Chaitanya, Shimoga, 03 August 2023:

The Shimoga Multipurpose Social Service Society, (SMSSS), the “Development Arm” of the Diocese of Shimoga, celebrated its Foundation Day today at Chaitanya, Shivamogga. On 11 August 1989, the SMSSS came into existence. The tiny mustard seed then sown has grown over the years into a mighty tree spreading its branches far and wide. On 11 August 2023 the Organisation is stepping into the 35th year of its glorious existence. The Late Most Rev. Dr Ignatius Paul Pinto, the first Bishop of Shimoga and the first President of SMSSS had a profound dream which was furthered by Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, the successor of Bishop Ignatius Pinto. Presently Most Rev. Dr Francis Serrao SJ is the Bishop of the Diocese and the President of the Organisation. Rev. Fr Mark Patrick D’Silva, the first Director was followed by Rev. Fr Clement M. D’Souza, Rev. Fr Gilbert Lobo, Rev. Fr Veeresh V. Moras, Rev. Fr Richard Pais. Presently Rev. Fr Clifford Roshan Pinto is the director of the Organisation and the Secretary of the Society.

To commemorate the day, Chaitanya organised a programme which culminated with the Thanksgiving Holy Eucharist and fellowship meal. The programme began at 10.00 AM with prayer led by Rev. Fr Franklin D'Souza. Rev. Fr Cedric Prakash SJ, a human rights, reconciliation and peace activist/writer was the resource person who addressed the Priests, Religious and the staff of SMSSS on the current scenario of the country and what should be our response. The key aspects of the session were “Awareness, Preparedness and Response.” He noted that SMSSS is striving to live upto its motto, “Towards Life with Dignity.”

The Thanksgiving Holy Eucharist began at 12.00 noon. Most Rev. Dr Francis Serrao SJ presided over the Thanksgiving Holy Eucharist. In his homily, Rev. Fr Cedric Prakash SJ highlighted that today our approach should be that of “Newness, Fraternity and Witness” and SMSSS is rightly moving in this direction. The Bishop in his concluding remarks appreciated the hard work of the Organisation in reaching out to the last, least and the lost in society and noted that SMSSS has become a model Organisation at present for everyone in the region because of its clear vision and innovative ways of reaching out to thousands of families irrespective of their religious affiliation.

Rev. Fr Clifford Roshan Pinto, the Director of Chaitanya and the Secretary of the Society, thanked one and all, specially the President for his continued support and guidance. He also thanked the resource person for providing powerful insights relevant for today’s context, all the Priests, Sisters, General Body Members and the staff of SMSSS for their participation, support and timely guidance. The event ended with the fellowship meal.

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