Kasaragod: The annual feast of Our Lady of Dolours Shrine Bela was celebrated with devotion and grandeur on 10th, 11th and 12th February. Thousands of devotees participated in the liturgical celebrations of the annual feast. The central theme of the feast was, “In the model of Holy Family, let us live a consecrated Christian life and make our families holy”.
Bishop Ignatius D’Souza of Bareilly Diocese presided over the solemn Eucharistic celebration on Tuesday, 10th February. Bishop Ignatius in his homily stressed the need for family prayers and the role of parents in the family. Parish Priest Fr Vincent D’Souza felicitated Bishop Ignatius, who is originally from Bela. Vespers (evening prayer and adoration) added vigour to the celebration of the day. Fireworks were the specialty of the day organized by the Vehicle Owners’ and Drivers’ Association.
The annual family feast was celebrated on Wednesday, 11th February. Fr Santhosh Rodrigues, Director of Family Welfare Centre (Mangaluru diocese), presided over the solemn festal mass. Fr Santhosh highlighted the responsibilities of children towards parents and parents towards children. 22 priests from Kasaragod and other deaneries concelebrated the festal mass. Special prayers for the sick were organized and the priests prayed for the devotees.
The feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the Day of The Devotees was celebrated on Thursday, 12th February. Fr Santhosh Menezes, Parish Priest of Narampady, celebrated mass for the children. The Divine Mercy prayer group conducted adoration and special prayers for the sick. Fr Anil Joel D’Souza, Asst. parish priest of Bantwal-Modankap, celebrated the festal mass and preached on the theme, ‘Mary, The Queen of Families’.
P B Pinto, a well known social worker in Kuwait, was felicitated for his humanitarian services during the feast. ‘Sahabhojana’ (meals) were organized by Bela shrine for all the devotees. Thousands of devotees partook in the ‘Sahabhojana’ during the day of the devotees.
Special mass for couples was held and presided over by Fr Binoj Puthenpurackal, superior of the Holy Trinity Ashram, Kollangana. A candle light procession to the Grotto of Our lady of Lourdes added colour to the celebration.
Cultural Eve was held on Thursday evening, organized by Catholic Sabha and the cultural committee of the parish. Tulu drama – ‘Saadi Tappodchi’ was the specialty of cultural eve.
Under the able leadership of Parish Priest Fr Vincent D’Souza, the three day annual feast was well organized. Dn Praveen Joy Saldanha and the liturgical team had organized a well knit liturgy. Vice President M S Thomas D’Souza, Secretary Roman D’Souza and members of the Parish Pastoral Parishad and other associations toiled hard for the success of the annual feast.
Thousands of devotees visited the Bela shrine during the three days of the annual feast. Devotees had the opportunity to participate in the sacrament of reconciliation. Devotees visited the miracle statue of Our Lady of Dolours in the old church, a 300 metre long tunnel and an underground resurrection chapel. Devotees also had the experience of the divine during the annual feast of Bela shrine.