Karkala, Jan 23, 2016: The historic St. Lawrence Shrine at Attur in Karkala is geared up for the annual festival scheduled to be held from January 24 to 28. Lakhs of devotees from across the nation are expected to converge for the grand festivity which will commence with a holy mass on January 24 at 7.30 am. The Mass will be followed by Sacrament Procession on the same day which is also celebrated as Confinity Sunday.
Fr George D’Souza, Director of the Shrine who spoke to reporters here said there will be Special Mass for children on January 24 at 11 am and 3 pm. Prayers for the sick and elderly will be held at 10 am and 3.30 pm on January 25. He also stated that there will be as many as 42 masses in Konkani, Kannada, Malayalam and English during the five days of the Festival.
The Bishops of Mangaluru, Varanasi, Belthangady, Bellari and Udupi will be celebrating the Holy Eucharist Mass during the festival, he said.
Several arrangements are in place for the safety of pilgrims, he said adding nearly 42 CCTV cameras have been installed in the church premises while 24 more will be installed outside. Over 350 polio personnel including reserve police will be on security duty while a police outpost will also be operational at Doopadakatte. SP K Annamalai will oversee the security arrangements, he added.
Begging during the festival has been banned and donations received by the shrine will be distributed during lunch to the beggars on January 29, he said.
Devotees can offer religious vows and burn candles at a 45000 sq ft area to the east of the shrine, he said adding parking arrangements have been made at Doopadakatte. Special arrangements have been made for confessions near the Miraculous Statue to the west of the new building, he further informed.
Fr Denis D’Sa, PRO of Udupi Diocese, John D’Silva and others were present at the press meet.