At Taipa parish, drawing contest seeks to teach the young that Jesus’ birth is the true reason for Christmas

Marco Carvalho

“There’s more to Christmas than Santa Claus, exchanging gifts or decorating the tree,” says Nair Cardoso, Portuguese-language catechesis coordinator in Macau, who says it is essential to convey the real reason why Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.

Serving the Church of Our Lady of Carmel in Taipa, Cardoso hopes that the challenge, that the parish has offered local children, can be seen as an opportunity for the younger generations to develop a greater understanding of the Nativity story and the genuine meaning of Christmas.

“From the younger ones, we expect drawings of the manger, the Nativity scene, baby Jesus laying in a crib. We are currently talking about this in catechesis. All the classes are exploring the Nativity story as a part of our preparation for Christmas and I am quite sure that the children will understand what the purpose of this initiative is: to invite them to reflect on Christ’s birth,” Nair Cardoso told O Clarim.

“On the other hand, the idea is also to promote a more joyous image of the parish. If among the competing artworks we find drawings of Our Lady of Carmel with the baby on her lap, these drawings will also be very well regarded,” explains the coordinator of the Portuguese-language catechesis group in Taipa.

Inspired by the Sacred Heart-inspired drawing competition that was recently organized by the Cathedral parish, the contest will also be broken down into different age-related categories. The winners of the best drawing, in all categories, will be announced on the fourth and final Sunday of Advent, December 18, the day when the Portuguese-language pastoral team of the parish of Our Lady of Carmel will organize its first-ever Christmas gathering.

“This drawing competition will run during the first two weeks of December. Then, on December 18th, the final Sunday of Advent, we will bring together catechists, children and their families and we will announce the winners of the competition,” Mrs. Cardoso says. “We are planning to create an online gallery with all the drawings that we receive and, then, we will announce the winners,” the catechesis’ coordinator adds.

The winners, Nair Cardoso told O Clarim, will receive a copy of the Portuguese-language edition Evangelho Diário para Jovens 2023 (Children’s Daily Word), a publication that was recently launched at the Diocesan Centre. “We are thinking of symbolically offering the 2023 edition of the book Children’s Daily Word, which was released in November by the local subsidiary of the Claretian Publications. I went to the launch, I bought the book, I’ve seen it and I consider it to be a spectacular way to help children to get closer to their parents, to their family and to their friends,” adds Mrs. Cardoso, who is also director of Saint Joseph’s International Nursery.