Bishops' Christmas message: Find true light of Christmas, let it transform lives
Traditionally, believers make their way to the Cathedral of Immaculate conception in the Seychelles capital Victoria for Christmas Mass last year. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Christians in Seychelles on Sunday joined the rest of the world in celebrating Christmas, as worshipers flocked to their parishes to attend Christmas Day mass.
As Catholics celebrate this important event, Roman Catholic Bishop Denis Wiehe and the Right Reverend James Wong of the Anglican Diocese sent messages of love and hope to the many believers in the country. More than 80 percent of Seychelles’ residents say they are Christian, according to national statistics.
Bishop Wiehe said his wish for the people of the island nation is “to find the true light of Christmas which has not been visible for the past few years.”
|The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Seychelles Denis Wiehe calls on Christians to rejoice at Christmas and celebrate with family and loved ones. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Wiehe said that although a lot of effort is put into decorations in the island’s capital Victoria to illuminate the town during the festive season, traditional representations of the end-of-year symbols have been missing.
Referring to the Vatican’s Christmas tree erected in St. Peter's Square, Bishop Wiehe said he hopes next year there will be a similar project in Seychelles.
“My wish is that next year a large Christmas tree and a crib be erected in Victoria together with the wonderful and joyful lights and traditional symbols of our end-of-year celebrations.”
As he called on Christians to rejoice at Christmas and celebrate with their family and loved ones, Bishop Wiehe said he hopes that “during this joyous season, each one of us may find the true light Christmas”.
“May God, who has shown, his tenderness and his mercy in a special way during the last year, bless your family and each of you,” Wiehe concluded.
For his part, Right Reverend Wong called on worshipers to “invite the light of God to fill you with his presence and his peace.”
Wong said on the first Christmas, Jesus Christ was born and “that light still transforms today regardless of how hopeless, alone or broken we and the society in which we are living in may be.”
|Reverend James Wong told fellow believers "at this Christmas time let us ask God to transform our life of darkness into a life of light." (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
He said many people are experiencing injustice, divisions in the family because of political allegiance and religious belonging, inequality between the rich and the poor, domestic and gender violence, addiction to substances and refusal to forgive one another that darken their lives and families.
“At this Christmas time let us ask God to transform our life of darkness into a life of light. Ask Jesus to be born in our heart anew,” he said.
Wong said he hopes “the spirit of Christmas brings us a new vision, a new direction in our lives so that as we are blessed, may we be a blessing to our brothers and sisters.”
Christmas day in Seychelles is traditionally spent among family members where everyone comes together to share a special lunch or dinner.