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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


Advent And Christmas : Celebrating ; Promise, Joy & Hope.

Advent is the season of beginnings, contrasts with the end of our calendar year. Adventís prayerful pondering is jarred by shopping and holiday preparation. As season of Joy becomes a season of stress. Nevertheless, Advent is a time of expectant hope, when we look to the future and the past in order to focus on the present. Godís reign is in our midst!

The liturgical year helps us by breaking up time and inviting us to change. So here we are at the beginning of Advent. Together with the whole church, the bride eagerly waiting to see the promised groom at last. We call to him using the ancient words of the Bible: ďMaranathaĒ come, O come, Lord Jesus (Rev.22: 20). And as we await this coming we prepare our hearts to celebrate Christmas.

With the coming of the Advent on Sunday, December 3rd the church opens its new liturgical year, summoning all the faithful- young and old- to a renewal of their lives. The Holy Season of Advent, which comes 4 weeks before Christmas, is a time of preparation, to celebrate the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.

The Advent liturgy resounds with the longing cries of the Hebrew prophets, and John the Baptist preaching that the Lord is near. Hear their message still ringing through todayís dark winters. The brief meditation on the Gospels for the Sundays of advent may help you listen to their voices. Among the customs of advent, the Advent wreath is probably the most important. Lighting the Advent candles each day with a prayer can prepare your household for Christmas. For children, an advent calendar marking off the days before Christmas can be an aid for living the Holy season.

Christmas and advent customs appear everywhere today. True symbols that they are, the living traditions of the season bringing people and families together and connect us with our ancient faith. And they respond surprisingly to modern needs as well. The Christmas and advent seasons uphold so many precious realities presently endangered: birth, children, family and earth itself. In celebrating Christmas and Advent, keep their message for today in mind. In a world where nature and our environment are threatened, let us make our Christmas tree and manger scene remind us of the beauty and sacredness of nature. How closely at His coming did Jesus bind himself to the animals of the field, as well as to the earth and the open sky! Remembering the poor shepherds and the circumstances of Christís birth, so marked by poverty, let us make them remind us of the forgotten poor of the world.

Let the Child, Joseph and Mary teach us the dignity and importance of children and families in a society so neglectful of them. The Christmas seasonís rich traditions come from peoples throughout the world. Let them remind us of the unity of all people as the children of God.

Fr. Tony Andrade.

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