Bellary Diocese

  • Create an account
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

Our Patron - St. Anthony

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events currently scheduled.
View full calendar

Bishop Emeritus of Karwar William D'Mello Passes Away at 82

E-mail Print PDF

altKARWAR, Jul 19 (daijiworld): William Leonard D’Mello, first Bishop of Karwar, peacefully breathed his last at Fr Muller Medical College Hospital, Mangalore at 11:05 am on Tuesday July 19. Derek Fernandes, Bishop of Karwar, Sr Rosa SCB, who had looked after his health for the past many years and Sr Annie SCB, who was looking after him since more than year, together with a few priests and others were at his side during his last moments.

Bishop William, as the first Bishop of Karwar, had laboured relentlessly for the all round development of the newly established diocese comprising of the civil district of Uttara Kannada. He gave an identity to the Catholic Christian Community of the district and during the 30 years of his tenure, strived for their all-round development in the spiritual, social, educational and economical spheres. His concern and service extended to all people without consideration of caste and creed. After serving with dedication and love for 30 long years, he relinquished his office as the Bishop of Karwar due to his old age and illness and his resignation was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI on February 24, 2007 and Bishop Derek Fernandes was appointed as his successor.

 

After his retirement, Bishop William was residing at ‘Sandhya Vandan’, the Senior Clergy Home built by him at Shirwad, in the compound adjoining ‘Puneeth Sadan’, the diocesan headquarters. On March 24, 2010, under the leadership of Bishop Derek Fernandes, the priests, religious and lay faithful together his family members and friends, celebrated his 80th birthday in a simple yet joyful manner.

 

Subsequently, his health began deteriorating in the past one year and a couple of times he was admitted in the Fr Muller’s Hospital in Mangalore for observation and treatment. When the doctors advised that there was nothing more that could be done as age was against him, and it would be better for him to be in his own residence, Sr Annie of Maria Magnoflora Hospital, assisted by the other nurses, took care of him under the supervision of his personal physician. However, since a few days ago, he was again shifted to the hospital in Mangalore on the advice of his personal physician as his health condition was causing concern. Almost unconscious, he was kept in a specially prepared room, so that his friends and relatives could come and see him.

 

The third child of the six children of the late Santana and the late Joseph D’Mello, Bishop William D’Mello was born on March 24, 1931 at Cascia, which was then a part of the Rosario Cathedral parish of the Diocese of Mangalore. After his studies at St Aloysius College, Mangalore, he joined the Minor Seminary at Bangalore to become a priest for the Archdiocese of Bangalore. He did his philosophy and theology studies St Peter’s Major Seminary he imbibed the missionary spirit and zeal from the MEP Fathers (Foreign Mission Society of Parish) who were running the Seminary.

 

After he completed his seminary studies, he was ordained a priest on 6th April 1957 by the then Archbishop of Bangalore, Thomas Pothakamury, one of the great stalwarts of the Church at that time. Fr D’Mello’s first appointment was as an Assistant to Msgr. William Texeira, the Vicar General who was also the Parish Priest of St Joseph’s Church, Bangalore. Both the Archbishop and the Vicar General had tremendous influence on the young priest and played an important role in giving a definite shape to his Priestly character - a practical knowledge of the Church administration, pastoral prudence, regularity in life and prayer which he has kept up to date even when he has not been keeping in good health. Within a period of six months Msgr. Texeira passed away and the heavy responsibility of running the big Parish fell on our young Assistant. But he fulfilled his duties very well to the satisfaction of his Bishop and that of the people. The very next year he was appointed an Assistant at St Patrick’s Church, the prestigious Parish in the Diocese, under late Fr Leo Vanpeen, the Parish Priest who was known for strict discipline, punctuality, order and neatness. In 1962 he was appointed as Parish Priest in Doresanipalya where he came in contact with abject poverty among his Parishioners.

 

Undeterred he went about helping the people not only spiritually but also materially, so that the Christians entrusted to his care may live with dignity worthy of the children of God. Very soon he came back to St Patrick’s Church as Parish Priest, and in addition to being the Parish Priest he was made the Vicar General by Archbishop Lourdusamy at a very young age in 1966. In 1972 when Cardinal Lourdusamy was promoted as the Joint Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Msgr. William D’Mello was unanimously elected as the Vicar Capitular (Administrator of the Diocese). This is an ample proof of the fact that his Superiors and his brother Priests held him in high regard for his qualities of mind and heart. And so, as soon as Archbishop Arokiasamy took charge of the Diocese, he appointed him as his Vicar General and with a view to put his abilities, qualities and experience to the best use for the benefit of the Diocese, brought him to St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Fraser Town, which is a 15 minutes drive to the Archbishop’s House.

 

Though he was very busy with the diocesan responsibilities, he regularly visited his flock in the evenings. He had time for all those who were with him or worked with him - his Assistants, Regents, Deacons and the Seminarians who came for week-end Ministry, the Religious Sisters and other lay leaders. Thus he loved his flock and his co-operators, and they in turn loved him.

 

He was elected to be the Bishop of the newly-erected Diocese of Karwar in 1976 itself but the announcement was delayed due to some unavoidable circumstances and hence his Episcopal Ordination could take place only in 1977 on April 29.

 

With his rich pastoral experience and insights and being filled with the spirit of Vatican II renewal, he began in all earnest the building of the Church in Karwar which was very much backward spiritually and economically. True to his motto ‘Duc in Altum’ he launched out into the deep in search of the lost and visited every nook and corner of the Diocese even across the rivers and the sea, though traveling in a boat was a nightmarish experience for him. It was love at first sight both for the Pastor and the flock. Realizing the need for more Priests he began encouraging vocations to Priesthood from within and outside the Diocese and being convinced of the need of Religious to take care of the Welfare and Education of Women and Children and specially Family Apostolate, he went about knocking at the door of the Religious Congregations pleading and begging for more Sisters. As a result, there are at present more than a hundred Priests and two hundred and above women Religious working in our Diocese.

 

Prior to his coming very little was done as regards the renewal of liturgy and faith formation except in the Parishes where the Religious priests were working and hence superstitions and meaningless customs and traditions abounded. The Pastor and Father that he was, he took the hard decision of cleansing the faith and doing away with many age-old customs even though it hurt many. The faith-formation of the children, the youth and adults was taken up on war-footing together with preparing them for renewal of liturgy. The experience of the renewal movement in Bangalore and his pastoral prudence motivated and guided every move that the young Bishop made. His new vision of man, the Church and the society began to take concrete shape and in many of his earliest speeches and sermons he gave a call to all the people to dream a new vision and commit themselves to the Mission of fulfilling that vision.

 

Bishop D’Mello was always available to anyone who sought his help but at the same time equally at ease in the company of the elite. He succeeded in persuading the rich in sharing out their riches with the poor and he himself directly and through the Karwar Diocesan Development Council, Karwar Diocese Education Society and the Bala Pragathi Kendra Services, has helped innumerable children for their education and health care, carried out relief works during floods and famine, took up building of houses for the shelterless and self-help programmes.

 

One of his outstanding achievements in the Diocese was the promotion of the Family Apostolate. His vision of ‘loving, serving, praying and witnessing family’ which is in keeping with the Church’s teaching on the Family as a domestic Church, was given a concrete shape by the Family Commission under his able guidance and encouragement. Its activities and programmes have been highly appreciated by the other Dioceses in the region. The Clergy, the Religious, the Laity and the Bishop too can feel happy, and thank and bless God again and again for through the instrumentality of the Bishop the Diocese has remained united to a great extent.

 

Finally his cross, his prolonged illness which he has borne patiently and always with a smile, instead of being a block to his Mission as a Pastor, has been his greatest asset for it is this cross that has brought down innumerable blessings on his works and undertakings and consequently on the Diocese. Having zealously shepherded the new diocese for nearly 30 years, Bishop William D’Mello resigned on attaining superannuation. He had a desire to serve people even after retirement, by visiting hospitals and families, and consoling the sick and the suffering, which he often used to express. But God wanted him to suffer his illness silently and offer his suffering and pain as a loving sacrifice, which he patiently did. His memory will endure forever. May His immortal soul rest in eternal peace of heavenly bliss.

 
You are here: Home News Events & Updates Bishop Emeritus of Karwar William D'Mello Passes Away at 82

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

Read More...

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.

Read More...

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