Joy of Christmas at the World of ‘Heal & Comfort’! Christmas celebrations at Father Muller Charitable Institutions (FMCI) in Grandeur
Mangaluru: Christmas is one of the most important as well as popular festivals celebrated, and it is the kind of festival that is so popular that it is celebrated in more than 160 countries throughout the world, by adults and children alike. Christmas is celebrated by those following the religion of Christianity, though the festival has universal appeal, across all religions. And locally, one health care institution that celebrates Christmas in grandeur and glitz is Father Muller Charitable Institutions, with existence of nearly 140 years, with the motto “HEAL & COMFORT”.
Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, who in the Christian religion, is also known as ‘The Son Of God’. Although there are many interpretations, the traditional narrative behind Christmas celebrations is that Jesus’ parents, Joseph and Mary, arrived at the city of Bethlehem, but had no lodgings. They were confined to a stable in an inn, which is where Jesus was born. This traditional narrative is known as The Nativity of Jesus. Children are given importance in Christmas, as they receive gifts from their parents and the famous Santa Claus, who has acquired a mythic status through the years and is celebrated with eagerness and enthusiasm by children, who are told that he will bring gifts for them by coming down the chimney and placing them right below the Christmas tree, on the night of Christmas. And the true meaning of Christmas was depicted through various songs, dance and skit at FMCI Christmas celebration.
Father Muller Charitable Institutions organised a magnificent Christmas programme, on 14 December 2019, at the parking lot/premises at the hospital entrance. The programme was organised, especially, for the patients, admitted to the hospital. It began, with a prayer dance. Fr Richard Aloysius Coelho, Director, Father Muller Charitable Institutions, extended a cordial welcome to the gathering and introduced the chief guest to the audience.
Fr Coelho further said, ” Christmas season is the perfect time to share joy and peace among people. While our hospital celebrates 139 years of existence, the loyalty that inspires in providing care is a strength which helps to carry on the vision, “Heal and Comfort the suffering humanity with compassion and respect’. As our ministry theme is “Love and Serve the faithful after the example of Christ”, this is a great opportunity to serve the mankind with preventive and promotive health care at the doorsteps of the community. Rejoicing the coming of Jesus, we at FMCI would like to share the spirit of Christmas among people of different faith, and everyone is always welcomed at our hospital irrespective of caste and creed”.
After the release of Christmas Bulletin and also the FMCI 2020 Calendar, the chief guest of the evening Dr Annaya Kulal Ulthur-the President of Indian Medical Association-Mangaluru Chapter addressing the audience said, “I have worked at various health care institutions in Mangaluru, but unfortunately didn’t get an opportunity to work at one of the prestigious and renowned institutions which has been serving the suffering humanity for the past 139 years. During this Christmas season, we have a relevant and timely message – Love thy neighbour and be compassionate to others. It is the will of God. Over 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ was born in the humblest place imaginable; an ordinary stable in Bethlehem. God sent his only son to this world of cruelty, nepotism, jealousy and poverty, to bring his light, into the world of darkness”.
It is human, to pray for our own desires, but it is divine, to pray for the needs of others. It is also necessary, that we lift up the needs of our fellow beings, in prayer and have faith in the Almighty. All religions, preach the message of love and compassion and hence it is required of us, to replicate the same. We also need to emphasize the importance of ‘practice what you preach’. India is a land of rich culture and everyone should work hard towards building India and protecting its culture. Mothers should nurture young minds by filling them with moral values and love. When we work towards educating children, then our festivals find meaning. Patience is most rewarded; when it is lost, society tends towards destruction. We should all work in unity to maintain peace and harmony-in the eyes of God we are all equal and we should never incite communal riots and hatred among different faiths” added Dr Kulal.
To usher in the festive look, a lucky draw contest was held for the audience, and the proceedings were handled by Fr Ajith Menezes, one of the Administrator’s at FMCI. Prizes in the form of delicious Christmas cakes were presented to the winners. The entry of Santa Claus brought lots of laughter and joy among the audience, and the children were the happiest ones since they got goodies from Santa Claus. Dr Sanjay Fernandes from Dept of Anatomy along with a bevy of other singers rendered a thoughtful Christmas carol. The vote of thanks was proposed by Dr Avitha, and the programme was meticulously compered by Dr Alveera D’Souza and Dr Abhilash Vasanth.
Administrators, Assistant Administrators, Spiritual animators, Principals, Heads of various units of FMCI, staff and students joined in the joyous Christmas celebration. The audience witnessed scintillating performances, showcased by various units of FMCI. The students of the institute, also presented delightful performances, including a play on the birth of Jesus Christ, tableau messages and multilingual Christmas carols were sung on the occasion. A prayer dance was performed by students of Fr Muller School of Nursing; Medley of Christmas carols by the staff of FMMCH; Dance by Fr Muller Hospital-Thumbay; Dance by BASLP students; tableau by Fr Muller College of Nursing; Dance by Allied Health Sciences students; and Mime by Fr Muller Homoeopathic Medical College-Deralakatte.