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24 Dec. It was a meaningful celebration of the Birth of the Lord Jesus at St Aloysius College, at 8.00 pm, here this evening. Besides the spiritual grandeur and dignity, giving much social importance was Mr George Fernandes, former Union Minister for Defence.
Fr Rector Francis Serrao SJ was the main celebrant at the Christmas Vigil. Concelebrating with him were Rev Frs Eugene Lobo (Principal), Gilbert Saldanha (High School HM), Denzil Lobo (IT), Clifford Sequeira (Middle School), Leo Pereira, Elvis Lewis, and Anand Pereira.
“Christmas is a hard reality,” said Fr Eugene Lobo, preaching a meaningful homily. It was hard for the parents of Jesus; they had no room of their own to give birth to Jesus. It was hard for the people of that time, who had expected the messaia. It was hard for the shepherds who received the good news of God’s birth. But they joyously took the good news to everybody else!
“Christmas was a hard reality for Jesus. He had no room of his own at his birth. But, he who had no room, made room for you and me!” Fr Lobo went to elucidate the message of Christmas – a festival of peace, joy and love. He exorted the 1000-odd congregation of the faithful to go and live this love, peace, and joy.
Fr Rector, at the end of the Mass, welcomed the special guest and our alumnus Mr George Fernandes to His Alma Mater. The respected former minister, who has done much to St Aloysius and to Mangalore.
In a chat with Fr Richie Rego, editor of the blog, he recalled his students day. Mr Fernandes was very sentimental, when he recalled how in 1942, he was studying in the Middle School; and there was agitation in the SACC Campus concerning Indian Freedom struggle. As the police started firing at the freedom-fighter students, Mr Fernandes , along with his few friends, collected a few stones and attacked the police from the Red Building (Now Aloysius or St Aloysius College Museumm).
A feeble Mr Fernandes, seemed to be very moved to be back at the SAC Campus, quite unwilling to go back!
Earlier, Fr Walter Albuquerque’s Christmas choir, ably assisted by Fr Denzil and others successfully heralded Christmas mood before and during the mass. Mr Lionel, Bukelo, High School and College staff with many other devoted people made this day and evening meaningful.
(photo credits: Ms Sandhya D’Souza & Mahima Bhat, II Yr Journalism & Fr Richie Rego). In the photograph above is seen Ms Mahima Bhat.