Karkala-Attur Shrine Festival Begins with new vigour and devotion

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By Fr Francis Rodrigues, Raknno
Bellevision Media Network

Karkala, Jan 28, 2014 : The three day festival of the renowned Shrine of St Lawrence in Attur, Karkala began with new vigour and devotion here on Tuesday January 28. The first Mass of the three-day festival was celebrated at 7.30 am by Fr Norbert D’Souza, Capuchin priest serving in Srilanka. The second Mass at 9 a.m. was celebrated by Fr Patrick Rodrigues, Director of Fr Muller’s Hospital.


Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo the Bishop of Udupi together with Fr George D’Souza , the new Shrine Rector are guiding the festive celebrations. Fr Chethan Capuchin in charge of the festive liturgy welcomed the devotees to the annual festival 2014 on behalf of the Shrine management.



‘Family is the cradle of faith’ is the theme of the annual shrine festival this year. The historical shrine of St Lawrence at Attur-Karkala fills the devotees who come to the shrine with great faith and they pray for in-depth gift of faith in the shrine.


A number of devotees from different corners of Karnataka and neighbouring states of south India have come into the Shrine. With great devotion they are partaking in the Holy Masses. The visitors are seen devoutly visiting the relic of St Lawrence, confessing their sins, visiting the pool at the shrine and receiving flowers and holy water in the shrine. After every Mass there is a special prayer for the sick in Konkanni as well as Kannada languages. A number of priests and deacons are laying hands on the devotees and are praying for health and happiness of the devotees.


All together there are 33 Masses during the festival this year in Kannada, English, Malayalam and Konkanni languages including three masses on Monday 27th. There will be 11 masses on the first day, 12 masses on the second day and 7 masses on the last day which is celebrated as the ‘Guiding Mother Festival’ (Giadh Mayechi Porob). The last mass would be at 5.30 p.m. on Thursday.


Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo the Bishop of Udupi would be celebrating the special Mass in Kannada at 6 pm on Tuesday 28th and would be celebrating the festival Mass on Thursday 30th at 10 a.m.  The main festival Mass on Wednesday, January 29th will be celebrated by Most  Rev. Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza the Bishop of Mangalore at 10.30 am. Most  Rev. Dr Lawrence Mukkuzhy, the Bishop of Belthangady would be celebrating the Malayalam  Mass on Wednesday 29th at 8.30 a.m.


On Monday January 27th, there was a special Mass and special prayers for the sick by Fr Alban D’Souza, the director of Stella Mary’s Shrine, Kalmady. There was also a special Mass for the children on Monday January 27th celebrated by Fr  Wilfred Frank O.C.D. There was also special Mass for the youth celebrated by Fr Sunil D’Silva. As more devotees are expected on Tuesday night special adoration will be held from 11.30 pm onwards led by Fr Roman Pinto of Shimoga.


The devotees come in lacks to this Shrine with different reasons. To be cured of the mental-physical sicknesses, to experience the quietness of prayer, to experience the peace amidst the number of tensions of life, to thank the Lord for the favours received, to receive the blessings from God etc and etc. Many come in groups by walking devoutly hundreds of KMs to the shrine transcending the barriers of religions.


This is for the second time that the annual shrine festival is being celebrated after the establishment of the new Diocese of Udupi. The campus has been extended by leveling the ground for the devotees and the confessions have been arranged near the shrine. Number of CCTV cameras have been installed for the safety of the devotees. The new Konkanni monthly ‘Uzvaad’ of Udupi diocese will be launched during the festival this year.


Even though geographically the Attur-Karkala shrine belongs to the Udupi diocese, priests, religious and deacons from the undivided Mangalore diocese and other neighbouring dioceses  have willingly involved themselves in the shrine festivities especially in the confessional ministry.


Arrangements have been made systematically to cater to the needs of the devotees. The Rector, the Chaplain,  parish vice-president John D’Silva, local panchayat administration, police and administrative services, Attur parishioners, Karkala Deanery Catholic Sabha, diocesan as well as religious priests, sisters and lay leaders have joined hands with spiritual zeal as to make the festival a great success.



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