“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”
– Burton Hillis.
With the same thought and spirit of growing in love in the CFCI family, a Christmas celebration was scheduled on December 2nd at Milagres PU Hall. The décor was splendid, with stars and lanterns, welcoming everybody to the venue. Red, green and golden were the theme colours. Around 175 people attended the Christmas celebration that was planned and executed by the CFCI Youth and CFCI Singles.
The program started around 3:30 pm with a wonderful compering by Shanthipriya Lasrado from CFCI singles. The praise and worship, led by Avinash Serrao (CFCI Singles), helped us praise the Almighty with one accord. The music ministry led by Carlton helped liven up the worship by singing praises to our praiseworthy God in a better way. We praised through hymns like ‘Anand ki Bharpuri’ and ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’. We worshipped the Lord through hymns like ‘I Surrender’ and ‘Tere Paas aata hoon’ surrendering ourselves to our Creator. Avinash, having been inspired by the previous Sunday’s Gospel, called us to lean onto God and Match our truth with God’s truth.
The gesture of welcoming is that associated with joy and kindness. Mr. Gerald Castelino, Area Servant – CFCI Mangalore welcomed the gathering with a cheerful smile and pleasing words. He also welcomed Fr. Anil D’Souza, Spiritual Director of CFCI Mangalore and Brother Jimmy Xavier, Southern India Mission coordinator, our guests for the celebration. Brother Jimmy Xavier addressed the gathering and made us realize that our mission is not to win people to the CFCI community, but to win souls for the kingdom of God and thus inspired everyone. He also motivated us to reach out to a number of parishes and initiate CFCI Kids in the Mangalore delegation with spiritual guidance from the youth.
Since the CFCI Youth are large in number, Tito Jeswin Castelino and Tita Lavisha Saldanha were also appointed as formators in addition to Tito Michael and Tita Dinha. They were blessed by the entire community led by Fr. Anil D’Souza so that the Lord guides them throughout their mission.
As the CFCI Youth had recently attended the Regional Youth Conference held in Goa on the 9th, 10th and 11th of November, Ruby Merlin Pinto from CFCI Youth shared her experience on behalf of all the others who attended the conference. She shared how impactful is the Lord’s love in her life and how she is trying to improve ever since.
Coming to the entertainment segment that was planned for the evening, the CFCI Singles enacted a skit on being happy and content in all circumstances.
Fr. Anil D’Souza shared his valuable message which mainly focused on being courageous for the Lord and being ready to share our God-experiences in front of the community. He also inspired us to pray for others from vivid cultures and traditions, thus making our Christmas a fruitful one.
Not forgetting the wonderful and entertaining games conducted by Chris Crasta and Marina from the CFCI Singles. The community as one big family took part and enjoyed much.
Robin Monis from the CFCI Youth made a video on the RYC experience that the youth lived recently. It was projected on the screen while the gathering sat back and enjoyed watching it.
The CFCI Youth who attended the RYC and won the first place in the Mad Ad performed the Ad once again to entertain everyone who hadn’t witnessed it. Everyone had a hearty laugh.
The CFCI Youth won many prizes in the recently conducted RYC 2018. The gifts were distributed by brother Jimmy Xavier, Southern India Mission coordinator and Fr. Anil D’Souza, Spiritual Director of CFCI Mangalore, accompanied by the Area Servant, Mr. Gerald Castelino.
How can we celebrate Christmas without a few carols and Santa Claus? The music ministry of CFCI Youth sang Christmas carols. Simultaneously, Ovin D’Souza from the CFCI Youth was painting a picture of Jesus Christ and completed the painting in less than 10 minutes. It was later auctioned, with the proceeds going to the CFCI Mission.
The CFCI Youth had prepared bookmarks that were sold at the venue. In the end, Christmas delicacies (Kuswar) were served to the entire community.
The Christmas celebration ended around 7 pm. It brought alive the spirit of the Lord’s birth well before the universal celebration of Christmas. Celebrating as one family, with a sense of love and unity, the program concluded with each one of us carrying the same spirit alive in our hearts.