More than ushering in a holiday flavor and festivity, at the heart of its message, Thanksgiving is rooted in biblical notion of gratitude and the practical implications of living it authentically. The Indian contingent of priests serving in the archdiocese celebrated Thanksgiving with Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, at Immaculate Conception Church on November 24. Unlike the tri-monthly Indian priests’ gathering at various parishes, this celebration was unique as it served the triple purpose of gratitude to God: for the gift of priesthood (diocesan and religious), for the gift of priestly ministry in the archdiocese, and for the episcopal ministry of Archbishop Gustavo for the past nine years in the archdiocese.
Father Praveen Lakkisetti, administrator at Christ the King Church, host of the event, welcomed the priests as they came in after their particular Sunday ministerial commitments. Archbishop Gustavo joined them for a time of dialogue, sharing of experiences filled with faith and fun, and his own ministry in the archdiocese as shepherd. Gathering around the archbishop, the priests joined their voices in singing the national Anthem Janaganamana of India, as the archbishop led them in prayer. As a token of gratitude and support, the clergy honored Archbishop Gustavo with a traditional shawl from India. The unique part of the celebration was the photo session with the archbishop, as one Indian band of priests, as religious and diocesan priests, as students, deans so and so forth. Fitting to the occasion, all priest enjoyed a sumptuous Indian spicy meal, a joint venture of all culinary skills combined together. “It was indeed a time for rendering gratitude, sharing fraternity, and engaging in a dialogue,” said Father Lakkisetti.