The cold winter is usually associated with the festive season — Christmas and the New Year. However, the church functions and spreads message of love and God throughout the year. Priests and nuns all over the world try to spread the message of love and respect for fellow beings, and to dedicate one’s life in the service of mankind, like Jesus did.
The period between October 11, 2012, and November 24, 2013, is being marked as the “Year of Faith” where Catholics have been asked to study themselves and reflect the knowledge of their faith and deepen it. Father Malcolm of St. Patrick’s Church, Hadapsar, says their church has been praying for strengthening the faith of people in God, and for this, they have a special prayer. “During the monsoon, we prayed for rains so that there would be a good harvest. Besides, our church prays for peace and harmony in the country,” he adds. On Christmas eve, there is a holy mass, which includes many prayers like the opening prayer and the offertory prayer.
Father John of St. Ignatius Church, Kirkee, says, “We have a special programme, where we talk about love and unity in the world. There is so much violence that needs to be ended. We pray so that violence, terrorism and hatred end and love and harmony flourish. This is the prayer of praise and worship of the Lord, which is also called the adoration prayer.”
Since the world today faces problems such as global warming, St. Ignatius Church prayed for a greener and eco-friendly world. “In August, we had organised an event to plant trees,” Father John said.
Father Saju John from the Restoration Christian Church, Pimpri, believes that praying is a way to commune to God. “When we pray, every time it comes from our heart. We pray for our country and ask god to bless our rulers, superiors and administrators, and give them strength to take our society towards happiness,” he says. “We pray whenever time calls for, like we pray during elections so that God blesses all candidates and gives them strength to fulfil their duties and for the smooth functioning of the electoral process. We pray for people of all religions, races and countries,” he adds.
According to Father John, this year is making Christmas special by stressing on the love of the Father. On New Year’s eve, the churches pray for the year gone by,