Mangaluru: Father Ronald Serrao honored with the Victor Rodrigues Konkani literary prize

Press release

Mangaluru, February 28: “The contribution of the Catholic Church to the development of the Konkani language in this region is commendable,” said Dr. Edward Nazareth, a famous Konkani literate and professor of orthopedics at the Srinivas Institute of Medical Sciences, while congratulating the Father Dr Ronald Serrao, Rector of St Joseph Seminary who awarded the Victor Rodrigues Konkani Literary Prize 2021. The award ceremony was held at the ‘Matha-Kripa’ hall of Samanvaya in Grurpur-Kaikmaba on Sunday 27th February. Father Antony Lobo, parish priest of Gurpur-Kaikamba was the main guest.

“By adopting Konkani as the language of prayer and liturgy, several books are published in Konkani. There are two translations of the entire Bible in the Mangalurean Konkani dialect. There are several hymns, prayers in Konkani published in the form of books. This has helped Konkani flourish in our families. Poets and writers like Father Dr. Ronald Serrao contributed immensely to Konkani religious literature, which helped Konkani develop. Raknno, which was started by the Diocese of Mangalore in 1938, contributed so much to Konkani literature by nurturing writers like me. The literature published by Raknno both in periodicals and in book form is rich. Even today, Konkani literature is flourishing thanks to the periodicals published by the religious organization, both diocesan and religious. We must be forever grateful to our religious leaders like the late Bishop Basil D’Souza and many priests like the late Bishop Sylvester Menezes, the late Bishop Alexander F D’Souza and stalwarts like Father Mark Walder who helped the Konkani language develop . By honoring Fr. Dr. Ronald Serrao, we honor the entire religious community who contribute to the growth of the Konkani language.

Fr. Antony Lobo congratulated Fr. Dr. Ronald Serrao and recalled his contribution as the author of thousands of articles on religious issues and liturgy; author of several religious plays both on stage and now in TV shows, poet and musician of religious hymns in Konkani. He hoped that other religious writers would also be recognized in the future.

In his response to the congratulation, Fr. Dr. Ronald Serrao thanked Samanvaya and the family of the late Victor Rodrigues for choosing him for the award. He expressed his displeasure with the invasion of English in today’s conversations and called on people to support Konkani by speaking Konkani at home and with other Konkani.

Céline Rodrigues and the other family members of the late Victor Rodrigues congratulated Fr. Dr. Ronald Cutinho and Fr. Dr. Pius Fidelis Pinto for helping them organize the award ceremonies over the years.

Father Dr. Ronald Cutinho, Director of Samanvaya and Parish Priest of Bajpe welcomed the gathering. Fr. Dr. Pius Fidelis Pinto, Managing Director of Samanvaya, introduced Fr. Dr. Ronald Serrao. Dolphy Lobo, Konkani’s lead writer, helmed the program.

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