All India Catholic University Federation (AICUF) Members of St Aloysius College, Mangaluru Create a Unique CRIB with St Aloysius College as its Background
Mangaluru: Christmas celebrations are never complete without a Christmas crib and a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Also referred to as Nativity Scene or Manger Scene, Christmas crib represents how Jesus was born. The Christmas crib exhibits figures that represent infant Jesus, his mother, Mary, and her husband, Joseph. For those who celebrate Christmas, the nativity scene holds a special significance. On Christmas, the manger depicts the birth of Jesus Christ. When paired with other Christmas decorations, a nativity set can serve as an important reminder of what the holiday season is all about. Nativity sets can also be a great way to teach the younger ones the story of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in an interactive way that they may understand better.
Yours Truly of Team Mangalorean during a visit to St Aloysius College recently, could not take my eyes off to see the finesse and perfection of the figurines of the UNIQUE CRIB set beautifully arranged while you enter the main entrance of the college building. This crib was quite amazing to look at, which is quite different from many other cribs one may notice at other places. This Mega crib with the artistic replica of the administrative block as the backdrop was designed and constructed by the members of AICUF (All India Catholic University Federation (AICUF), is a students’ movement formed to develop leadership skills and increase social awareness) under the mentorship of Fr Felix Victor SJ, the Campus Minister. The spaces like Mother Teresa Peace Park are incorporated in the design. Aesthetically designed and decorated and illuminated by colorful lights and terrains, the crib is attracting students, staff and visitors every day.
The Crib was recently blessed by Rev. Dr Praveen Martis, SJ, Principal, with Initial prayer by Fr Vincent Pinto, SJ, Finance Officer at the College. Principal had expressed his gratitude and commendation to the committed students of AICUF who have worked tirelessly coming on Saturday afternoons and Sundays to complete the work of the crib ahead of time. He had mentioned that, It is heartening to see so many students staying back after the classes and working passionately to make the campus their second home, beautifying it, keeping it clean and feeling proud of it.
Fr Vincent Pinto appreciated the hard work and efforts of the students in crafting a wonder of sorts at the entrance of the College Admin block. He said that it was the best crib that he has seen in the College so far. Registrar, Dr Alwyn D’Sa, students of AICUF, Fr Felix Victor, Anup Veigas (Faculty) , Directors, members of the teaching and non teaching staff were present on the occasion. The choir added value to the occasion by rendering some melodious Christmas carols.
There are various other characters that are part of the Christmas crib. These characters include shepherds, sheep and angels. As described in the ‘Gospel of Luke’, all these characters are displayed near the manger in a barn (or cave) which is projected to accommodate farm animals. A donkey and an ox are also a part of this scene and Magi and their camels are also included. These characters are described in the ‘Gospel of Matthew’. However, there are various cultures which add characters that may or may not be Biblical.
It is learnt that the first nativity scene was created by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1223. With an aim to promote Christ worshiping, He designed the Christmas crib. This live scene became so popular among different communities that throughout the Catholic Churches this tradition became a part of Christmas celebration. Nativity scenes are displayed in churches, homes, shopping malls and various other venues where Christmas is celebrated. Some Christmas cribs are decorated beautifully with colorful lights to make them look brighter and better. Another way to decorate Christmas cribs is with plants, which is a natural and beautiful way to decorate your Christmas crib.. Also sand and straws are few of the elements to decorate Christmas cribs. Some use ice-cream sticks to make Christmas cribs at home. Some Christmas cribs are made up of wood, and a few others were decorated with lights, grass, sand and straws. Few Christmas cribs are made with cardboard too.
The AICUF Crib team consisted of Bleston, Affin, Mishel, Romero, Simbrel, Denzil, Rawlin, Shaina, Rayan, Amith, Sooraj, Alison and Reeva. The crib took nearly two weeks to arrange, under the guidance and support of Fr. Felix Victor SJ-the College Campus Minister and the association mentors. Bleston was in charge during the making of the Crib, and the idea of having St Aloysius College as the backdrop was that of Simbrel, and the college artistic was made by Mishel and Affin
In conclusion, in my perspective-Making the crib is celebrating God’s closeness, it is rediscovering that God is real, concrete, alive and palpitating. The crib offers us another lesson in life. In today’s frenetic rhythms it is an invitation to contemplation. It reminds us of the importance of stopping. Because only when we know how to gather can we welcome what matters in life. The crib is more relevant than ever, while every day many weapons and so many violent images are made in the world, which enter the eyes and the heart. The crib is instead a handcrafted image of peace. This is why it is a living Gospel. From the crib we can finally grasp a teaching on the very meaning of life. It is right, because the crib reminds us that Jesus comes into our concrete life. And, this is important. To make a small crib at home, always, because it is the memory that God came to us, he was born of us, he accompanies us in life, he is a man like us, he became a man like us.