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Dear brothers and sisters, and the viewers of this web site Barkur.com, I am Fr. Joseph Anthony Andrade better  known as Fr. Tony Andrade. I was born and brought up in Barkur. My primary education was in Barkur. In 1980 I joined the seminary to become priest and was ordained to the Holy Order of priesthood on the 19th of December, 1992. I served a short period of time in Bangalore (India) and then went to the USA to serve in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in the state of Minnesota. Presently I am the parish priest of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church located in St. Paul, Minnesota (visit our web site:- www.stthomasap.org).

I Hope and pray this column "Spiritual Corner" will inspire many viewers of our Barkur.com web site. As all of us know the need of spirituality in our daily life. We walk our faith journey trusting in God our creator and we are certain one day we will meet our creator God in Heaven. Meanwhile here on earth we need good insights to enlighten our minds and hearts in our spiritual life. in this column I will write articles which will be short and precise that may help our interested viewers to reflect on their own spirituality. I welcome others also to share their articles and reflections. This column is open to all the faith denominations. What is important is that we inspire each other on our own spiritual journey.

My sincere thanks to Kishoo de Barkur, the designer of this beautiful web site, and for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts and reflection on our Barkur.com web site.

Fr. Joseph Anthony Andrade


 

CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS OF CHRISTMAS.

Dear brothers, sisters, and viewers of web site www.barkuronline.com,

Year after year, during the wintry month of December, we joyfully celebrate the great feast of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. This feast brings much happiness to all of us. Parishes around the world, in order to celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way, prepare thoroughly for this important event during the four weeks of Advent

Among the customs of Advent, the Advent wreath is probably the most important. Lighting the Advent candles each day, with a prayer, can serve to prepare your household for Christmas. For children an Advent calendar, marking off the days before Christmas, can be an aid in living out this holy season.

In India hanging the Christmas Star is another important custom for families. Hanging a star in front of the house or near the manger scene is a beautiful tradition practiced by families for many years. When I was a little boy we used to make our stars out of bamboo sticks and then we covered the sticks with colored papers.

Our Christmas Stars now can be purchased and every year I bring some back to my parish in the US to add to the church decorations. I have also given stars to my parishioners. In the picture above you can see how the children in the parish love their Christmas Star.

Today Advent and Christmas customs are celebrated everywhere. These symbols and traditions of the season bring people and families closer together and connect us with our ancient faith. They also respond to our modern needs as well. The Advent and Christmas seasons support the many precious realities of everyday life such as; the unborn, children, family life and the earth itself. During these special days we need to keep in mind the true meaning of this holy season.

In a world where nature and our environment are threatened, let us make our Christmas tree and manger scene a reminder of the beauty and sacredness of nature. How closely Jesus bound himself to the animals of the field as well as to the earth and open sky! Remembering the poor shepherds and the circumstances of Christís birth, marked by poverty, let them serve as reminders to us of the forgotten poor of the world.

Let the Holy Family teach us the dignity and importance of children and family life that is so neglected in todayís society. The Christmas seasonís rich traditions come from people throughout the world. May these precious days remind us of our oneness as children of God.

DEAR VIEWERS OF THE WEB SITE BARKURONLINE.COM AND THE READERS OF MY ARTICLES, I WILL BE ON VACATION VISITING MY HOME TOWN BARKUR (SOUTHERN PART FO INDIA) FROM THE 28TH OF DECEMBER 2003 TO 5TH OF FEBRUARY 2004.  SO THIS IS MY LAST ARTICLE FOR THIS YEAR. I TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO THANK KISHOO DE BARKUR  FOR GIVING ME THIS  OPPORTUNITY  TO SHARE MY TALENTS  AND WISDOM  IN WRITING THIS ARTICLES. MAY GOD BLESS US ALL AND HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS.

FR. TONY ANDRADE

FOR ARCHIVES......

 

Barkur, located in Udupi Taluk, Karnataka, India. 576 210

 kishoos@emirates.net.ae

Copyright Kishoo, Barkur 2002.