Udupi: The nine-day novena services in preparation for the Annual Feast of Our Lady of Vailankanni at Stella Maris Church, Kalmadi near Malpe here began on Sunday, August 5.
The Novena service was inaugurated by Rev. Fr. Stany B Lobo, chancellor of Udupi Diocese and parish priest of St. Francis Xavier’s Church, Udyavara, by hoisting the shrine's flag. Prior to the inauguration, a brief prayer was held and Fr. Lobo gave a brief introduction of the celebration.
Rev. Fr. Alban D’Souza, parish priest of the church, Rev. Fr. Valerian Mendonca, dean of Udupi Deanery and parish priest of Udupi church, Rev. Fr. Fredrick D’Souza, parish priest of Manipal Church, Sanjay Andrade, vice president and Shobha Mendonca, secretary of Parish Pastoral Council, nuns, other priests and a large number of faithful of Mother Mary were present. The first-day novena mass followed after the inauguration ceremony.
The annual feast of Our Lady of Vailankanni will be celebrated on 14 and 15 August. On 13 August, there will be Vailankanni Mother Mary’s Car (Cherel) procession from Adi-Udupi junction to Kalmady Church at 2.45 pm.
On 14 August, Rev. Dr. Henry D’Souza, Bishop of Bellary Diocese will celebrate the Solemn Eucharistic Celebrations at 4 pm. Thereafter at 6 pm, there will be a mass in Kannada. On 15 August, Rev Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi Diocese will be the main celebrant of Solemn Eucharistic festive celebrations at 10 am. Other Masses on the festive day are at 7 am in Konkani, at 12-noon in Kannada and at 6 pm in English. Meals will be served after 10 am and 12-noon mass to all devotees.
During all the novena days, special intentions for children, youth, faithful, families and other will be held. A large number of faithful will be participating during the novena days and festive celebrations.
About the Shrine of Our Lady of Vailankanni
The Shrine of Our Lady of Vailankanni in the parish of Stella Maris (which means Star of the Sea) is located on the way to the Malpe beach. Stella Maris was a chapel built by the efforts of late Capt Fr. Charles D’Souza in February 1972. Later on, the chapel became a full-fledged church on 1 January 1991.
The new church building that is in the shape of a boat along with a bell tower resembling the shape of a lighthouse was inaugurated on 6 January 2018. The new building can accommodate 1000 people. It will be the first church to be built in the shape of a boat in the state and second in Asia.
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