‘Looking at children’s face and their innocence, we forget our sufferings. Jesus Christ came to this world as a child. He is an inspiration for us to face suffering in life. Christmas is an inspiration for us to see the God’s face in children. Let us take care of them and protect their well-being, so that they become the joy to our society’ said Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, the Bishop of Mangalore.
He was giving the presidential address at the Ecumenical Christmas Sauhardha program held at Centenary Memorial Hall in Saint Joseph Seminary Jeppu, Mangaluru on Saturday, December 9, 2023. The ecumenical Christmas celebration was jointly organised by Mangalore Christian Council, Mangalore Diocesan Commission for Ecumenism and All Karnataka United Christian Forum for Human Rights (AKUCHFHUR- Western Zone)
His Grace Yakub Mar Elias, the Bishop of Malankara Orthodoxy Syrian Church Brahmavar diocese said `Religion is not a series of do and don’ts. It is the fruit of God’s holiness, which is His ultimate goodness. God has bestowed that holy goodness on us through Jesus Christ’.
Rt. Rev. Hemachandra Kumar, the Bishop of CSI Karnataka Southern diocese said in his address `God is light. Darkness brings fear but light brings courageous. Sometimes the light becomes fire to burn the waste. So also Jesus Christ became human to burn the evil in this world’. He also gave a call to celebrate Green Christmas with no crackers and thus protect the God given nature.
Rt. Rev. Joseph Demetrious, the Bishop of Believers Church Edapadav conducted prayer service and invoked God’s blessings upon those gathered.
The program was inaugurated through lighting the lamp by the esteemed Bishops present along with Monsignor Maxim Noronha, the Vicar General of Mangalore diocese and Sr Irene Menezes, the provincial superior of Charity Congregation, Mangalore province. Later on children and youth from Jeppu, Kankanadi, Cascia, Balmatta, Haleangady communities and Jerosa School consisting from Catholic, CSI and Syro Malabar churches, presented cultural programs and carols.
Other guests those present where Rev. Ronald Serrao, Rev. JB Saldana, Rev. JB Crasta, Rev. Cyprian Monteiro, Rev. Sandeep Theophil, Rev. Mukti Prakash, Rev. Felix Monteiro, Rev. Mani, Sr Pramila D’Souza, Sr Mariet B. S. and hundreds of people from various parts of Mangaluru. Refreshment was served to all before the program.
The program was organised by Rev. Rupesh Madtha, Secretary for Mangalore Christian Council and the Mangalore Diocesan Ecumenical Commission, Rev. Prabhuraj M., another Secretary for Mangalore Christian Council and Mr Alfred Manohar, Secretary for AKUCHFHUR- Western Zone. The members of Ecumenical Commission in Mangalore diocese, Anila Dsa and Theresa Pereira compeered the program. Other members, Grace Monteiro, Roshan Patrao, Levin Cutinho, Rita Dsouza, Prajwal Dsouza, Lancy Carlo rendered their valuable service for the success of the program.