‘TIS THE CHRISTMAS SEASON….
….and there was a very special reason for this particular Christmas party. The families from the three Nagars – Ambedkar, Sundar and Macchhimar – in the Parish of the Holy Name, were present to celebrate Christmas with His Eminence, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, in the Holy Name School Hall, on January 4, 2018.
The buzz at the venue grew gradually from barely audible to the very distinct sounds of anticipation as the families arrived. Once everyone was cheerfully gathered in by the welcoming committee, coffee and snacks were served. A few minutes later, His Eminence arrived to a rousing welcome as all the women and children spontaneously rushed forward to receive his blessing. The eventful evening then commenced with a prayer offered by the Cardinal on behalf of all present, which petitioned for peace, joy and love and also for unity and harmony within the family and the community. His Eminence walked around the hall, meeting, greeting and conversing with each family, enquiring after their general wellbeing and wishing them well.
First on the program was the Bible Quiz for all children under 18. Every child had the opportunity to answer and the children got all their answers right, much to the appreciation of His Eminence who handed out the prizes, congratulating each one by name. This set the tone for the rest of the evening as the children joined enthusiastically in the popular elimination game of passing through the hoola-hoop. Their excitement and competitiveness were amazing to behold. The parents and older members got their turn when they were called onto the floor to play musical arms, while the children gathered around to cheer them on! The party was now fully warmed up and everyone shared in the festive spirit including the Parish Youth who were present as helpers. Spot prizes were offered for various reasons and there was always someone up for a prize including a spry, young at heart gentleman of 84 who won for being the oldest person present. Another elimination game – Bombing the City - was played by children of all ages, with four of the youth representing the cities and this was followed by a free for all dance session to decide the best dancer. Prizes were awarded across the age groups from the smallest tot - who was certainly having a good time – to a very agile man who showed off his physical prowess in time to the music.
Jingle bells announced the arrival of Santa Claus who was almost lynched as he (she?) distributed jellybeans with a hearty ‘ho, ho, ho’. Then it was time to give thanks to His Eminence for his cheerful presence and the organisers who had spent time and effort in the planning, decoration and execution. Led by Henry D’Silva of the SVP which cares for the families from the Nagars, all present ‘thanked Jesus’ with one unanimous voice.
Following the Grace prayed by His Eminence, dinner was served.
Certainly, the ‘evening’ that ended at 10 PM, ably emceed by Joshua D’Silva, was an occasion of good tidings and great joy!