Annual ‘Padhayatra’ from Moodubelle to St. Lawrence Shrine, Attur


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Report and Pictures by Eugene Moodubelle

Moodubelle, 27 January 2010: This is the fifth consecutive year that the devotees of St. Lawrence have been going on foot from Moodubelle to the Holy Shrine of St. Lawrence at Attur on the occasion of the annual feast. The group of around hundred pilgrims, youth, women and men, both Christian and non-Christian from Moodubelle, Pamboor and even Shirva were seen off on their ‘padhayatra’by the parish priest of Moodubelle, Fr. Joawey Fernandes on Tuesday, 26th January 2010 at 4.15 pm. The group was led by Gerald Fernandes, member of the Udupi Zilla Panchayat.

Before the ‘padhayatra’, the pilgrims assembled in front of the Shrine of St. Lawrence at 4.10pm. Fr. Joswey offered prayers for the safe journey of the ‘padhayatris’ and wished them well. Fr. Arun Mendonca and Fr. Maxim D’Souza were also present to see off the enthusiastic group of pilgrims.

Gerald Fernandes said that, the idea of an annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. Lawrence at Attur during the annual feast was initiated by Rajendra Shetty, Ranjan Shetty, Avinash Mathias, Ivan D’Almeida and Harry Martis.

On the way, the pilgrims are being offered cold drinks at three places-at Edmeru by Antony Martis, at Palli by Ramesh Bhandary and at Kokai Kal by Govinda Jogi. The pilgrims are served with dinner at Kuntadi at the residence of Mrs. Rashmi Shetty who provides rice, sambhar and vegetables. Near Attur, the pilgrims are served with tea by Anil D’Mello, proprietor of Mellon Catering. Though the pilgrims walk in groups by reciting prayers or singing hymns, the younger ones who walk faster reach Attur earlier. It is expected that by 10.30 pm all the pilgrims reach St. Lawrence Shrine at Attur.

After visiting the Shrine, offering prayers and candles, the pilgrims make their return journey by around 12.30 am by King of Kings bus arranged by its proprietor Michael D’Souza. According to Gerald Fernandes, all the pilgrims return to Moodubelle by around 1.30 am on Wednesday, 27th January 2010. Arrangements are being made to see that every pilgrim reaches home safely.

The idea of the annual pilgrimage on foot and the participation of people belonging to both Christian and non-Christian communities and the facilities provided to the pilgrims on the way is a healthy sign of communal harmony and a sense of brotherhood that prevails in Moodubelle. Let this mutual respect to each other’s religious beliefs and participation in each other’s festivals foster mutual understanding and love among all the residents of this great village of Moodubelle. Let the blessings of St. Lawrence be with us all.

 

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Comments on this Article
John Pereira, Kulshekar, M lore/Ghatkopar, Mumbai Wed, January-27-2010, 7:22
Since both the Churches at Moodubelle and Attur are dedicated to St. Lawrence, it is in the fitness of things that some of the Belle parishioners have taken the initiative and feel privileged to go on foot to Attur Church from Belle Church after being blessed by the parish priest wishing them a safe journey, particularly, since Attur is a pilgrimage centre. Also, it showcases the communal amity between the Christian and Hindu communities. Similarly,in Mumbai the annual walking pilgrimage is undertaken by the Devotees from the nearby parishes of Vakola, Kalina, Kurla etc.to Mount Mary s Basilica, Bandra on the occasion of Feast of O.L. of Nativity
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