Annual Feast of Attur Basilica begins with Confraternity Sunday
Karkala: The annual feast celebrations of St Lawrence Basilica Attur Karkala began with celebrating the confraternity Sunday with traditional joy and gaiety on January 27.
Fr Chethan Lobo editor Uzvaad fortnightly of Udupi Diocese concelebrated the confraternity Sunday Eucharist with Fr George D’Souza Rector of the Basilica, Fr Jancil Alva assistant priest and other guest priests.
Soon after the mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was conducted by Fr Chetan Lobo. Following the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the grand Eucharistic procession commenced. The brass band playing tunes of various hymns led the procession. The choir sang the Eucharistic hymns throughout the procession both in Konkani and Kannada. The procession started from the church and culminated at the UBMC School Doopadakatte where Fr Chethan conferred the Sacramental blessings.
The annual feast of St Lawrence Basilica will be held on 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31 January 2019. On Sunday there were special Masses for the children at 3:00 and 5:00 p.m.
On Monday, January 28, special prayers were held for the sick and elderly at 10.00 am and 3.30 pm. Dr Robert Miranda, Bishop, diocese of Gulbarga will preside over the special mass at 3:30 pm.
About 35 Masses in Konkani and 12 Masses in Kannada will be offered on the days of the feast. The Archbishop of Bengaluru, the Bishops of Gulbarga, Mangaluru, Beltangady and Udupi will offer Masses during the festival.
As per the govt order, the church has stopped collecting donation for beggars during its five-day annual feast. This comes after the jurisdictional Karkala rural police issued a letter to the church asking not to continue the practice as beggary is prohibited under the law. The police have put up boards all over stating that begging is not allowed.
Every year, the church used to keep two huge donation boxes in the church and the collection was distributed among the beggars who congregate here.
Church director Fr George D’Souza said that the practice of keeping donation boxes for the sake of beggars began in 1994 and it was done to prevent beggars seeking alms from devotees. As a result, the number of beggars increased to 4,000 from just about 150 in 1994. On the last day of the festival, the donation collected used to be divided into packets of Rs 300 each and was distributed among beggars depending on their disability and illness. Some of the beggars used to get up to Rs 2000.
The church was collecting donations in order to help the beggars on humanitarian grounds. However, some had converted it into a profession and also a racket.
Fr George said that the charity work will continue from the church side and they will help people suffering from diseases of the heart, kidney and cancer.