Traditional Day 2015
Inter-Faith Prayer Service
“The whole purpose of religion is to facilitate love, compassion, patience, tolerance, humility and forgiveness.”-Dalai Lama XIV
On 3rd Dec. 2015 an Inter-Faith Prayer Service was conducted on the feast of the patron saint of our college, Francis Xavier. The diverse, multilingual function was a welcome change from the traditional Catholic Mass and very significant keeping in mind the narrow attitude towards religion and environment globally.
The service began by viewing the video “Sing for the Climate.” Its thought-provoking lyrics inspired a blend of all faiths, genders, and ages united by the common goal of environmental justice.
Late pop star Michael Jackson’s peace anthem “Heal the World” was then brought to life once more by Fr. Terence and Fr. Roy and all joined in to express their solidarity
Fr. Prashant soon followed with an impactful presentation on the prophetic role of the Jesuits and Pope Francis in the context of climate justice and communal harmony. He also led the gathering through a brief, yet powerful, meditation session, which made all conscious of the need of the hour.
Intercessory prayers were then narrated by Gulshan Shaikh as visuals were displayed on the screen which addressed topics like climate change, migration and the recent summit in Paris.
The audience was then empowered by the Sufi gospel fusion “Bol” by Sonam Kalra. She urged the people to speak up and speak out and the gravity of the situation was truly felt by all.
Our Rector, Fr. Anthony J. D’Souza enlightened us on “Jesuit tradition of New Frontiers and Francis Xavier”.
Carrying forward the blend of world cultures and religions, ‘Inter-faith Prayers for Creation’ was a meditative reading of excerpts from various religions.
After the devotional singing of “Be Faithful” to our tradition of peace by our AICUF members, a brilliant fusion dance of Kathak and Bharatnatyam on the five elements of nature was performed by Labdhi Vora and Anoushka.
At the end Susanne shared her experience of the recent visit to the coal mines in Ranchi and the horrific situation there thus raising questions about India’s stand at the Paris talks to continue with the use of coal for energy.
Anoushka Dutta, the compere, got all to join in as we enthusiastically participated in “Sing for the Climate”.
On a personal note, the Inter-Faith Prayer Service was a gathering so intense and powerful that some of the visuals and words still resonate within me. We in Xavier’s are academically challenging the students, motivating them to go beyond their capacities and preparing them for life beyond our institution. I hope that this service which was conducted is only the beginning of more activities that will make our students stronger spiritually to complete their holistic formation. We must urge our young adults to look beyond their routine rituals, and learn that accepting all faiths is an enrichment of self, which would make us stronger and better human beings. The change of such an attitude from within will definitely be like a spark that will ignite many and eventually spread and embrace all.