The Society of St Paul (SSP) and St Pauls Institute of Communication Education, Bandra welcomed all local Bandra residents, visitors, shoppers, local businesses, civic organizations, churches, schools, youth to show their community spirit by participating in their 1st evening of carol singing at Christmas at St Pauls : Choirs. Carols. Communities. Celebrations.
These pre-Christmas celebrations were in aid of the Fr. Ferrero Foundation. Proceeds from this event, will be sent to the foundation. The Fr. Ferrero Foundation, launched in the memory of Fr. B. Ferrero, the founder of SSP in India, provides educational relief to the poor, medical aid and other social aids helping the needy sections to live a healthy life. Donations made to the Trust are eligible for exemption under section 80-G of the Income Tax act.
The morning of Saturday, 15th Decembers, witnessed the first ever Christmas Bazar at St Pauls. The bazar offered festive discounts at the popular St Paul Book and Art Centre. NGO’s Alive, Arambh, who sold products made by their beneficiaries were a big hit with all visitors; Towel Kingdom, Delightful Indulgence Eats were also amongst the other popular stalls.
The spectacular Christmas at St Pauls: Choirs. Carols. Communities. Celebrations started sharp at 5.00pm, with a carol singing performance by the effervescent ‘Happy Bunch’ children’s choir, led by Sarita Manchanda.
Fr. Dominic, Director – St Pauls Institute, welcomed the Chief & Honored Guests, audience members and participants to partake in a community centric Christmas this year. He spoke about his thoughts encouraging community celebrations, ‘Christmas’ as a Gift for all, the Fr. Ferrero Foundation and shared his vision and aspirations, that this fest becomes as grand and popular as Celebrate Bandra fest. Rev. Fr Varghese Gnalian, the Provincial Superior, delivered the Christmas message and invited the gathering to share the joy of Christmas with their very life, by giving the spirit of Christmas with others.
We were glad to have in attendance, Mr. Ashish Shelar MLA, Bandra (W) & President- Mumbai BJP; presiding over the evening as the Chief Guest, lighting the Christmas Tree, and sharing his message for Bandra particularly at Christmas Time; Mr. Girish Anavkar, Senior PI at the Bandra West Police Station, endeared himself to the crowd, as he spoke about his humble beginnings, the importance of education, his plans to contribute to Bandra and society at large. Popular Hindi Film actor, Ms. Kareena Kapoor, took time of her busy schedule and graced us with her presence; as did Dr. S Pinto- Director, Ryan Int’l Group of Schools.
The celebrations continued, with melodious rendition of a medley of carols, led by Sr. Anna and the Daughters of St Paul’s Christmas Joy carolers. The PG students of the Institute, accompanied by their Course Directors, also put on a lively performance. Saving the best for the last, let the audience enjoy the beautiful sounds of the 20 voice Church at Powai Christmas choir led by Rev. Dr. C. Clements.
The evening witnessed the release of a Hindi Devotional musical album’ God’s Love’ by St Pauls India. By sundown, lucky winners took home prizes for their participation in Christmas Draw –in aid of the Fr.Ferrero Foundation.
A neighborhood that celebrates together stays together. Keeping the promise made to all the children in the audience, Santa Claus made a grand entry, met with little children and the audience, while distributing candies to everyone in the audience.
The evening came to a close, encouraging everyone to look at Christmas in a new way this year.