The local archdiocese held the event in lieu of decorations and celebrations. Blankets, towels and protective masks were handed out. For Bishop Mascarenhas, marginalised rickshaw pullers have to fight for their survival. Archbishop Toppo thanked God for giving us such workers.
Ranchi (AsiaNews) – Christmas Day was celebrated in a very different and special way in the Archdiocese of Ranchi (Jkarkhand) this year. There were no big decorations or extravagant celebrations; instead, the concept was to give to the poor, the underprivileged and the marginalised.
At the Archbishop's residence, there were no decorations, no illuminations, and no festive meal. A huge community meal was provided at the Loyola grounds for over 2,000 rickshaw pullers.
Sisters, Fathers, friends and well-wishers of the archdiocese were advised to give money to a charity rather than bring flowers or cakes as gifts.
With the great support of various congregations, friends and well-wishers, a festive non-vegetarian meal was served to the rickshaw pullers. A blanket, a gamcha (a traditional towel), a shawl and a mask were given to each of them.
Speaking on this occasion, Auxiliary Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas explained how rickshaw pullers suffered during the COVID-19 lockdown, left without work, still struggling to put their lives back on track.
On Christmas Day, Christ became a poor child, and the Catholic community wished to share love with these friends, who in cold and in heat, rain or shine, struggle to serve the common man.
In the prayer recited over the meal, Archbishop Felix Toppo of Ranchi thanked God for the gift of the rickshaw pullers; he prayed for all those who contributed to the event, especially the benefactors whose sacrifices helped the cause.
With grateful hearts, the rickshaw pullers went home; one of them said: “I have never eaten such good food in a year.”
Shri Bandhu Tirkey, MLA for Mandar, and Shri Rajesh Kachhap, MLA for Khijri, attended the event.