Mangalore, Aug 10 : The annual feast of St Lawrence Church, Bondel was held here on Sunday August 10 with much devotion and gaeity, in the presence of dignataries and scores of devotees.

Bishop of Mangalore diocese Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza was the main celebrant of the Mass. Fr Joe Tauro, Fr Peter Noronha, Fr Peter D’Souza, Fr Leo Lobo, Fr Valerian Pinto, Fr Denis D’Souza, Fr Andrew D’Souza, Fr Jaison Monis, Fr Patrick Sequeira were the co-celebrants.

The bishop in his homily called upon the faithful to follow in the path of Jesus Christ and said, “St Lawrence led a holy life and died as a martyr. Each one of us has a call to be holy. God sent Jesus to save us and show us the path to salvation. We need to walk in the path which Jesus showed us in order to reach heaven.

“It is not easy to lead a holy life in this world, as we face several hurdles. We need the grace of God so we can follow the path of righteousness,” he added.

Quoting Pope Francis, he said, “Pope Francis said we are all travellers, and we have to take Jesus as our friend in the journey of life. If we do not do this, we lose meaning in our lives.”

Earlier, Bondel parish priest Fr Andrew D’Souza presented blessed candles to sponsors. Books on novena of St Lawrence Church in Konkani, English and Kannada were released by the bishop.

The guests who graced the occasion included district incharge minister Ramanath Rai, MLA J R Lobo, MLC Ivan D’Souza, mayor Mahabala Maarla, Elias Fernandes of Four Wings and others.

The theme of the celebration is ‘Let’s earn grace through confession to lead a holy life St Lawrence’.

A large number of devotees thronged the church premises to seek blessings and participate in the celebrations. Various stalls added to the festivity.

 Culmination of the Feast

Bishop of Shimoga Dr Francis Serrao was the main celebrant of the Mass in the evening. Fr Jochim Fernandes, Fr Andrew D’Souza, Fr Oswald Monteiro, Fr Michael Lobo, Fr Biju, Fr Robert Crasta, Fr Charles Menezes, Fr Melwyn Noronha, Fr James, Fr Paul and Fr Richard were the co-celebrants.

The bishop in this homily narrated the life story of St Lawrence and conveyed a message on the need to move away from materialistic life and worldly pleasures, and to imbibe moral and spiritual values in oneself.

Elaborating on the theme of confession, he said its divided into three stages – confession of sin, earning forgiveness and getting a new life.

Dr Francis Serrao, who was visiting Mangalore for the first time after becoming the bishop of Shimoga, was felicitated with shawl and a memento.

Blessed candles were distributed to sponsors.

Parish priest Fr Andrew D’Souza thanked the bishop Dr Serrao, musician Simon Pais Bajal and the parishioners.

At the end of the day, Bishop Dr Serrao lowered the flag of St Lawrence to mark the culmination of the novena and the annual feast.

Parish council vice-president Henbert Pinto, secretary Wilfred Alvares, shrine committee members Rudy Pinto, Reginald D’Souza, Stany Alvares, Mark Pais and Prakash Pinto were present.

Courtesy : Daijiworld