The Shores of Bay of Bengal resounded with jubilation of the pilgrims on the 26th of April, 2012 as Fr. Savio Stalin, the Founding Director of the Shrine of Samaladivi pulled down the curtain over the yearlong silver jubilee celebrations. Many priests from the diocese joined him to thank the Lord for the greatest gift of Priesthood conferred on him on the 8th of May, 1987. The Mass began with the unveiling of the beautiful statue of PIETA (Our Lady of the Sorrows) in the middle of the Shrine premises, from where the priests processed to the altar while the school children danced to the tune of YAJAKOTTAMUDA from the CD produced by Fr.Stalin and the song written by Fr.Bala. The Jubilarians lighted the lamp as a sign of gratitude to the Church and garlanded the portrait of late Bishop John Mulagada, their GURU as a sign of gratitude to him. The Mass was officiated by Fr. Stalin and Fr.Bala preached an appropriate homily recalling the calling of Fr.Stalin by Bishop John and how God freely granted the gift of priesthood and protected them in the same grace for the last 25 years. Fr.Bala said in his homily that this silver jubilee celebrations should be an occasion for the catholic community to thank the Lord for giving Priesthood to the Church as his parting gift and pray for all the priests of the diocese who enjoy the same priesthood of Jesus Christ.
Honourable Minister for Social Welfare, Government of Andhra Pradesh, was the chief guest at the Felicitation programme that followed. He congratulated the jubilarians and conveyed the greetings of the Chief Minister, Mr.Kiran Kumar Reddy. Tons of flowers were showered on the jubilarians thanking God for giving these priests to the diocese. Mr.Vijaya Kumar, IAS, Vice Chairman, VUDA, Vijayawada also felicitated the jubilarians and praised the catholic church and her priests. Present also were Mr.Kothapalli Subbarayudu, ex minister and Dr.Sakuntala, District Medical and Health Officer. People from the villages from the parishes of Samaladivi, Akividu, Mogalturu, Bhimavaram, Kalipatnam garlanded the priests and showed their devotion to the priesthood of the catholic church.
Fr.Stalin and Fr.Bala thanked the priests who organised this event in such a grand manner. Fr.Thota Gabriel, Fr.T.Emmanuel, Fr.Kalyan, Fr.Nataniel, Fr.Thambi, Fr.Sudhakar, the Dominican Sisters, Seminarians from minor and major seminary deserve praise and thanks.