KOCHI: The altars of six prominent pilgrim centres of the Archdiocese of Verapoly are being raised to pontifical status by declaring them altars of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. After the declaration, believers who recite the rosary in front of these altars and those who enrol themselves in the Confraternity will receive special blessings and indulgences, said Fr Mathew Sojan Maliekal, spokesperson of the archdiocese, in a press release issued on Wednesday. Mumbai-based Dominican priest Fr Sunil D’souza OP has been deputed by the Pope to make the declaration.
On Wednesday, the altar of St Joseph’s Church in Tripunithura was given pontifical status. On Thursday morning, the altar of St Joseph’s Church, Thevara, will be declared an altar of the Confraternity and in the evening, the declaration will be made at St Jude’s Church, Ettekar, Aluva.
The altar of St Francis Assisi Cathedral in Ernakulam will be declared the Confraternity altar during the holy mass offered by Archbishop Joseph Kalathiparambil in the evening. The mass will take place after the flag hoisting ceremony, marking the onset of the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. At present, 15 churches in India, including Vallarpadam Basilica in the Archdiocese of Verapoly and St Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly in the city have privileged altars.