Nine-day novena prior to the Annual feast commences at St Lawrence Church
Mangaluru: The nine-day novena prior to the Annual feast of St Lawrence Church, Bondel began on Saturday, August 1st with the unfurling of St Lawrence’s flag here at the church premises. Fr Joseph Lobo Parish Priest, Our Lady of Miracles Milagres Church hoisted the flag followed by Mass & Novena.
Fr Joseph Lobo inaugurated the novena by lighting the lamp along with Fr Andrew Leo Dsouza, Parish Priest, Fr Clifford Pinto, Principal, St Lawrence English Medium School ,Fr Rupesh Tauro, Asst Parish Priest, Mr. Reginald DSouza, Vice-President, parish pastoral council, Mr. Steevan Noronha, Secretary, Mr. Prakash Pinto, Shrine committee convener Plenty of Devotees were present .
BRIEF RECAP :
St Lawrence Church, Bondel : A parish of the Diocese of Mangalore. It is situated 8 kms away from the the City on the road to Mangaluru International Airport. It is a place of traditional goodness surrounded by Pacchanady, Moodushedde, Marakada, Kavoor and Padavinangadi villages. This parish was established April 10 1923. Though it began small it now serves nearly 1000 families, having 27 wards. This Parish has received the service of 10 parish priests, more than 23 Assistant priests who were able and dynamic. Under their leadership the parish has grown in all ways. Rev. Fr Andrew D’Souza is the present Parish Priest.
A French missionary priest Rev. Fr Alexander Dubois known as Frad Saib (Then PP of Milagres) visited this place in the year 1873 and seeing the natural beauty of this place he called this place as “Bon valle”, A French term meaning good valley (Konkani: Borem Falkay) and hence this place is popularly known as Bondel.
The church is growing today in all the areas including spirituality, education, business, health, culture etc. It has got several associations like Alter Boys, Catholic Sabha, Choir, ICYM, Legion of Mary, SFO, SVP, and YCS. The parish is surrounded by the religious houses like Missionary Society of Infant Jesus, Sacred Heart Fathers & Brothers of Betharram SCJ, Mary Immaculate Convent, Presentation Convent, Bala Yesu Nilaya Convent, Vijayamari Convent, Jyothi Nivas Convent and Nazareth Niwas. The parish is moving towards progress under the president of the parish pastoral parish able leadership of Rev. Fr Andrew D’ Souza and Parish Pastoral Parishad (PPP) which consists of more than 90 members which is a very strong advisory body of the parish. Late Bishop Rt. Rev Dr Basil D’Souza hailed from here.
Most of the people here are agriculturists, and businessmen, some working abroad. The church is vibrant with youth and the elderly working together to build the community. So it has a long history of around 88 years. The 2020 Corona Pandemic has placed limitations on the celebrations and efforts are to follow the prescribed guidelines in force.
Report by: Ivan Saldanha
Photos: Stanley Bantwal