Udupi, Dec 23, 2015: A huge bell 8 x 8 feet, was the center point at the entrance of the Mother of Sorrows Church as part of the Christmas celebrations at the ‘Souharda Christmas’ celebrations here on Dec 22, Tuesday.
The bell was constructed by former municipal councillor and social worker Nityananda Volakadu and his team. Volakadu said that it had taken two days to make it, with cotton cloth and foam with a light to light it.
The inauguration by Sugunendra Tirtha Swami of Puttige Mutt and Most Rev Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi Catholic Diocese here was an event. The bell with the star-shaped sky lanterns around it added to the beauty of the church surroundings. When the lamp inside the bell and the sky lanterns were lit, there was a big round of applause.
Earlier, a skit titled ‘Mamatapura Colony mathu Mary ajji’, which focused on the teachings of Jesus Christ was staged by the students of St. Mary’s English Medium High School.
Speaking at the inaugural, Sugunendra Tirtha said that it was necessary for religious leaders of all faiths to meet often as it would lead to harmony among various religions. It would also help tackle problems such as climate change and terrorism which were posing a challenge to the entire world.
“As a Hindu head of a mutt, I am happy to participate in the Christmas celebrations here. Religious leaders should participate in the festival of one another. It will send a message of peace and compassion in the society. All people should celebrate Krishna Janmashtami, Christmas and Ramzan,” he said.
The seer said that all religions preached compassion. Development could take place only when there was peace. Pope Francis had taken an initiative to tackle climate change. He had attended a programme on climate change at the invitation of the Pope in Vatican a couple of months ago, the seer said.
Rev Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi Catholic Diocese, said that people should respect other religions just as they respected their own religion. He was presiding over the ‘Souharda Christmas’ celebrations at the Mother of Sorrows Church. Dr. Lobo said that people should work for the creation of a peaceful society. All religions preached peace, love, kindness, and non-violence , he said.
Mohammed Yasin Malpe, Convener, Forum for Humanity, Vincent Alva, Professor at Milagres College, and Fred Mascarenhas, parish priest, were present.