Deepavali Sambhrama: “Need Respect, not tolerance to walk in the light”: Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha

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Report: Fr Anil Fernandes, CCC Pics by Stanly Bantwal

MANGALORE, OCT 25: “At the background of inter-religious dialogue, the ability to live in the midst of others with their individualities, diversities and differences in a spirit of respect, love and trust is much needed today to bring about solidarity, unity and harmony. We do not tolerate each other. We have to respect each other. Respect is much greater and larger than tolerance. The celebration of Deepavali calls us to be respectful towards others creating a space for everyone,” said Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, the Bishop of Mangalore in his inaugural message at the ‘Deepavali Sambhrama’- a festival of light, organised by St Mother Theresa Vichara Vedike, Mangalore at Sandesha Kalakendra, Mangalore on the evening of Monday, October 24, 2022. 

Bishop Peter further said, “We become the true light of the world when we recognise all people around us as our brothers and sisters and show that we belong to one family. Instead of questioning who is he/she or they, we should be able to answer S/He is ours, they are ours, our family, our relatives, our friends. This culture of ‘We’ will make our Deepavali celebration, a true and meaningful one.”

“The art of living of those people who walk in the light is to supersede the works of darkness, the superiority of culture and religion and grow with a sense of belongingness to others, solidarity, peaceful and harmonious living and helping  humanity” bishop Peter added.

The bishop also noted that each person inherently possesses a ray of light from God which inclines us to walk in the light of God and contribute to the common good of the people. “When we love others with confidence, it shines like a light. Overcoming constricted mind over other religions will make our light shine in the darkness” Bishop Peter said.  

Speaking on the importance of the feast of light Dr P. Subrahmanya Yadapadithaya, Vice Chancellor of Mangalore University said, “The culture of sharing, belongingness, the openness of the mind and heart towards other religions and love and solidarity in upholding humanity is at the core of Deepavali celebration.”  

Mohammad Arif, chief correspondent of Vijaya Karnataka daily said, “The power of light gets magnified when we celebrate the feast of light with people of other religions.” He said that jealousy, anger, and poverty are symbols of darkness. Whereas love and mutual cooperation are the symbols of light.

Smt Manjula Nayak, President, Samarashya Mangaluru addressing the gathering said, “The tradition and culture of celebrating the feasts of all religions by all people shall continue to create peace and harmonious society.”

To mark this special occasion, St Mother Theresa Vichara Vedike, Mangalore, a Candlelight (goodudeepa) competition was organised. Winners were awarded prizes. 

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The programme was organised jointly in association with Swaranjali Music School-Yekkur and Lions Club of Mangalore Bejai; Saregama Trust.

Rev. Fr Sudeep Paul, MSFS, Director Sandesha, Mr Stany Lobo, President, Catholic Sabha Mangalore, Mr Stnay Alveres, Mr Viajay Alfred, trustee of Saregam Trust, Mr Thomas Prasad, Secretary, Lions Club, Bejai, K Ashraf Ex-mayor, MCC were present among others.

Mr Roy Castelino, President of the Vedike delivered the welcome address, Ms Flavy D’Souza, Vice President of the Vedike proposed the vote of thanks and Sunil Kumar Bajal, Secretary of Vedike compered the programme.

The formal programme was followed by cultural events from Swaranjali Music School-Yekkur, Fr Walter Albuquerque Memorial Choir, Mangaluru and Kala Saraswathi Natyalaya.

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