by Oscar Lobo
YERWADA- PUNE, JANUARY 9, 2014: It is significant that Christmas Day, 2013, witnessed an inter-religious get-together at the Sacred Heart Parish, Yerwada. His Lordship, Thomas Dabre – Bishop of Pune – interacted with a number of leaders of other religions. One of the highlights of this interaction was His Lordship's projection of the message of Christmas, as a festival of all people because in the coming of God in human form, Christmas underscored the human dignity of all peoples – irrespective of their religious affiliations. He exhorted the audience to strive for peace and live as one community.
Speaking on the occasion, Fr Anton D'Souza, the parish priest, touched on the neighborhood Christmas party held during the festive celebrations in the parish. 70 to 80 people –from various localities and religions participated. Once more, this gesture, initiated by lay members of the parish team, struck a chord with the Bishop's exhortation of the spirit of Christmas as an outpouring of the human dignity of all people, in an ongoing endeavour to live as one community.
Later, all the religious leaders jointly cut the Christmas cake. The Marathi choir, of the Sacred Heart Parish, delighted those present with Christmas carols.