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Eucharistic Congress ends with message of tolerance

Nov. 16, 2015

One of the largest gatherings of Christians in Mumbai in recent times showed how tolerance can go hand in hand with commitment to one's faith.As the National Eucharistic Congress wound up in Goregaon on Sunday , one of the five delegates representing the archdiocese of Bombay , Royston Braganza, wore a saffron kurta pyjama and classic Maharashtrian `pheta' as he carried the diocesan flag.

“The flag bearer of every diocese was to wear regional costume to the afternoon parade and I thought this was apt,“ he said.Braganza did not have to rent the outfit though, he owns a few pairs of kurta pyjama given he does fieldwork in mofussil areas as CEO of Grameen Capital. He felt the Eucharistic Congress “bro ught Christ into flesh“.

His teammate Gordon D'Souza, president of the Bombay Catholic Sabha, did not miss a single session during the past four days.He said, “The congress came as the right thing at the right time given the atmosphere prevailing in the country . It will go down in the annals of Christianity .“

One delegate cited testimonials from a widow in Kandhamal and a priest who was forced to flee from place to place. “Yet they are not swayed from the cause.People were saying more tribals are in fact accepting Christianity amid threats of `Ghar Wapsi',“ he said. “And Christians are becoming better Christians.“

Earlier on Saturday , 20,000 people joined a grand procession to the Vailankanni shrine in Uttan, Bhayander. Spokesman Fr Joe Borges said the parade was led by the papal legate Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, who arrived from Sri Lanka along with Oswald Cardinal Gracias of Bombay and Cardinal Telespore Toppo of Ranchi.“Local residents illuminated the roads and decorated lanes with creative artefacts depicting their ethnic occupations of agriculture and fishing,“ he said. “ A musical drama `From Darkness to Light' and a street play titled `I am the bread of life' filled the farmers, fisherfolk, toddy tappers and potters with delight.“

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