Pics: Stanley Bantwal
Mangaluru, Aug 10: The annual feast of St Lawrence Church, Bondel was celebrated with grandeur and devotion on Wednesday August 10. Dr Francis Serrao, bishop, diocese of Shimoga began the celebration saying “Unity in the family builds unity in the church.”
The theme of the feast was ‘Let our families be generous towards God and by sacrificing ourselves let us live for others’. The bishop presided over the Eucharistic celebration.
Addressing the devotees, he said, “On October 18, 2015, the Pope proclaimed new saints and called St Therese's parents ‘Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin’. They were chosen for their simple and generous lives. They were highlighted because of the key role parents play in the spiritual and human upbringing of their children. The holy spouses Louis Martin and Marie-Azelie Guerin practiced Christian service in the family, creating day-by-day an environment of faith and love which nurtured the vocations of their daughters.
The baptized are called to be saints. Each and every believer and not only certain members of the church such as priests and religious are called to be saints. St Paul kept reminding the young Christian community of their vocation to become saints.
He wrote to the Christian community in Rome, ‘To all God’s beloved in Rome who are called to be saints’. Holiness, the fullness of the Christian life consists in being united with Christ, in living His mysteries, in making our own His example, His thoughts and His behavior. Holiness is measured by the stature that Christ attains in us, by the degree to which, with the power of the Holy Spirit, we model our whole life after His.”
Fr Andrew Leo D’Souza, parish priest, Fr Peter Gonsalves, Fr Lancy D’Souza and various other priests concelebrated the Mass. During the feast, people of all religions visited the shrine and expressed religious unity.
Fr Andrew Leo D'Souza thanked the bishop and priests for celebrating and participating in the Mass. He thanked all those who had contributed for the success of the 9 days of novena and of the feast. He wished all those who gathered a happy feast.
The festivities concluded with a Mass in the evening. Msgr Maxim Noronha, vicar general, Mangalore diocese led the holy Mass. After the Mass, the St Lawrence flag was lowered which was hoisted on the first day of the novena and closed the celebration of novena and feast for the year.