Kundapur, Jan 25: The feast of Infant Jesus is celebrated on a grand scale in Katkere, Koteshwar, here.
Carmelites have been running this shrine since 1998. Every year devotees throng to this place for prayers and there were more than a thousand people this year too even though there were COVID restrictions, for the three-day festivities.
Fr Alban D'Souza from Kalmady preached a heartwarming retreat for three days in preparation for the feast. On the feast day, Fr Pius James D'Souza, the provincial superior of the Carmelites of Karnataka Goa Province, presided over the festive mass. In his homily, referring to the recent encyclical of Pope Francis he said that we are all brothers and sisters in faith, hence we cannot afford to live as strangers, rather we have to live in fraternity in order to participate in the life of heaven.
Fr Stany Tauro the dean of Kundapur ward thanked the Katkere Carmelite priests who are ever available to render spiritual ministry whenever they are called for. He also said that Infant Jesus Shrine in Katkere is an oasis that quenches the spiritual thirst of the local people.
Fr Alwyn Sequeira, the superior of the monastery thanked all those who rendered their service for the three days. Frs Ronald Serrao, rector of St Joseph Seminary, vicar provincial of Carmelites Fr George Santhumayor, rector of Infant Jesus Shrine, Mangaluru, Fr Charles Serrao, former superiors and members Frs Boniface, Sylvester, William, Rayan, Steven and forty other priests concelebrated the mass.
Fr Deep Fernandes, the delegate provincial of Secular Carmel read out the donors list. Bro Avith Pais animated the liturgy. Fr Steven Lobo was in charge of media and looked after the live coverage. The Koteshwar parish youth under the able guidance of their parish priest, Fr Cyril Menezes and animator Felix Pinto looked after the smooth running of the liturgy, vehicular movement and food arrangements. Br Aaron Babush, the choirmaster of Infant Jesus Shrine Mangaluru led the singing.