The Catholic Sabha took its birth on 29th April 1979.

Why was the Catholic Sabha established?
After the second Vatican council our Mangalore Diocese, hailed as the Rome of the East, gave the desired importance to the laity and was the first Diocese in India to set up the Parish Pastoral Councils. In order to educate the newly elected members of these councils on their mission and to give them the training seminars were held in three batches under the leadership of rev. Fr. Stanely R. Pereira, then director of the Canara Communication  centre. 122 representatives from 67 parishes of 13 Varados attended these seminars. One of the things that sprouted from these seminars was the thought to have, like the associations in other faiths, a laity organization in Mangalore. Accordingly a committee named “Navachethana “was formed to give a definite shape to this thought.

The important decisions taken by this committee were as follows:

  1. Christians must take an active part in Politics.
  2. We must fight unitedly against the hardships and problems that come upon our community.
  3. To fight against the O.P Thyagi bill the Govt.
  4. To convene a laity meet on 29th April 1979 at Udupi.

As per the decision to convene a laity meet on 29th April 1979 at Udupi invitations we prepared and sent to the Parish Pastoral Council members of all the 126 parishes in the Diocese. 180 representatives from 88 parishes attended this Meet. Most Rev. Dr. Basil S. D’souza, the them Bishop of Mangalore inaugurated this Meet. A decision to found the Catholic Sabha was taken at this Meet and an ad - hoc committee was formed with Sri Oscar Fernandes as its President and Sri Alban Rodrigues as the secretary. A committee of six members was also formed to draft the constitution of the Catholic Sabha and an office was set up at the Don Bosco Club, Udupi.


The beautiful prayer recited that day is recited even to this day at the parish units, varado committees and the central committee.

This prayer is:
“O, heavenly father, do stay with us here with your beloved son, Jesus Christ and the Holy spirit. Enlighten our minds; give us the strength to think rightly, to take the decisions that place you, to understand and put into practice the laws assigned for the laity. Mary our mother dear, lead us forward unitedly. We promise you that we will put into practice the decisions we take and strive hard to be the true followers of Christ. We pray that this promise and our work may be pleasing to you”.


God Almighty as made us move forward with his divine protection to his day. We thank God Almighty for this which is the fruit of our prayer achieved through the power of the holy spirit. As the foundation of the catholic sabha was laid on solid hard rock it has with stood all the storms of problems of difficulties and has stood firm.


We know that the flow of water in rivers sometimes becomes less and sometimes it over flows with floods, but the flow of water continues to remain. In the same way the catholic Sabha with all the ups and downs continues to move forward.


In the initial stages the Catholic Sabha had to encounter many problems for its growth.   as there are problems for the growth of the new-born child. And the founders had faced them all to bring the catholic Sabha to its present stature.


The founders, in the initial stages, used to go to difficult parishes every Sunday to meet the people and tell them about the catholic sabha. Some parish priest welcomed them and extended their co-operation. In other parishes they had to be satisfied meeting only some lay leaders. These lay leaders wielded their influence on others and created the right atmosphere to establish the units of the sabha. Thus the Sabha grew gradually and started giving its service at the unit, Varado and the central levels. Today it has a membership of nearly 20,000 in both the Dioceses. At present though there is no Province as such the units and the Varados are very strong.


The Catholic sabha is a registered body. The Catholic Sabha was registered under the society of Register Act in 1987. It is affiliated to the AICU at the CBCI level. Thus it has gained the national recognition and a place of honor.


The Aim of the catholic Sabha:

Service, sacrifice and Unity.

Its mission as per the desire of the second Vatican council, the laity and the religions conjointly forming an organized, strong and alert community for the good of the community and for the great glory of god.

Basic objective:

Organization through awareness.
Christians should be in the main stream of the society without remaining se
Should be active in native building
Should raise the slandered of living of the brothers and sisters of our community
Should give support to them at the time of their anxieties and needs.
Should improve their educational, social, economic and cultural standards.
Keeping these objectives in mind a particular them should be taken every year and plans should be formulated and work must be done to achieve this theme.
So far 20 central presidents have given their valuable services to the sabha. it is our   hope that many more such president may come     in the times to come.

The work done

  1. Has created political awareness, given education on politics and prepared for political movement.
  2. Has given career guidance
  3. Has formed self-help groups for economic development.
  4. Played a key-role in starting the first grade college at Shirva.
  5. Put in great efforts to open schools at       and Madantyar.
  6. Has been able to find a solution to some disputes  that arose between the employees and management of Fr. Muller’s Hospital.
  7. Has strived hard to solve the dispute that arose between the Mudarangady Church and the public with regard to the church compound.
  8. Has tried to find a solution to the problems of the teachers of the catholic Board Education by approaching the President and secretary of the CBE.
  9. Has worked to find a solution to the problems of the Christians by meeting the goodwala minority commission appointed by the govt. of Karnataka at its sitting in Mangalore.
  10. When a problem of languages arose among the catholics in Bangalore the Sabha interacted with the concerned parties and tried its best to solve that problem.
  11. Had the decennial celebration of the Sabha with the participation of Sri George Menezes, the President of the All India catholic Union.
  12. Brought out a Souvenir on the occasion of the decennial celebration.
  13. Has collected the addresses of most of the catholic graduates.
  14. Has taken the leadership in the rally of reservation for Dalit Christians. There was a gathering of one lakh ten thousand people.
  15. Has made the members of our community contest the electons and win places in the senate and Syndicate of the Mangalore University.
  16. Has worked for the establishment of different co operative societies.
  17. Has worked towards the basic needs of the families in the Parish.
  18. Has worked to popularize the “Jana Wahini” daily.
  19. Has met the local MLAs personally to implement the rights and facilities of the members of our community.
  20. Has pressurized to get political positions (from the Panchayat member to the Prime Minister, Vice President and President of India).
  21. Observance April 29 as the founding day of the catholic Sabha.
  22. Has conducted completions in Elocution, Essay writing and Ex tempore speech for the youth and children of our community.
  23. Has founded ‘Dante Memorial Trust’ in order to give Awards to Konkani speakers and writers.
  24. Has established “Manasa”  a Rehabilitation and training centre for mentally related children at Pamboor near Shirva. There are 160 children at present at this centre.
  25. Has successfully worked to withdraw the book, “ Voduva Aata” which contained certain slanderous things about Jesus.
  26. Brought out the monthly “Amcho Sandesh” in 2003 February and had its decennial celebration in 2013.
  27. Has worked for the reintroduction of the Christmas holidays that were cancelled by the University.
  28. Has given a purse of rupees one lakh to the family of the late Canute Crasta, has collected and given funds to the martyrs of the Kargil war, has given a purse of rupees one lakh to the physically handicapped children of Palimar and Badyar parishes, has given rupees fifty thousand to St. Joseph’s Engineering college and has established a fund for helping the poor patients.
  29. Has celebrated in a grand way the silver jubilee of the catholic Sabha on 1st may 2004. Shri. J Alexander the honorable tourism Minister of the govt. of Karnataka was one of the chief guests.
  30. Has brought out the Souvenir, “Turbent” of the silver jubilee.
  31. Has organized the world conference of Catholics
  32. Rachana
  33. Has started Nava Chetana.

Training camps
The catholic Sabha has organized residential camps train the members of the central executive committee on the work to be done by the sabha. it has also organized training camps for the members of units and the varados and the representatives of “Sandesh”.
It has been giving training to those who prepare for the entrance exams of IAS, KAS and B.SR.B.
It has given training to the people on leadership. Canon law and the documents of the laity apostolate.
Has conducted programmes to give information and to educate the people on the development and empowerment of women, on family life, on health and sexual problems, on agriculture, self employment, the facilities available to minorities and the revision of the constitution of India.
Has conducted programmes on creating awareness about our customs and rituals and awareness against alcoholism.
Has created awareness about our works.

Conferences 
The catholic Sabha has organized various conferences on the following:

  1. The Vice Presidents and secretaries of all the parties of the Diocese.
  2. The members of the families of the founding members and the present members of the sabha.
  3. The Presidents, Secretaries of all the units and of the representatives of “Sandesh”.
  4. Konkani Masters of ceremonies.
  5. Married couples to help strength family life.
  6. Graduates
  7. The social and political leaders
  8. Teachers
  9. The world congress of Canara Konkani Catholics with the theme: Konkani is our mother tongue, Canara is our native land. Christianity is our faith, Holy Cross is our emblem and canara Christian community is our community.

Felicitations and Honors: 
The catholic sabha has felicitated and honored the following:

  1. The catholic members of the Grama Panchayaths, Taluk Panchayaths and Zilla Panchayaths.
  2. The municipal councilors.
  3. The Mayor, Deputy Mayor and the corporators.
  4. The Legisaltors.
  5. Those who have secured good positions in different fields in the society.


Protests
The Catholic Sabha has organized protests on the following issues:

  1. When the Thyagi Bill was tabled in the Parliament
  2. When the govt. passed an order and tried to close down the English Medium schools
  3. When Sri Devi Lal, their Deputy Prime Minister announced that the foreign missionaries should leave India.
  4. When the churches in Karnataka, Amdra Pradesh and Goa were bombed.
  5. When efforts were made to destroy the Velankani church which is the pilgrim centre of Christians.
  6. When in the T.V and news papers advertisements like Hexit, Zee Lean etc. derogating the Christian faith were published and also when the T.V serial, “Ek se bad kar ek” contained such derogatory things.
  7. When the Tahsildar of Karkala Taluk ordered that the crosses erected in certain places should be removed.
  8. When the authorities refused to close down the stone quarry at Nirkan 
  9. When the police refused to arrest those who had gang raped a catholic girl at Mogarnad.
  10. When Entrance Examinations and Evaluation work of the Examinations were kept on the day of Christmas, Good Friday and Easter.
  11. When the following heinous murders took place: Ligory Mendonca of Neerude, Annie Vas of Kemmannu, Cynthia Juliet of Kudremukh, two girls of Kanajar, the Priests in North India, the nuns at Jogeshwari, Helen D’Sa of Kolalgiri and Annie Vas of Bajpe.
  12. A number of programmes of this nature, that is protests were conducted as necessitated by the circumstances at the Parish, Varado and Central levels and are being conducted even now. Thus the Catholic Sabha has won the eulogies and acknowledgements from the Bishops, priests and the laity and has become very strong and sturdy.

Acknowledging the god work done by the Cathlic Sabha Sri Norbert  D’souza, the President of the All India Catholic Union said, “ In the whole of India there is no other laity organization  than the catholic Sabha that does work done by the Catolic Sabha”.


Sri David Simeon, former chairman of the Karnataka Vidana Parishat said, “The catholic Sabha of Mangalore does its work in a very organized way”.


Our Bishop said thus, “The Catholic Sabha does good work and gives good service in our Diocese. I invoke God’s blessings on you and I am with you”.


The president and some office bearers of the federation of Christian organizations of Karnataka were present at one of the programmes of the catholic sabha. They said, “We have to learn a lot from you”.


Yes, all these eulogies enthuse us. But  we think that it is only at the beginning and we have to continue our work without discriminating between the young and the old, the rich and the poor and the educated and the uneducated. We thank God Almighty for showering his countless blessings on us over the past 36 years and pray that he may inspire us to work with a spirit of service and enthusiasm. 


We thank all those who have worked for the catholic sabha from its beginning till now and salute all our workers, well wishers and donors.


The catholic Sabha has done quite a lot of work other than all that is recorded here.

Present work
The catholic Sabha continues to do its good work through

  1. “Amcho Sandesh” periodical
  2. Manasa school
  3. A number of scholarships, especially the scholarships for minorities.
  4. Health cards of KMC and Father Muller’s Hospitals.
  5. Women’s co operative society, Rachana an Navachethana
  6. Mega conferences, work in the political field and fellowship meets.
  7. The plan ofbuilding houses for the needy.
  8. Providing basic facilities to the people and electrifying the houses.
  9. Membership drive, Dialogue programmes, protests and other services of common good.



 

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