‘Nathalache Fest Sambhram’ at ‘Athma Jyothi Ashram’ held in Fervour & Devotion

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‘Nathalache Fest Sambhram’ (Feast Of Nativity Of Jesus Christ (Christmas) Celebration) at ‘Athma Jyothi Ashram’, Souza Lane, Kadri Road, Mangaluru n Fervour & Devotion

Mangaluru: Small Ashram, BIG Sambhram! Athma Jyothi Ashram- a Counseling and Healing Centre run by Capuchin Fathers celebrated ‘Christmas Eve Mass’ with Devotion and Fervour, with a limited number of faithful, but in a true and blissful manner. Even though the faithful did not turn up in large numbers, but the regular and patrons of this Centre joined in to celebrate the World’s BIGGEST Feast with total devotion, tradition and fervour at this small worship place named ‘Athma Jyothi Ashram’ located on Souza lane, Kadri road-Mangaluru. Athma Jyothi Ashram is run by Fr Peter Cyprian D’Souza and Fr Dolphy Devdas Serrao, belonging to the Congregation of Capuchin Fathers.

This is an Ashram where on other days devotees flock for counselling, and spiritual healing. This Ashram is so active and live in its activities under the able leadership of energetic Fr Cyprian D’Souza and Fr Dolphy Serrao, not only Christmas Celebrations, but they also celebrate Easter, Month Fest, among other feasts – the entire place is lit up with extensive colourful lighting and decorations, which no other Catholic religious institution in the City puts in so much efforts. And I feel proud to be the neighbour of this small but active religious place, where there is so much devotion and religious activities, that I am blessed to be associated with the duo Capuchin fathers.

The attendance for the Christmas Eve mass was predominantly mixed, from Seniors, children, and middle-aged devotees. Fr Dolphy Devdas Serrao in his homily highlighted that God is not far from us. He is close to us. He is Emmanuel. God is with us. He understands our feelings. He understands our problems. He doesn’t punish us, rather redeems us. He is very close to the poor and needy. That’s why the birth was first revealed to the Shepherds. Being human He has enhanced our life and the dignity of human beings.

“Just like a newborn child brings great joy and happiness in the family, Infant Jesus has brought about great joy and happiness in the world to the entire universe trying to bring about unity in the world amidst violence and hatred. The rulers in the world try to suppress and oppress people and show their authority, Jesus King of the world serves and loves the people. Let us share the peace, kindness, goodness of Jesus with others,” added Fr Serrao.

No doubt, at this small Ashram Christmas was celebrated with traditional fervour and enthusiasm, and the choir rendered melodious carols, which were soothing, under the leadership of Antony Martis-the Choir leader and Keyboard player, joined by singers namely- Ronald Machado and his wife, Ms Philomena Machado, and Ms Merlyn Misquith. With hymns and carols, the fervour of the festive season was felt very much among the faithful who attended the mass. People of all age groups dressed in their best attires were seen at the mass to celebrate the day with fellow believers, for the joyous occasion of the birth of Baby Jesus.

While many other Catholic parishes celebrated ‘Christmas Eve’, this Small Ashram, also celebrated the Birth of Jesus’ in a ‘BIG Sambhram’! Both Fr Cyprian D’Souza and Fr Dolphy Serrao, along with guest Capuchin priest from St Anne’s Friary, Mangaluru, Fr Gerald Lobo who also joined in the Eucharistic mass extended their fond wishes to those who couldn’t join in the festive mass, with Happy Christmas greetings!

In conclusion, in my perspective, Christmas is the festival of Peace, Joy and Enthusiasm celebrated with great cheer, and which is also an occasion of family reunion where members of the family living and working at a distance and different places join together in merry-making at one place and enjoy themselves. And such enthusiasm was seen at Athma Jyothi Ashram, where both Fr Cyprian and Fr Dolphy embraced the faithful gathered at the mass as their family members with love and respect.

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