Attur Shrine gearing up for Proclamation and Dedication as Minor Basilica

Attur Shrine gearing up for Proclamation and Dedication as Minor Basilica

Udupi: The proclamation and dedication of Attur Shrine as a Minor Basilica will take place on the 1 of August, 2016 at 10:00 am said Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo Bishop of the Udupi diocese.

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He was speaking at a press meet held at the Bishop’s House on Friday, July 15. The Bishop said that, This historic event will declare the Shrine as a sanctuary of blessings, favours, reconciliation, peace and communal harmony. 4 Cardinals from the country, many Archbishops, Bishops, Priests and people from the diocese of Udupi, Mangaluru and neighboring diocese will participate in this mega event. The Holy Eucharist begins at 10:00 am. In the Public Function which is scheduled to begin at 11:45 am, Pramod Madhwaraj, Minister for Fisheries, Sports & Youth Empowerment & Udupi district in-charge; Ramanatha Rai, Minister for Forests, Environment and Ecology; Sunil Kumar, MLA-Karkala; Shobha Karandlaje, MP; Oscar Fernandes, MP Rajya Sabha; Vinaya Kumar Sorake, MLA-Kaup; J R Lobo, MLA-Mangaluru South; Ivan D’Souza, Chief Whip of Legislative Council and Gopal Bhandary, ex-MLA will participate.

The Public Function will be followed by Lunch for all. Around 10-12 thousand people are expected to participate in the programme.

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St Lawrence Church at Attur-Karkala, in the diocese of Udupi, it is a shrine of blessings and favours to all devotees, irrespective of caste and creed. Pope Francis has elevated this shrine into a ‘Minor Basilica’ through a decree on April 26, 2016. With this unique and singular privilege, Udupi in the coastal Karnataka has been in the international limelight.

Among the churches of any diocese, the cathedral church holds the first place and the greatest dignity. In it is placed the cathedra, the sign of the Bishop’s teaching authority, as pastor of the same diocese and the sign of communion with the Roman cathedra of St Peter. Next, there are the parish churches, which are the homes of the various communities of the diocese. In addition, there are shrines to which the Christian faithful go on pilgrimage.

Among these churches some that have particular importance for liturgical and pastoral life may be honored by the Supreme Pontiff with the title of minor basilica, thereby signifying their particular link with the Roman Church and the Supreme Pontiff. The process of obtaining the title ‘Minor Basilica’ could last from a few months to a few years. In the case of Attur-Karkala, the title has been obtained within one and a half month from the day the definite proposal was sent to Vatican through the Apostolic Nuncio Most Rev Salvatore Pennacchio. This is an indicator which amply exhibits that the fame and name of the Shrine spread beyond Indian borders.

Conditions for obtaining the Title Minor Basilica

1. A church for which the title of basilica is proposed must have been dedicated to God by a liturgical rite and must stand out as a center of active and pastoral liturgy, especially through celebrations of the Eucharist, of penance, and of the other sacraments, which celebrations set an example for others on account of their preparation and realization according to liturgical norms.

2. The church should be of an appropriate size and with a sufficiently large sanctuary. The various elements required for the liturgical celebration must be placed according to the requirements.

3. The church may enjoy certain renown throughout the diocese, for example, because it has been constructed and dedicated on the occasion of some particular historical and religious event, or because the body or significant relics of a saint are preserved in it, or because some sacred image there is venerated in a special way. The historical value or importance of the church and the worthiness of its art are also to be considered.

4. So that, as the liturgical year progresses, the celebrations of the various seasons may be carried out in a praiseworthy manner, a fitting number of priests is necessary; they are to be assigned to the liturgical and pastoral care of the church, especially for the celebration of the Eucharist and penance (there should also be an appropriate number of confessors who at stated hours are available to the faithful). In addition, a sufficient number of ministers is required as well as an adequate choir, which is to encourage the participation of the faithful with sacred music and singing.

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Demands of a Minor Basilica

1. In a minor basilica, the liturgical instruction of the faithful is to be promoted by establishing groups concerned with liturgical activity, by special courses of instruction given in a series of conferences, and by other programs of this kind. Among the special activities of a basilica may be specially mentioned the study and popularization of documents coming from the Supreme Pontiff and the Holy See, especially those pertaining to the sacred liturgy.

2. The celebrations of the liturgical year are to be prepared and carried out with great care, especially the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. During Lent, in places that preserve the traditional form of gathering the local Church in the manner of the Roman “stations,” it is highly recommended that a basilica is chosen for celebrating this kind of station.

The word of God is to be diligently proclaimed either in homilies or in special sermons. The active participation of the faithful is to be promoted both in the Eucharistic celebration and in the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, especially at Morning and Evening Prayer. In addition, approved forms of devotion are to be suitably fostered.

3. Since the celebration of the liturgy takes on a more noble form when it is carried out in song, care must be taken that gatherings of the Christian faithful be associated with the singing of the various parts of the Mass, especially those found in the Ordinary.

4. To make clear the particular bond of communion by which the minor basilica is united with the Roman cathedra of Peter, every year there must be celebrated with particular care: the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle (February 22); the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles (June 29); the anniversary of the Supreme Pontiff’s election or inauguration into the supreme ministry.

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Concessions connected with the Title of Minor Basilica

1. The day on which the concession of the title of basilica to a certain church is publicly announced should be prepared for and observed in a festive way with appropriate sermons, prayer vigils, and other celebrations, all taking place not only on the days immediately preceding the proclamation of the title but also on those immediately afterwards.

2. The faithful who devoutly visit the basilica and within it participate in any sacred rite or at least recite the Lord’s Prayer and the profession of faith may obtain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the intention of the Supreme Pontiff):

  • on the anniversary of the dedication of the same basilica;
  • on the day of the liturgical celebration of the title;
  • on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles;
  • on the anniversary of the granting of the title of the basilica;
  • once a year on a day to be determined by the local Ordinary;
  • once a year on a day freely chosen by the each of the faithful.

3. The papal symbol, that is, ‘crossed keys,’ may be exhibited on banners, on furnishings, and on the seal of the basilica.

4. The rector of the basilica or the person in charge of it may wear in the exercise of his office — over the cassock or the religious habit and the surplice – a black mozetta with red piping, buttons, and button holes.

Msgr Baptist Menezes, Vicar General of Udupi Diocese, Fr Dr Lawrence C D’Souza Convener of the programme, Fr George D’Souza Rector of the Basilica, Fr Denis D’Sa PRO Udupi Diocese, Michael Rodrigues Media Co-ordinator Udupi Diocese were present.

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