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Christmas, a time to ponder God born among men, and a time to foster peace among men

RANAU – Hundreds of people from all walks of life, including invited guests, attended the Ranau St Peter Claver Catholic Church Christmas Open House celebration that was held at the church’s compound on Friday, Dec 29.

Parish priest Fr Nicholas Stephen said when officiating the Christmas Open House, it was the third time that such an event was held at St Peter Claver since he was posted to serve in Ranau.

 “We are fortunate to be able to host such a celebration because many people around the world do not not have the opportunity to live through Dec 25 or go to Church because of illnesses, sufferings and other unfortunate conditions in the places where they live.

“This is the reason why we continue to organize a Christmas Open House, as well as that we priests cannot reach out to everyone during Christmas, but by inviting everyone to come here for the special celebration, we are able to meet each other,” he said.

Fr Stephen, or Fr Nick as he is widely known said, Christmas is not only a time where Christians everywhere give thanks to a loving God, but also a time for all to ponder God born among men.

He also took the opportunity to commend the people of Ranau for having done their best to foster peace within the community here, as well as helping one another especially during times of need. 

“That is why this Christmas Open House is organized for everyone, regardless of their status, age, racial or religious background.

“We are thankful that we can get to know each other through good times as well as hard times, and live harmoniously in this blessed land of ours.

“Blessed land, because here we can celebrate every occasion in the spirit of togetherness without feeling awkward. So let us celebrate Christmas and the new year 2019 in full  joy as everyone is special in the eyes of God regardless of their background,” he added.

As for the new year 2019, Fr Nick invited everyone, “Let us all cross the new year together in faith, hope and love, and while not knowing what lies ahead of us, we can be confident because when there is God in our heart, we know that there will be a tomorrow for everyone of us.”

     Also present were Fr Francis Tsen, Fr Daniel Jamilong, and Romo Augustinus from Larantuka Indonesia, MPPR chairman Verus Pinol and others. – Clarence Dol

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