Karkala, Jan 20, 2017: Speaking to media on Jan 19, Thursday, Udupi diocese spokesperson Fr Denis A D’Sa said that the annual feast of St Lawrence will be held for the first time at the Basilica in Karkala, for five days on January 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26.
Udupi diocese spokesperson Fr Denis A D’Sa said the feast will be inaugurated 7.30 am on January 22, Sunday, with the Holy Mass of Confraternity. There will be special masses for the children at 3.00 and 5.00 pm on the occasion. The increasing number of devotees and their demand for more masses have resulted in the five-day celebration.
On January 23, there will be a special Holy Mass for the children at 10.00 am and for the sick at 3.30 pm. The sick are requested to attend the special mass for the sick. A total of 31 masses in Konkani and 12 masses in Kannada will be offered on the days of the feast. The archbishop of Bengaluru, the bishops of Bellary, Belthangady, Mangaluru and Udupi will offer masses during the festival, he added.
Arrangements : In view of the safety and security of the devotees, 64 CCTV cameras have already been installed in the old and new churches and 32 more cameras are being installed in and around the campus. About 60,000 sqft area has been added in the eastern side of the Basilica recently. This will help the pilgrims at the location of lighting the candles and offering their mite.
The devotees may submit their offerings, candles, etc., on the eastern side of the old church. Holy Water and flowers (Jala Prasada and Pushpa Prasada) will be distributed to them at the same location. The Miraculous Spring has been reconstructed in order to visit the ’Pushkarini’ safely. Pure and cool water for drinking has been provided for the devotees in five locations in the campus. Facility for confessions for the Catholic Christians has been arranged at the western side where the Miraculous Statue has been installed. The old church has been reserved only for personal prayer.
A total of 40 new and modern wash rooms have been built adjacent to the Police Service Centre and 20 near the Presbytery during the current year. Commodes have been provided for the use of the physically disabled and senior citizens.
Police officers and security personnel will be looking after the law and order in and around the campus. Bomb-defusing squad and reserve police will take care of the safety of the pilgrims. Vehicle parking arrangements for the pilgrims is being looked after by experienced home guards and associated personnel. In order to avoid the vehicular rush for those arriving through the Kabettu entrance, they are provided facility to come from Pulkeri through Doopadakatte as close to the Basilica as possible. Parking slots have been arranged for the four wheelers.
A separate parking place has been provided for the two wheelers. Spacious parking slots for those who arrive through Doopadakatte as well as Kabettu have been arranged. On the Parpale Hill, a new parking slot has been created this year. Candles shall be sold in the official stall of the Basilica only. In view of the safety and convenience of the pilgrims, unauthorised sale of candles in the campus has been prohibited.
Begging has been totally banned during the festival. The donations offered by the devotees for the purpose will be distributed to the beggars, along with a meal at 12.00 noon on January 27.