Mangaluru: The Nine-day Novena prior to the Annual feast of St Lawrence’s Church, Bondel, began on Tuesday, August 1st 2023 with the unfurling of St Lawrence’s flag at the church premises at 5 p.m.
The theme of the Feast: “Family life is God’s plan. Let us make it a gift of Grace.”
The message of the Feast: Through the intercession of St Lawrence, let us make our life fruitful.
The nine-day Novena began at St Lawrence Church, Bondel with the unfurling of the flag.
Parish Priest Rev Fr Andrew Leo D’Souza welcomed the guest Rev. Msgr Ferdinand Gonsalves with a flower bouquet. Rev. Msgr Ferdinand Gonsalves, Vicar General of the Diocese of Udupi., hoisted the flag and gave the official nod to the novenas and feast of St Lawrence.
Addressing the gathering, the Rev. Msgr Ferdinand Gonsalves said St. Lawrence and the many other saints and martyrs of the Faith have been our inspiration because they showed us how to live as true Christians, not scared or intimidated in the face of darkness. Lawrence accepts every prayer and pours blessings on devotees. I hope that in these nine days, a lot of miracles will happen. He wished all gathered a pleasant year ahead with the blessings of St Lawrence.
Rev. Fr Andrew Leo D’Souza inaugurated the novena with guests and priests, followed by the invocation of God’s blessings with a prayer that thanked the gathering and assured prayers for all devotees.
Rev Fr Andrew Leo Dsouza Parish Priest, Rev Fr Peter Gonsalves –Principal St Lawrence English Medium School, Rev Fr Lancy D’Souza – Asst Parish Priest, Rev Fr Ravi MSIJ, Rev Fr Theo Pinto, John D’Silva Vice-President- Parish Pastoral Council, Santhosh Misquith – Secretary, Prakash Pinto- Shrine committee convener, were present on the occasion. Dr Preethi Keerthi D”Souza compered the whole programme.
The theme of the feast for this year: “Family life is God’s plan. Let us make it a gift of grace.”
The Novena of the first day began with Adoration with the Eucharistic celebration. Rev. Msgr Ferdinand Gonsalves, Vicar General of the Diocese of Udupi, was the main celebrant, Rev Fr Andrew Leo D’Souza, Rev Fr Ravi MSIJ, and Rev Fr Theo Pinto celebrated the mass.
Rev. Msgr Ferdinand Gonsalves called on the devotees of St Lawrence to be firm in their faith. The faith of Abraham is a living faith. We need to do what our father, Abraham, did. We need to believe that God can do the impossible and that nothing is too hard for him. Abraham believed that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead if He had not spared Isaac’s life (Genesis 22).
Moses acted in faith to lead the Israelites through the Red Sea. God always responds to the faith of His children. (Exodus 14:22). David’s faith was so strong that he was willing to believe that the Lord would go with him and enable him to defeat Goliath (1 Samuel 17:36-37).
Through sacrifice and endurance, Mother Teresa reminds Christians and those of other faiths that God is the God of love. Faith brings you closer to God and to each other. Faith is the glue that holds the family together. It is the foundation of everything.
The melodious hymns by the choir from Bajal Parish under the leadership of Simon added beauty to the celebration.
Through the intercession of St Lawrence, let us make our lives fruitful.