Udupi, Feb 26, 2016: The St. Lawrence Shrine at Attur village near Karkala in Udupi district introduced a new system to distribute alms to the destitute during the annual feast this year.
The tradition of giving alms at the St. Lawrence Shrine has been on for the last 16 years. The needy used to roam about in the area during the annual feast, which used to inconvenience devotees.
This year, the shrine committee put an end to this practice. All kinds of begging were banned in the premises. Meanwhile, the devotees were encouraged to deposit money in two separate boxes for the alms-seekers. The alms collected in these boxes were distributed to the destitute according to their needs during the lunch on January 29, the concluding day of the annual feast, along with food packets.
Around 2,000 destitute or alms-seekers received Rs. 10.84 lakh, according to the report. Devotees who had come to the shrine, distributed snacks and alms to the destitute on the occasion.
Rev. Fr. George D’Souza, rector of the shrine, and Fr. Vijay D’Souza, assistant parish priest, were present during the distribution.
Lakhs of devotees visit the shrine throughout the year, and especially during the feast. The annual feast this year was held from Jan 24 to 29. A total of 42 masses in Konkani, Kannada, Malayalam and English were celebrated during these five days. Five bishops –of Udupi, Ballari, Mangaluru, Varanasi and Beltangady dioceses - celebrated the Holy Mass over three days. Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo of Udupi was at the Attur shrine.