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Cardinal Toppo to Lead Bellary Diocesan Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

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BELLARY, DEC. 31: Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, Archbishop of Ranchi and former President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) will lead the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of Bellary diocese which will be on Sunday, Jan. 03, 2010 at the Bellary Mathe Shrine.

Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore will preside over the thanksgiving Eucharist and Archbishop Malayappan Chinnapa of Madras-Mylapore will inaugurate the Jubilee Symposium on: “Called to Grow, to Share and to Witness”. Many of the Bishops of Karnataka will be the Guests of Honour.

During the public function, Cardinal Toppo will bless the newly erected 20 grottoes of the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary at the Bellary Mathe Shrine. He will also bless the foundation stones for the proposed Anugraha, a school for the Physically Challenged Persons (in memory of Y. Uma Devi & Y. Mahabaleswarappa) and Pratibhalaya, a school of arts and culture. Also, Cardinal Toppo will hand over keys of 6 newly built houses for the recent flood victims. The houses have been built largely supported by Sumanahalli, Bangalore. The event will climax with the presentation of “Over the Diamond Years”, a multi-media presentation on the history of the Diocese.

The beginnings

The Diocese of Bellary owes its faith and growth to the Congregation of the Order of Friars Minor (OFM). Thanks to the efforts of stalwarts such as Bishop John Forest Hogan, the seeds of faith have grown in to a modest tree today.

In 1928, the districts of Raichur and Gulbarga from the Diocese of Hyderabad and the District of Bellary from the Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore were detached constituting the Bellary Mission. It was entrusted to the pastoral care of the Order of Friars Minor of the English province. In 1949 the Diocese of Bellary was formed with Bishop John Forest Hogan, OFM as the first Bishop of the new Diocese. Presently, the Diocese consists of the Bellary, Raichur and Koppal districts of Karnataka.

Bishop John Forest Hogan, while on his way to attend the Second Vatican Council in 1962, he fell ill at Naples in Italy and died there at the age of 67.  He was succeeded by Bishop Ambrose P. Yeddanapalli, O.F.M. (1963-1997), a dynamic and energetic person who walked on the path blazed by his predecessor and built up the Diocese. Bishop Joseph D’Silva was appointed as the third Bishop of Bellary in 1992. To mark the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese, he erected the Bellary Mathe shrine in 2000. Bishop D’Silva passed away in 2006 and the present Bishop Henry D’Souza was consecrated as Bishop of Bellary on June 12, 2008.


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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