Mangaluru, Dec 16, 2019: The Jesuit congregation of the city arranged Christmas celebrations at Fatima Retreat House (FRH) for eight orphanages consisting of over 400 children on December 15, Sunday afternoon. The celebration which gave cheer and an opportunity to display talents of the orphan children has become a tradition in the last few years at this serene venue FRH.
The lamp lighting was , unique by representatives of the 8 institutions doing the honours. The celebrations lasted more than three hours and was thoroughly enjoyed by the kids aged 5 to 15 years accompanied by their wardens. They were seen enjoying the plays, music, explanations and messages while they indulged in sweets and soft drinks. The kids in a cheerful mood had different roles in the variety of items and could be seen proudly moving around with makeup and costumes, their confidence at a high with hope and smiling. The celebrations were organised and presided over by the Rev Maxim Misquith SJ, director of FRH and supported by his colleagues and largehearted philanthropists. The sponsor was Richard Rodrigues of Karnataka Agencies among others. Emeritus director and well known former Head of Jesuit high schools, Rev Denis Rasquinha SJ, aged 90 years was the chief cheerleader who also taught a simple Kannada Christmas song which he had composed, to all the children, it thrilled all present, and was being hum even later.
Rev Francis Pinto SJ conducted the show in a unique homely style which allowed the joyful participation totally of all the children with true spirit. Rev Sharun SJ gave the Christmas message which brought cheer and a charismatic feeling among the participants, several senior citizens and youth too were present. Prof Olga Noronha for whom this activity is part of her mission was involved as always, many volunteers were appreciated.
At the end of the celebration after thoroughly enjoying the group dancing and full of cheer the children were given gifts and sweets, by a ’Real Santa’ to take home which completed their happiness and extended the feeling of ’Good Will and Cheer’ till the arrival of the New Year 2020.
The Institutions participating were : Jeevan Dhan, Gurpur; Prashant Nivas, Jeppu; Infant Mary, Kulshekar; Zeenat Baksh, Bunder; De Mercede, Paneer; Bhagini Samaj, Jeppu Market; Infant Jesus, Konchady; Stella Maris, Kotekar. All these institutions are well known for their good work among orphans and marginalised.