Online Christmas Celebrations

Something for Everyone

The SJBHS Christmas program was dedicated to the migrants, farmers in distress, the healthcare workers and the human rights activists languishing in jails especially Fr Stan Swamy, a Jesuit priest, missionary and champion of the rights of the indigenous people of Jharkhand.

The program began by asking: ‘What is Christmas?’ For SJBHS, Christmas is much more than yummy food, gifts and goodies. A ‘Gift of Warmth’ programme held earlier in December was a blanket collection drive for the poor and homeless while the ‘Santa with a cause’ drive was to collect items of use for the needy.

The Christmas video was broadcasted on all the online portals and garnered much praise. The message by the students on the true meaning of the festival, the story of the crib and the significance of the various regalia associated with Christmas – the Christmas wreath; the tree and its decorations; Santa and his elves, reindeer and magic bag; the goodies that smell and taste only of Christmas; to name but a few.

The fancy dress by the little Josephites on the figures associated with the birth of Jesus was accompanied by the celebration of Christmas. The dances by the students and teachers depicted cheer and happiness while the carols in English and Kannada were well appreciated. The story of Christmas was portrayed in the contemporary form of a passion play which was easy to understand yet had a depth that transported the audience to partake in the nativity tableaux, two thousand years ago!

A plethora of messages were interwoven into the programme to show the contribution of the entire Josephite family to the process of teaching and learning at SJBHS. Rev Fr Jerome Stanislaus D’Souza SJ, Provincial and President of JSCA (Jesuit Conference of South Asia), in his message expressed that the birth of Christ in a world of pain and death, in the year of the pandemic, invites us to be angels of good news, stars of consolation and beacons of hope for all, especially the poor.

Rev Fr Dionysius Vaz SJ, Provincial of Karnataka Jesuit Province and President of BJES (Bangalore Jesuit Educational Society), counselled the audience to stand in the light of Christ where love overcomes hatred, truth overcomes deceit and hope overcomes despair. Rev Fr Brian Pereira SJ, Vice President of BJES, wished everyone on behalf of the Jesuits of all St Joseph’s Institutions asking them to see things beyond the gloom and doom of the pandemic and to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the God of hope and the Prince of peace.

Our Principal of SJBHS Rev Fr Sunil Fernandes SJ said that every end brings hope of a new beginning. The staff and students should have hope that all the hard work of the year along with faith in God will bear fruit in the next year – in keeping with the school motto of Fide et Labore!

Rev Fr Joel Fernandes SJ, Primary School Administrator spoke on the need to count our blessings and express our gratitude to God while looking ahead to a bright new year. Mr. Uday Kumar, Vice Principal of SJBHS, had one wish for the staff and students - that the Saviour may bring peace to the distressed, love to the hopeless, comfort to the ignorant, joy to the broken hearted and health to the sick.

Rev Fr Michael John SJ and Rev Fr Clifford Sequeira SJ, former Principals of the institution, sent their greetings and asked the onlookers to build bridges by becoming messengers of joy, peace and reconciliation. Carols sung by the PTA and the wishes from the OBA showcased the fact that, at SJBHS, stakeholders are really collaborators!

The hour long programme came to an end with a clipping of a throwback video of students who took part in an online Christmas dance challenge earlier in December, the admin and security staff wishing the audience and a video of the decorations, crib and Christmas tree at the school – a nostalgia walk through for the audience as they were away from their beloved institution since the beginning of the academic year. A poignant reminder that the year going by was harsh but hope that the year to come will bring promise of a new tomorrow.

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