Christmas celebration in India promotes peace, harmony
By Antonio Anup Gonsalves
Bishop Fernandes inaugurates the Christmas celebration in Karwar, India, held Dec. 29, 2013. Credit: Diocese of Karwar.
Bishop Fernandes inaugurates the Christmas celebration in Karwar, India, held Dec. 29, 2013. Credit: Diocese of Karwar.

.- Catholics gathered with those of other traditions last week in a city of South West India to celebrate Christmas with efforts promoting peace and harmony.

Bishop Derek Fernandes of Karwar presided over Christmas celebrations Dec. 29 with over 4,000 faithful, as well as extending the joy of the Nativity with those of other religions.

“Such a public manifestation of the birth of our savior is important so as to share with everyone the grace of God and to recount to all that Jesus Christ is Lord,” Fr. Anthony Dias, pastoral director for the Karwar diocese, told CNA Jan. 5.

Bishop Fernandes' Christmas message emphasized the priority of fostering peace, of commitment to sharing the gospel, and of zealously striving in the service of mankind.

The message was in union with Pope Francis' Dec. 25 Urbi et Orbi message, in which he prayed for peace and said, “true peace … is not a balance of opposing forces. It is not a lovely 'facade' which conceals conflicts and divisions. Peace calls for daily commitment, starting from God’s gift, from the grace which he has given us in Jesus Christ.”

Karwar's Christmas celebration was hosted by the city's United Catholic Christian Forum, and was attended by representatives of both Hinduism and Islam.

The chief guest, S. R. Naik, a Hindu and a local college professor, said that “Jesus Christ brought the good news of peace, joy, love and forgiveness to all people on earth.”

“The principles he taught by words and deeds are simple truths, which, if followed by all, will certainly establish God’s kingdom on earth,” he continued.

“The secret of the popularity of the Christian faith lies in its simplicity and universal appeal… no one, except Jesus Christ, could and did pray for forgiveness for his enemies from his cross.”

The Christmas celebration began with a prayer and a reading of the Gospel by Karwar's vicar general, Msgr. Simon Tellis. Then the Christmas message was presented by groups from several parishes, schools and religious congregations through skits, caroling, and the distribution of charitable gifts.

Fr. Dias said the skits helped make the Biblical narrative more easily accessible and understandable to those of other religions.

The celebration was held on Tagore Beach, Karwar's waterfront where locals often co congregate to walk along the coast of the Arabian Sea, a region of the Indian Ocean. Karwar is located in Karnataka state, and is a port city on the Arabian sea.

The Diocese of Karwar serves nearly 54,000 faithful, who comprise nearly four percent of the total population of 1.4 million.

Tags: Karwar, Bishop Derek Fernandes

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: