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The Diocese of Udupi organized the annual Christmas get-together with the media fraternity, both print and electronic, on Tuesday, 19 December 2023 at 12.30 pm at the Pastoral Centre (Anugraha) Kakkunje. This was the first time that the media fraternity met at the newly inaugurated ‘Anugraha’, the diocesan pastoral Centre. The get-together with the media fraternity commenced with multi-religious prayer.

The brief stage programme was presided over by Most Rev. Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of the Diocese of Udupi. Other dignitaries on the dais included Raghavendra Nayak-Guest Relations Managar, Malabar Gold and Diamonds, Udupi, Manjunath S.-Udupi District Information Officer, Rajesh Shetty-President of the Udupi District Working Journalists’ Association, Msgr. Ferdinand Gonslves-Vicar General of the Diocese of Udupi, Fr. Denis D’Sa-PRO of the Diocese of Udupi and Michael Rodrigues- Media Coordinator of the Diocese of Udupi.

 Fr. Alwyn Sequeira (OCD)-Editor of Udupi Diocesan Fortnightly “Uzwaad” welcomed the gathering. , Fr. Denis D’Sa gave a brief information about the Pastoral Centre “Anugraha’. He said that the basic infrastructures to run a diocese are the Bishop’s Secretariat/Bishop’s House, the Pastoral Centre and the Minor Seminary. Of these two of the basic infra-structures are competed the first being the Milagres Home for the retired priests in Kallianpur and the Pastoral Centre called Anugraha on 13 January 2022. The Pastoral Centre comes for the word Pastor meaning Shepherd. This pastoral takes care of the Pastoral, Spiritual, Social and the administrative training and formation of the clergy, religious and the laity.

In order to fulfill the spiritual, administrative and social empowerment there are 20 Commissions out of which 6 Commissions are headed by laity as Directors.  So far the Christmas Gettogeether with the media fraternity used to be held at the Parish Hall of the Mother of Sorrows Church, Udupi where the Bishop still resides in one of the sections of the old Kannada Medium School. This was the first time that the get-together is being held in ‘Anugraha”.

As the symbol of sharing the Christmas joy, the Christmas Cake was sliced by the Bishop along with the dignitaries on the dais. Slices of cake were distributed to all the participants in the Christmas Get-together.

Speaking on this occasion, Raghavendra Nayak, the chief guest expressed his happiness to be part of the get-together. He said that Jesus Christ who was born in simplicity manifested humility and spread the message of love and peace.  We all have a responsibility to spread the sane peace and harmony in the present day context.

Manjunath S.-Udupi District Information Officer conveyed the message of Christmas to all. He invited the gathering to build a community of peace and love.

Raajesh Shetty, in his speech, conveyed the greetings of Christmas to all the participants in the get-together. He said that he has been a regular participant in the annual Christmas Get-together of the Media persons. But since the last three years he has been sitting on the dais along with the Bishop being the President of the Udupi District Working Journalists’ Association which is a rare privilege given by God. He said Peace is the keyword today where humanity is lost due to hatred and war. Christmas is a festival of peace, love and harmony.

On this occasion, Harish Suvarna, an eminent television personality was felicitated by the dignitaries by offering him shawl, garland and fruits basket for being honoured with Udupi District Rajyotsava Award in November 2023. Michaels Rodrigues introduced Harish Suvarna to the audience.

In his presidential message of Christmas, Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo said that Christmas is the festival of the world that is being celebrated by people with great joy and happiness. In this festival Baby Jesus is the center of celebration. Jesus Christ is the gift from God to humanity. God loved the humankind so much that he sent His Only Son to the world to be one among them. The message of Christmas, that is, peace and love are sublime and are the need of the hour as the world is torn apart with hatred, conflicts and wars.

The Christmas Get-together with the Media Fraternity was attended by Fr. Valerian Mendonca-Rector of the Milagres Cathedral, Fr. Charles Menezes-Dean of Udupi Deanery, Fr. Roshan D’Souza-Chancellor of the Diocese of Udupi, Fr. Vincent Crasta-Secretary of CESU and Director of “Anugraha”,

Michael Rodrigues proposed the vote of thanks and Fr. Cyril Lobo-Director of Divya Jyothi compered the programme.

Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo distributed cake boxes attached with Christmas Greeting Cards to all the participants in the Christmas Get-together of the media persons.

Msgr. Ferdinand Gonsalves recited prayer before meal and the Christmas Get-together concluded with sumptuous lunch in the basement dining hall named “Ashirwaad”.

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