The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church has celebrated Christmas with a difference in Tiruvalla by honouring people from different walks of life who have been doing praiseworthy service to society for the past several years.
Presiding over the function, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Tiruvalla, Thomas Mar Koorilos, said the initiative of the Church came in the backdrop of the Pope declaring the year a special Jubilee Year of Mercy, The Hindu reported.
Pope Francis called on Catholics around the world to use the ongoing Jubilee Year of Mercy to open wide the doors of their hearts to forgive others and to work against social exclusion, even of those that may have caused them bother or upset, the Archbishop said.
A Jubilee year is a special year called by the Catholic church to receive blessing and pardon from God and remission of sins.
Problems of society
The problems of the society must be resolved with the oil of mercy and not with weapons and taking this into account, the Church thought of honouring people who have been contributing to the work of mercy in and around Tiruvalla as part of this year’s Christmas celebrations, the Archbishop said.
Kanmani, a differently abled girl who does exquisite paintings with her legs; Jayaprakash who draws beautiful pictures with his artificial limbs; Maneesh Susan Philip who got this year’s Presidential Award for best self-employment undertaking; Suresh from Kottoor who took part in the Special Olympics held in Los Angeles; Dr Jayakumar, Cario-thoracic surgeon who has done the first successful heart transplant at the Kottayam Government Medical College; Lalan the saviour of destitutes in Central Travancore; Rev A.C. Kurien, Senior Vicar General of the Mar Thoma Chruch who has been doing praiseworthy palliative care service at the Pushpagiri Medical College; Fr Ignatius Thangalathil and Fr Philip Valiakavumkal who run a chain of care homes; Sr. Mercilit who runs a special school with over 100 students; and heads of the Red Cross Society, Satyam Ministries were among those who have been honoured at the function.
Joseph Marthoma, Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church; Kuriakose Mar Gregorios, Bishop Thomas Samuel of the Church of South India, and Blessy, film-maker, were among those who addressed the function.