Bangalore, August 19, 2021:
Come September, millions are drawn to St Mary’s Basilica, Shivajinagar to celebrate the Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary. Every year this festival is considered by the people not only as the mega festival of the parish but also for the whole of the Archdiocese of Bangalore and the state of Karnataka. People gather in lakhs, without any distinction of caste, creed or religion, not only from all parts of Bengaluru but also from all over India to pay their homage to Blessed Mother. The central Bengaluru embraces the festive mood during this season.
Last year the celebrations were muted due to the cruel intervention of the dreaded virus. And this year too, the threat of the impending third wave looming large, it is once again threatening to be a potential deterrent and a dampener to snatch away the grandeur and fervour of the festival.
The Archdiocese of Bangalore led by its inspiring Chief Shepherd, Most Rev Dr. Peter Machado convened an urgent meeting with all the local Officials and Representatives of the Government at St. Mary’s Basilica on 18th August, 2021 to find out a mutually acceptable way to celebrate, though on a low-key but in absolute deference to the Governments directives. All other services of the Novena is proposed to be streamed live on-line through various digital platforms.
The meeting was presided over by our Archbishop. At the outset the Prelate while welcoming the gathering thanked them for all their services, help and support rendered during the last year’s celebrations. The representation made by the Archdiocese to the Hon’ble Chief Minister on 13-08-2021 seeking his intervention to permit the faithful to have a visit of the Shrine (Darshana) was read out for the benefit of the officials present. The letter outlined a series of measures to be adopted to ensure a smooth and rush-free visit to the Shrine.
Shri Rizwan Arshad, Hon’ble MLA of Shivajinagar, Dr Sharanappa DCP (E), Mrs Kalyani, Jt Commissioner of BBMP actively participated in the deliberations and assured to take up our matter with the Commissioner BBMP and other concerned authorities before we could proceed in making arrangements for the visit of the Shrine (Darshana) by the faithful.
Rev Fr Martin Kumar Rector & Parish Priest along with other Priests of St Mary’s Basilica, Rev Dr Cyril Victor Joseph, Director Archdiocesan Communications Center (ACC), Rev Dr Vimal Christopher, Director, Health Commission besides a host of officials drawn from BBMP, BWSSB, BESCOM were present at the meeting and took active part in the deliberations.
-PRO & ACC Office