Annual Christmas Archdiocesan Interreligious Celebration 2018
Dec. 16, 2018
The Annual Christmas Archdiocesan Interreligious Celebration saw people of all faiths gathered in the Holy Name High School hall on 16th December, 2018. His Eminence, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, extended a warm welcome as he went around personally greeting all the guests who included the Consular Corps of several countries and the people of different faiths: Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Zoroastrians – the diversity that represents India.
After the unveiling of the Christmas Crib by the Cardinal, the Holy Name Cathedral Choir under the baton of Mario Nazareth, thrilled the audience with their joyful rendition of all-time favourite Christmas Carols.
The Sangeet Abhinay Academy presented a dance drama ‘Krist Jayanti’ directed by Fr. Charles Vaz SVD, which covered the fall of our first parents in Genesis to the salvation that Jesus brings to the world.
This was followed by a short documentary on the work of Anam Prem Parivar, a universal organisation covering people of all religions, bound together by love – Anam Prem means ‘nameless love’.
The highlight of the day was the panel discussion on the theme: Religious Festivals – Building Bridges, in which representatives of different faiths participated. Fr. K.T. Emmanuel with his humorous and down-to-earth style was the anchor for the panel discussion. To all the questions that were fielded to the panellists – their favourite festival (apart from their own), how religious festivals can be occasions to build bridges, how media can be a source to propagate the goodness of all festivals - the answers that emerged had an underlying common thread of humanity, unity and good will towards all religions. Any festival that spreads love and happiness can build bridges. The consensus was that social media has to be used mindfully and festivals can be a means to reach out to people in need, so that religions and festivals unite us all.
In his message, His Eminence, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, said that there is so much commonality in all religions, each wanting to make the world a better place. Looking to the Crib where the scene is one of total peace and total reconciliation, he pointed out that in the presence of Jesus we have man and God together, and man and nature together. Christmas invites us of be agents of peace and reconciliation. His Eminence blessed the gathering, praying for peace, unity, and harmony among all communities.
A playlet performed by the students of the Convent of Jesus and Mary on the topic: Festivals as Opportunities for Hope, Joy and Peace was much appreciated as it proclaimed the message of unity in diversity.
One more round of Carols by the Holy Name Cathedral Choir and a Vote of Thanks by Fr. Neil dos Santos, Chancellor, Archdiocese of Bombay, wound up a beautiful celebration, which was followed by high tea and fellowship.
Click here for photographs.
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