Annual Feast : Bishop Aloysius DSouza calls upon Christians to be ’Witnesses of Christ’


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Karkal, 25 Jan 2017: The annual feast of St. Lawrence Basilica, Attur-Karkala was celebrated with devotion by thousands of devotees of St. Lawrence on Wednesday, 25 January 2017. The solemn feast mass was concelebrated by the Bishop of Mangalore Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Aloysius P. D’Souza as the chief celebrant at 10.30 am.

 

In his homily, Bishop Aloysius D’Souza said that Jesus Christ had commanded His disciples to spread His message after his death and resurrection and ascension into heaven. His disciples spread across the world and began to spread the Good News. It was because of their selfless work of evangelization that the Church has spread throughout the world over a period of time. The task of spreading the Word of God is the duty of each and every Christian.

 

Speaking further, Bishop Aloysius said that in recent times there have been signs that many of the Christians are drifting away from the Word of God. Our forefathers had strong faith and they were particular about participating in holy Eucharist, reciting daily prayers and Rosary and reading of the Word of God. However, in this competitive world, many of the Christians hardly find any time to fulfil their religious obligations. If we lose faith in the Church, it would be difficult for us to call ourselves as ‘Witnesses of Christ’.

 

 

Continuing the homily, the Bishop said that St. Lawrence, the patron saint of Attur Basilica who walked on the path shown by Jesus Christ has been a role model for many Christians. By serving the poor, St. Lawrence manifested his undying love for Jesus Christ. While following the teachings of Christ, St. Lawrence had to face many problems and undergo persecution. In spite all this, he never gave up his love for Christ or service to the poor and the church. Referring to the violence against Christians in Kandhamal in Orissa or attacks on the churches in Mangalore, the Bishop said that in spite of all these provocations, Christians in these areas did not react violently but kept faith in God. Such strong faith is the necessity of the time which every Christian should possess.

 

The kingdom of Jesus is the kingdom of service which He manifested through His life and service to humankind. By washing the feet of His apostles, Jesus has given a lesson of humility and service to all His followers. Every Christian has to adopt these finer values in his or her life. Children have a responsibility to behave and dress in decent ways, not to ape the western culture and live an honourable life. By upholding the values taught by Jesus Christ, the youth should become His true witnesses. Recalling the words of St. John Paul II, Bishop Aloysius D’Souza said ‘Jesus has kept faith in the youth and the youth must keep their faith in Jesus Christ’. Modern youth who have made smart phones as the centre of their lives should not forget the values taught by Jesus Christ and. The Christian families should adopt the values taught by Jesus and being inspired by religious principles should become the witnesses of Jesus Christ.

 

Most Rev. Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of udupi Diocese, Fr. George D’Souza-Rector of St. Lawrence Basilica, Fr. Vijay D’Souza-Assistant Parish priest of Attur, Fr. Denis D’Sa-PRO of Udupi Diocese, Fr. William Menezes-PRO of Mangalore Diocese and other priests were present during the feast mass.

 

Being the main feast day, thousands of devotees and pilgrims from various regions had thronged the basilica offering candles, paying respect to the relic of the saint and offering prayers in thanksgiving.

 

On Wednesday, being the main feast day of the Basilica there were ten masses in different languages. Earlier in the morning at 8 am, Syro Malabar Bishop of Belthangady, Most Rev. Dr. Lawrence Mukkhazzi concelebrated feast mass in Kannada.

 

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