Stella Maris Church

Vailankanni Shrine, Kalmady

HISTORY

Stella Maris means the star of the Sea and this name suits beautifully to this Church. Stella Maris Church is situated on the coastal banks of Arabian Sea. It is very close to Malpe natural harbor of Udupi district, Karnataka, India. Ample of buses are plying from Udupi to Malpe via Kalmady

The star of the sea guides the navigator during their voyage and restores hopes and aspirations in them and shows them the directions of the land where they have to reach

Stella Maris Church of Kalmady being a great pilgrim center, like the morning star guides the devotees of Jesus and Mother Mary to give up their sinful life and to follow the path of prayers truthfulness, nobility, love and sacrifice and to walk on the footsteps of Jesus. So it helps the sinners to give up there evil ways, bad habits and helps them to come out of it and lead a good life.

Kalmady being a small village was totally unknown to the outside people. But now because of Stella Maris Church and the lady of Velankanni Shrine, it has become a great pilgrim Centre. Today Kalmady has marked its own boundary in the world map. People from all over the world come to this Church seeking favors from our lady of Velankanni and when they receive favors  again they come here with the gratitude to give thanks. So the place Kalmady which is chosen by God himself has become a place of miracles and devotion and has brought in communal harmony and brotherhood here.

Kalmady is the place chosen by God and Lady of Velankanni to cure the sick to uplift the downtrodden, needy, poor  and people who are addicted to excessive alcohol and drug. There are evidences to show that some people who have become desperate because of their bad habits wanted to commit suicide came and stayed here and got cured. Now they are working in different parts of the world and have become the bread winners of the family because of prayer and counseling given by the Parish priest Fr. Alban D’Souza.

Before 1972 there was no church in Kalmady. People of Kalmady had to go to Udupi Mother of Sorrows Church or St. Anne Church, Tottam for the religious need .Both the places are far from Kalmady. That time there was no proper bus services and people had to walk the 8 km distance. Children and aged people wear finding it really difficult. The financial conditions of the people was also not good at that time. They couldn’t afford to go by bus so they decided to have a church in Kalmady and where praying for it, as in the Bible said knock and it will open. Pray and he will get. So they prayed and the prayers reached God almighty and where answered by God.

Rev. Fr Charles D’Souza , the founder of Stella Maris Church Kalmady being a native of Kalmady knew all the pains, problems ,difficulties and grievances of the people of Kalmady  as he too had undergone the same trails. He was the commander in Indian Navy.Even from his childhood he had a strong desire to become a priest.  After completing his BA Honours degree in maths at St. Aloysius College Mangalore . He joined  Indian Navy and became a commander in Indian Navy .To fulfill his dream of becoming he took voluntary retirement from Navy at the age of 50, went to Rome studied in Beda college for priesthood got ordained by Pope John Paul the Vth  and became a priest. He wanted to help the  people of Kalmady for their religious needs by building a church. For that he bought a field from Cecilia D’Lima from his own money and donated it in the name of his mother Mrs. Lucy D’Souza to build a church. Then with the help and cooperation of the people he built the church out of his own money and also from the donation given by the people. While building the church many people of Kalmady have worked hard and have extended their helping hands.

This Chapel was blessed by Bishop Basil D’Souza on 5th February 1972. Then it was under Udupi Parish and priest from Udupi and Kalyanpur were coming here to offer Sunday mass

During the reign of Fr. Joseph Tauro who was the Parish priest of Udupi ,Priest house was built at Kalmady in the church compound and was blessed on 15th May 1986. Fr. Dennis Castelino was the first residing Parish priest of Kalmady and he took charge in June 1987. on 1st January 1991 Decree was given by Bishop and since then Kalmady became an independent  Parish.

It was on 15th of August 1988 the Statue of Our Lady of Velankanni donated by father Wilson D’Souza was brought from Velankanni to install in Kalmady Church. On August 15, 1988 it was blessed in Mother of Sorrows Church Udupi and was brought to Kalmady in a grand procession and was installed here by Bishop Basil D’Souza. Since then it has become a great shrine and pilgrim center

After Fr. Dennis Castelino came Fr. Robert Pinto, During his time the altar was renovated

Then came Fr. Ivan D’mello ,a great disciplinarian. He tried his level best to build a cemetery (graveyard) in Kalmady. Appeals were sent to concerned authorities for permission. He had to face a lot of opposition from people because they thought if a graveyard is built, their land rates will come down. Though Udupi municipality gave the permission once immediately it withdrew it because of people’s opposition.  So he and the Vice president of the church parish council Mrs. Flavia Mathias took the matter to High Court and after some years we won the case in the High Court and in the later years a beautiful (Graveyard) is built during the time of Jesuits and Mr Louis Lobo was the vice president of parish council then.

Fr. Ivan D’mello bought  the adjointing field of one Hindu person by name Achyuta who gave his land at concessional rate for the church. Mrs. Flavia Mathais  Vice President and Mr Philip Andrade got it registered to the church. After buying the land the compound  wall was put.  There also father Fr. Ivan D’mello  had to face lot of problems. That time nobody even imagined that god has made us to buy that land and build this new boat shaped Church there God’s plan a wonderful.

After Fr. Ivan D’mello came the Jesuits during that time Church flourished. Fr. Richard Mascarenhas , Fr.Maxim and Fr. Joseph D’Souza were the Jesuits Parish priest here.

After that again the administration of Kalmady Church came to the hands of secular priest.   It was on 4th June 2012 came the great captain and great sculptor of Kalmady Church who is an architect too who changed the entire picture and scenario of Kalmady church . He is none other than Reverend father Alban D’Souza , the present Parish Priest of Stella Maris Church. This priest was sent by god himself to build a new Church for his honour in Kalmady. Father Alban D’Souza is known for his healing prayers and counseling. He is a priest of prayers and penance. He runs to help people who are sick and are in need

Fr. Alban D’Souza was sent to Kalmady with a mission to build a new Church here because the religious heads had noted that people from far and wide are coming to Kalmady for prayer and Kalmady needs a bigger Church beside Malpe to Shimoga Road Central highway would get extended and it will come up to the steps of present existing Church. Realizing the need to build a new Church to meet the needs of pilgrims of worldwide. They sent Fr. Alban D’Souza as a Parish priest of Kalmady. He took the charge as a Parish feast on 4th June 2012. So God has sent the right person at the right time to meet the needs of people like Moses was sent by God to take people to the prominent land.

Fr. Alban D’Souza is a great Counselor too and a lot of people come here for his counseling and prayers. Lot of miracles have taken place in Stella Maris Church Kalmady. Instances of Blood cancer, Brain cancer cured after praying here through the doctors of well-known hospitals had lost hopes saying it cannot be cured . Tissue less patients have got children. Things which are impossible are made possible by God here. Visa and job in foreign countries are obtained after playing here

After coming to Kalmady Fr.Alban D’Souza put his matter of beginning a new Church in front of the people and it was happily accepted by the people. It is great project of 6 to7 Crores of Rupees and collecting money was very hard job. But Fr. Alban took up the challenge to build that mighty Church and it is getting completed now. It will be blessed on 6th January 2018 along with the Church bell tower and new priest house with a minor hall for meeting.

In connection with the church inauguration Grand procession will be held from Malpe Harbor to Kalmady Church on 3rd January 2018. Four Bishops and more than 15000 people will attend this historical event. Afternoon food will be served for all.