Mangalore, August. 11: On Sunday August 10th scores of devotees celebrated the annual feast of St Lawrence Church at Bondel with much devotion and gaiety, in the presence of dignitaries.
The main celebrant of the Mass was Bishop of Mangalore diocese Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza and co-celebrants were 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.
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 has sent Jesus to save us and show us the path to salvation. In order to reach heaven, we ought to walk in the path which Jesus has showed us”.
“Since we are facing several hurdles in our life, it is not easy to lead a holy life in this world. We need the bliss of God to follow the right path,” he added.
Quoting Pope Francis, he said, “Pope Francis said we are all travelers, and in the journey of life we have to take Jesus as our friend. And our lives becomes meaningless if we fail do this.”
Earlier, Bondel parish priest Fr Andrew D’Souza presented blessed candles to sponsors. The bishop released the books on novena of St Lawrence Church in Konkani, English and Kannada.
The district incharge minister Ramanath Rai, MLA J R Lobo, MLC Ivan D’Souza, Mayor Mahabala Maarla, Elias Fernandes of Four Wings and others were the guests who graced the occasion.
‘Let’s earn grace through confession to lead a holy life St Lawrence’ was the theme of the celebration.
The church premises were thronged by numerous devotees to seek blessings and participate in the celebrations and various stalls added to the festivity.
The main celebrant of the Mass in the evening was the Bishop of Shimoga Dr Francis Serrao. The co-celebrants were 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.
The bishop in this homily narrated the life story of St Lawrence. He conveyed a message on the need to move away from materialistic life and worldly pleasures in order to imbibe moral and spiritual values in oneself.
He elaborated on the theme of confession and said it is divided into three stages – confession of sin, earning forgiveness and getting a new life.
Dr Francis Serrao, who visited 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.
Bishop Dr Serrao lowered the flag of St Lawrence at the end of the day, to mark the culmination of the novena and the annual feast.
On this occasion, 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 seen.
By Thangamma M M