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Events : MAC - Solidarity Mass
on 2008/9/22 20:50:00 (1188 reads)

The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbour as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves - Eric Hoffer

On September 20, 2008, Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC) organized a mass to affirm the strong faith practiced by Catholics, express sorrow at the unprovoked church attacks and show support towards all Christian brethren in Mangalore and other parts of India. The theme of the mass was forgiveness and tolerance and was attended by a large gathering bound by a common cause and family ties. The initiative was supported and encouraged by numerous associations and prayers groups throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Fr. Edwin D’Souza, pastor of Sts. Martha and Mary Church, eagerly volunteered his time and church to offer this service. His homily moved the congregation to tears as he emphasized the need for patience, forbearance and open-mindedness. The choir, led by Merlyn Rodrigues, sung meaningful hymns that touched the hearts of all attending the service.

Mr. Maxim D’Mello, President of MAC then addressed the congregation and expressed his thanks to the many volunteers who arranged the service at short notice. He also declared that MAC had initiated an appeal and invited all the people to sign a petition which would formally be sent to the Prime Minister of Canada, Prime Minister of India, Chief Minister of Karnataka and the Indian Consulate General in Toronto.

The petition that was prominently displayed in the church hall highlighted the following:
• Deplorable and merciless violence against our brethren in Mangalore and other parts of India
• Unwarranted and intolerable attack on lives, church property and desecration of religious symbols
• Police brutality and apathy on the part of the Indian government

The appeal also reiterated the following to be implemented:
• Ensure justice is meted out to the perpetrators of this abhorrence and brutality especially the guardians of our society, the police
• Protect the constitutional and religious rights of the Christians in Mangalore, Karnataka and throughout India
• Provide compensation to the churches and schools that were rampaged and damaged as well as to all the victims that were assaulted
• Initiate measures to prevent this catastrophe from reoccurring towards any minority groups anywhere in India.

Over 300 signatures were collected on the petition and the evening ended with the entire congregation demonstrating in the words of Marianne Williamson “The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world”.

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