Vox Nostra  |  Wishes  |  Obituary

The five-day annual feast of St Lawrence Minor Basilica at Attur concluded on Thursday, 31 January 2019. Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi Diocese, presided over the Holy Eucharistic celebrations along with Rev. Fr George D’Souza, Rector of St Lawrence Minor Basilica, Rev. Fr Jencil Alva, Assistant priest, V. Rev. Fr Joswey Fernandes, Dean of Karkal deanery and priests from and outside the diocese con-celebrated the Mass. Huge number of devotees thronged the Eucharistic celebration on the last day of the festivity.

In his homily, Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo said, “We are here to seek the blessings and thank St Lawrence for all that he has done to us. The theme of the feast goes ‘I am holy so you also are holy’. Mother Teresa’s heart was concerned for the poor and needy and that is why she is known as the ‘Living Saint’. The words of Bible and the Catholic Church call us to be holy. This is a primary call from God. While God created humans, he made us to be holy. Jesus Christ is also holy. He is the son of God and through his death and resurrection, he saved us.

“Though we are sinners, Jesus made us holy. Even Holy Spirit fills us with new life with virtues of Christ. People who have received baptism are called to be holy. Pope Francis says holiness is the face of Catholic Church. So what is the way to be holy? To be kind hearted and to help others, to fight against evil and to have love and compassion for others, to work for peace and harmony and to adore only one God. The one who helps the poor and the needy in the time of their need is made holy. Following Christ and walking the way of the cross in our daily life, makes us holy.

“We need to overcome the difficulties we face in our lives. If we do our daily chores in good and systematic way, it makes us holy. There is no need to be a saint or achieve great things to be holy. But small works with good intentions can make us holy. Even St Lawrence did the same. He dedicated his life for the poor and the needy and died as a martyr. So to be holy, let us follow the preaching of the Catholic Church, help people in need and lead an exemplary life,” he said.

During the five days of the celebration, six bishops Most Rev. Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, Bishop emeritus, Mangaluru Diocese; Most Rev. Dr Robert Miranda, Bishop of Gulbarga Diocese, Most Rev. Dr Peter Machado, Archbishop of Bangalore Archdiocese; Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese; Most Rev. Dr Lawrence Mukkuzhy, Bishop of Beltangady Diocese and Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop Udupi Diocese had celebrated the festive Masses. Nearly 40 priests celebrated the Mass in Kannada and Konkani, and about 350 priests from various congregations rendered their service to lacs of devotees through the practice of 'confession'.

Fr George D’Souza, the Rector of St Lawrence Minor Basilica thanked each and everyone for their support in making the five-day feast a successful one.

He stressed on making the entire campus dust-free on or before 2020 annual festival by laying special bricks to the entire premise and also on various development works at the Basilica which are the basic needs of the devotees who visit throughout the year. Anyone who wants to contribute towards the cause can contact the rector of the Basilica.

Bishop Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo thanked Fr George D'Souza, rector of the Basilica, for his service throughout the year and appreciated his developmental work. He also thanked Fr Jencil Alva, assistant parish priest, for his service at the Basilica. He appreciated the selfless service of the parishioners towards the Basilica. He requested the devotees to remember this miraculous place in their prayers. He urged the devotees to extend their helping hand towards the upcoming development projects at the Basilica especially for the project that is the construction of rooms for the pilgrims. He also thanked all the devotees for their support.

Mrs Priyanka Mary Francis, District Commissioner of Udupi District, Kumara Chandra; ASP, Karkala and other dignitaries paid their visit to the Basilica.

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