Attur: Pramod Madhwaraj, Minister of State for Fisheries, Youth Empowerment and Sports, said on Monday that the St. Lawrence Minor Basilica was not just limited to the Catholic community, but was a ray of hope for the needy from all the communities.
He was speaking at a function to mark the proclamation of the St. Lawrence Shrine as a minor basilica here.
Mr. Madhwaraj said that it was not just the Catholics, even some people from other faiths also prayed at the shrine. When he faced tough situations, he had prayed at the shrine, he added.
“This shrine is a shining example of communal harmony, not just in the district, but also to the entire country,” he said.
He said that the shrine provided peace of mind and fostered peace and compassion in society.
“It is a rare honour for our State as it is after over four decades that we have got a second minor basilica,” he said.
V. Sunil Kumar, MLA, said that Karkala was famous for its Gomateshwara statue and temples. With the elevation of St. Lawrence Shrine to a minor basilica, Karkala’s fame would now reach far and wide.
He would put in all efforts to develop the roads leading to this pilgrim centre, he added.
Earlier, Baselios Cardinal Cleemis, Major Archbishop – Catholicos of the Syro Malankara Catholic Church, Thiruvananthapuram, unveiled the plaque to mark the proclamation and dedication of St. Lawrence Basilica.
In his speech, Cardinal Cleemis thanked Bishop of Udupi Diocese, Gerald Isaac Lobo, and people of the diocese on behalf of the Conference of Bishops of India for the proclamation and dedication of the Basilica.
Mar George Cardinal Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church, Ernakulum, unveiled the papal flag. Bernard Moras, Archbishop of Bengaluru, read out the special message from Pope Francis during the Proclamation and Dedication of the Basilica.
Aloysius D’Souza, Bishop of Mangaluru, read the message from the Apostolic Nuncio, Salvatore Pennacchio. He handed over the chalice sent by the Apostolic Nuncio for this occasion to the Rector of the Basilica, George D’Souza.
In his speech, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai, said that Pope Francis has declared this year as the Year of Mercy and Compassion.
Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo welcomed the gathering. The dignitaries on the dais were presented with saplings to mark the welcome.
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