Holy Land

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JERUSALEM, ISRAEL, APRIL 20, 2015: “The ten-day Holy Land pilgrimage for diocesan priests was really a renewal program and helpful for more effective in ministry, according to one of the pilgrim priests”, stated the vicar general Fr. Paul Raj.

“The main highlights of the program are a thorough orientation by Biblical experts, a detailed pilgrimage in the footprints of the disciples to the nooks and corners of Holy Land and a encountering a spiritual retreat experience,” Fr. Alphonse George said.

“It provided an opportunity to revitalize one’s consecrated life and re-ignite one’s commitment to the mission by having a similar experience as the disciples on the road to Emmaus,” said Fr. Yagappa, Diocesan Estate Manager.

“Hearts aflame and walking in the footsteps of Jesus in his land” took place April 13 – 22, and is organized by the Ballari Diocesan Administration led by Frs. Paul Raj  and Maxim Dias.

Fr. Charles D’Souza said that the pilgrimage helped priests to make a 'spiritual Emmaus journey', inspired by the Gospel of Luke where the two disciples of Jesus said, “Were not our hearts aflame within us while he was talking to us on the road, and opened the Scriptures to us?”

Bishop Henry D’Souza, Bishop of Ballari, endorsed the pilgrimage, calling it a “pilgrimage of love, fellowship and commitment”. 


Ballari Christians Hold Rally Protesting Attacks on Christians and Women

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altBALLARI, 27 MARCH 2015: Hundreds of Christians from  all Christian denominations, institutions and women groups held a protest rally condemning attacks on Christians and women in India.

Peaceful protest rally commenced from Moti Circle in the city, went through the main streets of Ballari and marched to Deputy Commissioner’s Office to submit a memorandum.

Addressing to the crowd that gathered for the rally, Bishop Henry D’Souza, Bishop of Ballari stated, “Recent attacks on churches and church personnel have caused an atmosphere of fear among Christians and women. We demand that the government of India must ensure that that the attackers are a brought to justice and all sections of the society, especially the minorities, dalits and women are allowed to live in peace and harmony”.

Shri Sameer Sukula IAS, Deputy Commissioner of Ballari, receiving the memorandum assured that the District Administration has taken all measures to ensure that all sections of the society will live without fear. He requested to contact immediately the District Administration regarding any attacks and untoward incidents.

He also assured to forward the memoranda to the respective authorities.

Vicar General Fr. Paul Raj read the memoranda and thanked the District Administration for the peaceful atmosphere prevalent in the society.

 The Bishop thanked all those participated in the peaceful protest rally and the priests and pastors for organizing it.   


New Block of Senior Priests’ Home Blessed And Inaugurated

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altBALLARI, 26 MARCH 2015: New block for BETHAY, senior priests home was blessed and inaugurated by Bishop Henry D’Souza, Bishop of Bellary on 26 March, 2015. The new block is named after the first Bishop of Ballari - Bishop Hogan.

Senior priests Fathers Paul Fernandes, Henry Fernandes, Thomas D’Souza, Denis Menezes and Archibald Corea opened the new block by cutting the ribbon and Fr. Paul Raj, Vicar General unveiled the plaque.

The diocese already has a 6 unit for senior priests’ block named after Bishop Ambrose Yeddanapalli, the second Bishop of Ballari.

Bishop Hogan served in Bellary Mission for 34 years (1928-1962). He became the first Bishop of Bellary Diocese in 1949. 

Presently there are 6 senior priests in Bethany. As there are more senior priests retiring, construction of the new block was a necessitated.   

“The senior priests residence allows to have our own private quarters, yet live close to other priests. So there is a sense of fraternity and when we need one another, for whatever reason, we are there to help and assist each other,” Fr Henry  Fernandes said. “With God and each other, we are never really alone.”

There are 78 priests serving in the diocese.

Bishop felicitated Fr. Yagappa, Frs. Anthonyraj, Fr. Sam Nalan, Fr. Francis Bashyam, Mr. Balaswamy (Architect & Engineer), Arogyadas (civil contractor) and others who dreamt of the new block come true.  


International Women’s Day Held In Bellary; Theme: Make It Happen

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altBALLARI, March 21, 2015 (Sr. Marie Christine): International Women’s Day was celebrated in Mathe Maria Mahila Pragathi Dhama, Bellary to encourage effective leadership and recognize the greater role of women among local women.  

It was jointly organized by Diocesan Women Commission and Mathe Maria Mahila Pragathi Dhama (Women’s Development Center).  

Fr. Paulraj, Vicar General, Sr. Margaret RGS, Joint Secretary, KRCBC Women’s Commission, Sr. Thangamma, FS, Smt. Susheela, Asst. Professor, VVV Sangha  B. Ed. College, Ballari were the resource persons of the day.

“Self empowerment of women is a powerful tool to free women from the clutches of traditional and social beliefs and repressive forces” noted Sr. Margaret RGS.  

“To foster responsible womanhood, education is the best tool” insisted Sr. Thangamma, FS.

The need to form Women cells in all the parishes to avail Government and other benefits was emphasized Fr. Denis Menezes, Parish Priest, Christ the King Church.

Women should usher in a new civilization of respect for all, human dignity, love and cooperation. That will ensure empowerment of women within families and society”, stated Bishop Henry D’Souza.

60 women participated in the daylong programme.

Mathe Maria Mahila Pragathi Dhama, Diocesan Women’s Development Center which was started in 1991 by Bishop Ambrose of happy memory empowered hundreds of rural and economically poor women. As the institution was beginning it’s silver jubilee year, Bishop Henry D’Souza,  appreciated the dedicated service offered by the center for the deprived women to empower themselves particularly through education.    

Sr. Marie Christy, Secretary, Women’s Commission thanked Miss Sugantha Director, Mathe Maria Mahila Pragathi Dhama and Former Regional Secretary, KRCBC Women’s Commission for organizing so meaningfully and hosting the program. 

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Bellary Arogya Mathe Shrine

Bellary-Mathe-small The Shrine of Bellary Arogya Mathe was blessed and dedicated on 8th September 2000 on the feast of the Nativity of our Blessed Mother Mary in memory of the great jubilee 2000 and the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese of Bellary


Diocesan Diamond Jubilee

This year is Diamond Jubilee of our Bellary Diocese.  It is completing 60 years in the service to God and His people.


Loss of Life and Property due to Flash Floods in Bellary Diocese

 Number of people affected : 151,934
Loss of life : 72
Villages affected : 1,296
Houses destroyed/damaged : 118,833
Relief being distributed to : 3,500 families
No. Catholic houses lost: 560
Number of medical camps held : 22