Mangaluru, Aug 02, 2018: Nine-day novena in preparation for the annual feast of St Lawrence Church, Bondel, commenced August 1, Wednesday, with the unfurling of St Lawrence’s flag here at the church premises.
Fr Andrew Leo D Souza, parish priest who hoisted the flag said, " Since my arrival here 2 months ago as a parish priest of Bondel church, I have been edified to note the unusual response to the weekly novena, miracle of St Lawrence is always for all. Large numbers of faithful from all faiths are visiting this shrine for prayer, it is a holy place. A welcome everyone to the annual feast of this shrine on August 10. I pray that St Lawrence blesses all in all needs."
Minister U T Khader who was the chief guest said, " Today, i had to visit this shrine and on this very day, chief minister has announced officially that I will be the district-in-charge minister of Dakshina Kannada district. I consider it as a blessing to me. I know the importance of this shrine. People, who visit from various parts of the state, experience miracles in their life. I have heard that St Lawrence accepts every prayer and pours blessings on devotees. I hope that in these nine days, lot of miracles will happen here. I wish you all a happy feast.”
Kavita Sanil, former mayor, Deepak Poojary, corporator, Fr Clifford Pinto, principal, St Lawrence school, Fr Leo Veigas, resident priest, Fr Andrew D Souza, parish priest, Katipalla, Sumanth , trustee, Mahalingeshwara temple, Henbert Pinto, vice-president, parish pastoral council, Rudy Pinto, feast committee convener were present.
General information - Feast:
The Bondel St. Lawrence Shrine grand finale is set to be on August 10, it is programmed for new highs in terms of rituals and devotion along side participation. The two high church dignitaries now in the lime light here, retiring Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza of Mangalore Diocese and newly-appointed bishop, Peter Paul Saldanha (Consecration announced to be on September 15, 9.30 am, at Rosario Cathedral), will officiate at the forenoon and evening Masses, respectively on the feast day August 10. Thousands of devotees of St. Lawrence are expected to congregate at the Bondel shrine which is becoming a new magnet to the saint whose weekly novenas are held on the forenoon every Tuesday, ending with fellowship meal for the devotees.
The festive Mass on August 10 will start at 10.30 AM and will be led by Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza, followed by grand festive lunch for devotees and the evening festive Mass will be led by Bishop-designate Peter Paul Saldanha at 6.00 PM.
Brief of the Church : Bondel is about 6 Km north of the city, on the now developed airport road. It is thought that a French missionary who visited here in 1873, called it ’Bon Vale’ translated to Good Valley......which lead to it being called ’Bondel’. Some time around 1900, a priest of Milagres Fr.Aloysius Fernandes set up a temporary chapel a kilometer or so to the east of the present shrine. In 1913 Fr. Frank Pereira built a chapel at the present raised spot. It was served by Milagres Church until 1922, It was accorded the status of a Parish on April 10, 1923 and Fr.Frank Pereira was its first parish priest serving until 1926, he also constructed a small school.. The present church came up between 1977 and 1987 when Fr.Denis D’Souza was the Parish Priest. The present Parish Priest is Fr. Andrew Leo D’Souza . The shrine and devotions are developing rapidly now.
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