VIJAYAWADA: The three-day celebrations to mark the centenary of Gunadala Mary Matha officially commenced on Friday with Vijayawada Catholic Diocese Bishop Telagathoti Joseph Rajarao, Monsignor Rev. Fr. Muvvala Prasad, Vicar General Rev. Fr. Meshapam Gabrielu, Shrine Rector Yeleti William Jayaraju Swamy and SPC director Fr. Thota Sunil Raju lighting the torch on the specially-designed Kalavedika at the Bishop Gross High School ground atop Gunadala Hill.
The centenary celebrations of Lourdes Mata officially commenced at 7 am. During the event, Bishop Rajarao delivered the opening sermon of the Nuru Vasantala Utsavalu (centenary celebrations). Emphasising that Mother Mary, the mother of God, exemplified humble obedience and devotion, he spoke about her immaculate appearance in Lourdes City, France.
The centenary celebration of Gunadala Matha began at the shrine in September 2023. The portrait of Lourdes Matha was taken to all churches under the Vijayawada Catholic Diocese. Bishop Rajarao, along with Fr Topil Mathew, Fr Boddu Ananda Babu, Fr Dasi Suresh, and Fr Thaksha Lewis Ju, conducted the Holy Mass. Following the religious rituals, they distributed “Divyasatprasad” to Catholic Christians.
In the evening, Adilabad Prefects Most Rev. Anthony Prince Panengaden, Bishop Telagathoti Joseph Rajarao, Monsignor Fr Muvvala Prasad, Vicar General M Gabrielu, Shrine Rector Yeleti William Jayaraju Swamy, and others conducted a ‘Collective Holy Mass’ at the school ground. Fr Kolakani Marianna, Fr Thota Sunil Raju, Fr John Peter, Fr Damala Vijayakumar, supervised the arrangements.