Solemn Feast Mass at St. Lawrence Shrine Attur Concelebrated by Dr. Aloysius D’Souza

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By Dr. Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Pics from Anil Alva & Dr Eugene DSouza
Bellevision Media Network

Karkala, 26 January 2011: The Solemn Feast Mass at the Shrine of St. Lawrence at Attur-Krakala was concelebrated by Most Rev. Dr. Aloysius Paul D’Souza, the Bishop of Mangalore who is also the custodian of all shrines in the Mangalore Diocese including that of St. Lawrence at Attur on Wednesday, 26 January 2011 at 10 am in the presence of thousands of devotees and pilgrims who had converged at the holy shrine from different parts of the coastal Karnataka and even upland belonging to different communities.



Prior to the Solemn Feast Mass one could see thousands of people gathering within the church and outside in anticipation of the feast mass. As one entered the twin main gates, he could see the Indian National Flag being hoisted in front of the church as 26th January is being celebrated as the Republic Day. Thus, the twin occasion-annual feast of the shrine of St. Lawrence  and the Republic Day celebrations added to the significance of the day and taking the advantage of the holiday thousands of devotees and pilgrims as well as revellers had made it a point to visit this historic and religiously significant destination.


At around 9.45 am, the parish priest of Attur, Rev. Fr. Arthur Pereira along with the assistant parish priest and John D’Silva, vice president of the Parish Pastoral Council and other members received Dr. Aloysius Paul D’Souza at the entrance arch as band played and was taken in procession into the shrine.



At 10 am, the Bishop along with the concelebrants entered the church through the main gate of the shrine in procession. The entire shrine was packed to the capacity as people could be seen not only occupying every corner of the shrine inside as well as the mezzanine floor. Those who could not make it to the inside of the shrine, close circuit TVs were fixed at vantage points in the shrine  premises  so that the people could follow the feast mass. The ‘Namma Kudla’ channel supported by Western Institute of Technology not only made  arrangement for the close circuit TV but also did live telecast of the entire feast mass.


At the outset, Rev. Fr. Arthur Pereira welcomed Most Rev. Dr. Aloysius Paul D’Souza, the chief celebrant who is also the custodian of the shrine and offered him a garland of flowers. In his homily, Dr. Aloysius Paul D’Souza highlighted the motto of the annual feast of  the Shrine of St. Lawrence for the Year 2011, “Faith in Jesus transforms the world” by giving examples from the lives of St. Lawrence, St. Francis Xavier and Blessed Mother Teresa. Referring to the reading from the Holy Scriptures for the day, the Bishop also pointed out as to how faith in God and Jesus had worked wonders. He also said that if one goes through the New Testament, he can see most of the miracles, especially curing the sick persons by Jesus were the result of the faith that those afflicted had in Jesus. Further, the Bishop emphasised the fact that those who have strong faith in Jesus are like those who build their houses on the solid rock and not on the sand.


Following the solemn feast mass, special prayers were offered for the devotees, especially the sick and were blessed by the priests by placing their hands over the heads of  each individual. Meanwhile, there has been winding queues outside the shrine to touch the relic of St. Lawrence and venerate the ‘Miracle Statue of St. Lawrence’ and the line proceeded till the main altar of the old church where pilgrims sought favours from the saint and offered thanks to him for favours received. There was great rush at the candle counters and the place where the candles were being burnt  as a symbol of gratitude to the ‘Saint of Miracles’. People were also seen dipping their hands into the hanging brass pot containing miraculous oil and applying it to their forehead and head. Some devotees even carried small containers to take the oil with them.


Though there was heavy rush due to the holiday, people behaved in most responsible manner. The security arrangement by the police personnel was excellent. There was provision for first aid and even fire brigade was kept ready for any eventuality. There was regular announcement guiding the pilgrims and giving them warning about the possible pick-pocketing or chain-snatching.



The feast fair (santmari) was packed with people. There were varieties of stalls right from religious articles to eatables, sweetmeats, watermelons, toys, ice-creams, cutlery items, artificial flowers, etc. For the adventure loving  young men and women there was a separate section with giant wheels and swings.  People from different communities could be seen enjoying the festive mood and mingling with one another into a huge sea of humanity representing the best tradition of India’s unity in diversity that too at the Shrine of St. Lawrence and on the Republic Day of the great Indian nation.


During the festive season at the Shrine of St. Lawrence, a lot of logistic work has to be handled. In this respect, Belle had been in the forefront in providing the logistic support. The coconut palm leaves pandal and the shamiana covering practically the whole of the premises of the shrine to provide shade and shelter to the pilgrims have been put up by Preetham Enterprises of Henry Alva  of Moodubelle.


Henry Monis

Roshan and Pravin

Daily arrangements for tea, coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner for five days  for around 800 personnel including volunteers, security and guest priests has been made by two brothers-Pravin and Roshan Castelino, proprietors of Best Caterers from Moodubelle. Around 25 workers have been employed day and night to see to it that the tea, coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner are being provided in time. Henry Monis, being the chief cook every one works under his direction under the overall supervision of Pravin and Roshan. Besides, the flowers for the decoration of the main altar and flowers to be given  to the pilgrims and devotees in return for their offerings have been supplied by Pravin Castelino. Pravin and Roshan had been handing this department for the last ten years.



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Comments on this Article
Ronald Sabi, Moodubelle Fri, January-28-2011, 5:30
Hemphil, may be the caterers are retained for a decade due to the good services over the years! End of the day the Caterers too are believers of St. Lawrence, looks like they have offered good services! Why are we poking our KOKKE buddi and finding DUBAV often? I believe, domestic helpers are a scarcity today and keep going such business is a mighty task whatever you pay!!!! Tension if any food goes wrong is another story and the burden apart from the logistics of this type of business before you count your loss or profit!!! Take it easy mate!!
HEMPHIL DUBAI, UDUPI Thu, January-27-2011, 4:05
Ronald Sabi, Moodubelle Thu, January-27-2011, 2:32
Nice report of Karkol Fest. Pleased to know the contribution of Henry Monis, Roshan and Pravin -The Belle Parishioners.
Victor DSouza, Moodubelle / Doha Wed, January-26-2011, 12:57
Going to Attur feast has been tradition and everybodys favourite. Though, now it is not possible to go as we are far away. But we did not miss much, as Dr. Eugene brought it all to us with the beautiful pictures and the narration. May St. Lawrence bless us all.
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