On Friday, December 6, the Redemptorist Junior Seminary in Colombo organised a Christmas event with the theme: “Witnesses of the Redeemer in a Wounded World”.
To promote respect, tolerance and understanding, the junior seminarians personally visited and invited 50 poor and struggling people (10 Buddhists, 10 Muslims, 10 Hindus and 20 Christians/Catholics) from the local community to participate in an evening of Christmas festivity and celebration.
The evening began with prayer, carol singing and a Christmas message. This was followed by the unveiling of a large banner of the Congregation’s sexennial theme, which had been hung on the façade of the seminary building for all to see. While drinks and snacks were served, the junior seminarians entertained the special guests with musical and cultural items, followed by some games. A moving moment was a video presentation produced by the seminarians, depicting images from our wounded world, in which they challenged everyone present to have greater care for and solidarity with each other and the environment.
Each guest was then presented with a large food hamper, too heavy for some to carry, which included rice, dhal, sugar, tea, flour and other essential dry rations. The evening concluded with a dinner pack being given to each guest to take home and share with their families.
Also unveiled during the evening was a specially designed shirt, to promote awareness of the theme of the XXV General Chapter. The shirts will be sold, together with an accompanying explanation card, to give a greater understanding of the theme and a picture adopted by the Region for 2020.
A number of benefactors generously supported the event, with some in attendance. Many of them acknowledged the importance of the evening – to encourage the students to ‘have a heart for the poor’ from the beginning of their formation and training. Fr Shiran Fonseka, the Director of the Junior Seminary and Regional Superior, expressed his pride in the students. “The boys have worked so hard, done so well and achieved so much. I’m so proud of them and I’m happy that they can be exposed to and participate in what the General Chapter has called Redemptorists everywhere to take up and embrace.”
Fr. David J. Hore, C.Ss.R.