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Catholic Priest Speaks at Kerala Mosque

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Vechoor: For a change, a Catholic priest in Kerala chose a mosque to deliver his sermon. Father Joseph (Sanu) Puthussery on August 31, visited the Juma Masjid at Vechoor in Kottayam district during the Friday prayers and delivered a thanksgiving speech at the masjid prayer hall. The Muslims had fed the flood victims who had taken shelter at his church that comes under Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese. St Antony’s Church at Achinakom in Kottayam district had sheltered more than 580 people rendered homeless by unprecedented floods that affected 12 of Kerala’s 14 districts mid August. “I straightaway went to the masjid, appraised the Maulavi about our difficulty and requested his help. After the day’s prayers, Muslim brothers came to the church with a large quantity of food and water as per his direction,” Fr Puthussery sais. Then he went to the mosque to meet the Maulavi and other authorities to thank them personally. “But they invited me to their prayer hall and offered me their platform to speak. It was a rare gesture of togetherness,” the Catholic priest said. The Catholic priest, who spoke for ten minutes, said, “We have just witnessed a historical deluge. It has robbed us of many things, but what it has removed mainly are walls that separated us, the pride in our hearts. It has taken from us the sense of self-sufficiency.” The priest had begun his talk by saying it was the first time he had entered a Muslim mosque and “I am happy and proud.” He stressed the need for continuing the interfaith collaboration to foster harmony in society. “This bond should not end with a deluge. We should pass the values we rediscovered through this calamity to the next generation.”