Karkala: Thousands of Devotees Throng on first day Annual Feast of St Lawrence Church Attur

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Karkala: The Three day festival of St Lawrence Shrine Attur-Karkala began on Tuesday January 27, with the first mass celebrated by Fr Chethan Lobo Editor of Uzvaad fortnightly and also the director of Family commission of the Udupi Diocese.

Bishop of Shimoga Diocese, Dr Francis Serrao concelebrated the Holy Eucharist in Kannada on Tuesday, 27 January at 6 pm. The solemnity of the Holy Mass was enhanced by the homily of the Bishop on the theme of the annual feast of the shrine, “Christ centred life Consecrated”. He emphasised on the aspect of faith and narrated a number of incidents from the Gospel as well as from real life to point out how faith is important in one’s life. Referring to the martyrdom of St Lawrence, Bishop said that as St Lawrence was Christ centric he could sacrifice his life as a martyr for the love of Christ.

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Udupi Diocese Bishop Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Shrine Rector Fr George D’Souza and many other priests were present. A number of devotees from different corners of Karnataka and neighbouring states of South India had come to the Shrine. With great devotion they partook in the Holy Masses. The visitors were seen devoutly visiting the relic of St Lawrence, confessing their sins, visiting the pool at the shrine and receiving flowers and Holy water at the shrine. After every Mass there was a special prayer for the sick in Konkani as well as in Kannada language. A number of priests and deacons laid hands on the devotees and prayed for their health and happiness.

All together 39 Masses were scheduled during the festival this year in Kannada, English, Malayalam and Konkani languages. The main festival Mass on Wednesday, January 28th will be celebrated by Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza the Bishop of Mangaluru at 10:30 am. Dr Lawrence Mukkuzhy, the Bishop of Beltangady would be celebrating the Malayalam Mass on Wednesday 28th at 8:00 am. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo the Bishop of Udupi would be celebrating the festival Mass on Thursday 29th at 10:00 am.

For the safety and security of the devotees and pilgrims 48 CCTV cameras have been installed  and a additional 16 more cameras will be installed at the festival arena. The Sacrament of confession for the Catholics would be administrated on the western side of the shrine in the newly constructed block. The old church will be available only for quiet personal prayers and meditations.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will visit the historical shrine on January 28, at 5pm.  He would be laying the foundation stone for the newly planned ‘Christian Community Hall and Pilgrim Centre’, which will be built in the shrine campus and also will inaugurate the newly erected three floored office and residential block.

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