Pilgrim Stays Launch: A new company with its website targeting Christian Travel was launched in Bangalore on the 16th of February 2020. The website was launched by His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias, President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops’ of India and Member of the Council of Cardinals in the presence of His Excellency Giambattista Diquattro, Apostolic Nuncio to India, besides over 180 Bishops from across the country. His Eminence Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Ernakulam- Angamaly, Syro-Malabar; His Eminence Baselios Cardinal Cleemis Catholicos, Major Archbishop of Trivandrum, Syro-Malankara were also present at the inauguration.
Pilgrim Stays is a joint initiative by Tripvillas – one of the leading Holiday Home Rental companies in Asia and Asian Trading Corporation – one of the leading Christian Publishing Houses. The evening marked the conclusion of the annual Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. The Pilgrim Stays Launch programme with a brief introductory message by Mr Nigel Fernandes, Managing Director of ATC. A briefing on the vision and purpose behind Pilgrim Stays was delivered by Mr Roshan D’Silva, founder and CEO of Tripvillas. Also present were Mr Ivan Fernandes, founder of Regent Tech and a shareholder and partner in ATC Publishers and Mr Peter Anil Rego, Managing Director of Brilliant Printers and a partner in ATC Publishers.
When launching the website, His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias commended the efforts put in by Tripvillas and ATC to bring such new travel options to Catholic families. He also highlighted the important role played by lay people such as the partners of Pilgrim Stays to ensure the upkeep and preservation of important historic places and places of accommodation which would benefit the community at large. In addition, there was also a call to action to all the other Bishops present to play their own role in developing their dioceses as centers of religious tourism, besides encouraging families in their dioceses to go on one holiday a year to a place of religious significance.
The event held at the St Johns Medical College and Research Center Guesthouse was followed by dinner. The entire launch was very well received by Bishops and Archbishops from across the country. Pilgrim Stays has already begun the process of enrolling properties and making them available for holiday bookings as well as for retreats.