Karkal, 28 Jan 2014: Most Rev. Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo concelebrated the Holy Eucharist on the eve of the annual feast of the Shrine of St. Lawrence in Kannada language on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 at 6 pm. Large number of pilgrims and devotees of St. Lawrence thronged the shrine and occupied every available space in order to be a part of the grand celebration. Finding no place, many devotees were seen sitting on the floor of the  shrine as well as the outside lawn and steps. Many people who had arrived from distant places were seen occupying the twin lawn in front of the shrine with their belongings and probably making arrangements to spend the night at the same place.
The Bishop and the concelebrant priests came in procession from the main door. Rev. Fr. Denis D’Sa, PRO of the Diocese of Udupi informed the congregation that as the Bishop would be offering the solemn feast eve mass, he would be formally welcomed by the Rector of the Shrine, Rev. Fr. George D’Souza who expressed few words of welcome to the Bishop and formally welcomed him by offering him a bouquet of flowers.
The solemnity of the Holy Mass was enhanced by the homily of the Bishop on the theme of the annual feast of the shrine, “Christian Family, the Cradle of Faith”. Most Rev. Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo traced the origin of the institution of family and said that God Himself  had laid the foundation of the family by creating the first human beings. This family life was sanctified by His son, Jesus Christ who was born and lived in a devout  family helping his parents and being obedient to them till He started His public life.






Highlighting the readings of the day, Bishop Gerald Lobo stressed the roles of parents  and  children in the family.  Having pointed out the responsibilities and duties of the parents, the Bishop said that children should listen, obey and respect their parents.  He further said that a good family is the cradle or foundation of faith and a precursor to a disciplined and sound society.
At the end of the Holy Mass, the Bishop recited special prayer to the sick and later the priests prayed for the faithful individually  placing their palms over their  heads.
Prior to the blessing of the people who had gathered for the solemn mass, the diocesan monthly journal “Uzwaad” (Light) was formally released by Most Rev. Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo following a brief introduction of the news journal by Rev. Fr. Denis D’Sa who said that the dream of having an exclusive news journal has been fulfilled because of the efforts of the Bishop and the editor, Rev. Fr. Chetan Lobo (OFM Cap). Rev. Fr. Chetan Lobo offered the packet of copies comprising of the journal to the Bishop who formally opened the packet and released “Uzwaad”. Most Rev. Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo felicitated Rev. Fr. Chetan Lobo for his efforts in bringing out the monthly journal by offering him shawl and  flower bouquet.
A special stall has been set up for the sale of the copies of “Uzwaad” costing just Rs.10/-. Arrangement for collecting subscription has also been made. The annual subscription is Rs.100/-
As the blessing of the faithful was in progess, fireworks were displayed which has been a tradition since many years on the eve of the solemn feast of the shrine.
There has been pilgrims and devotees of St. Lawrence streaming into the shrine since morning. There were masses at regular intervals.  Pilgrims were seen lining up in front of the relic stand and the miraculous statue of St. Lawrence and offering their respect to the “Saint of Miracles”.




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