On Thursday, December 22, Cardinal Antoine Kambanda joined over 6,000 children in a mass held at Regina Pacis Catholic Church-Remera in Kigali to prepare for the Christmas celebration. During the mass, the Cardinal said, “All of you are a gift from God and a gift from God to the Church.” The Cardinal told children that Christmas is a joyful season and God’s gift to the Catholic Church. “All children are gifts from God, I urge you to appreciate the gift of life that God has given you through your parents, continue to appreciate them, biological or adoptive because they do everything possible to make our lives better,” he said. Cardinal Kambanda told the children that they are the source of great joy in their families. “Children should prepare for the birth of Jesus and welcome him as a saviour,” he said. He advised them to grow up with good habits and Christian values and pray to be Christians who can observe Jesus’ values. Christmas and New Year plans for Catholics At Giticyinyoni in Nyarugenge District, Caritas Kigali will share Christmas joy with vulnerable people on December 24 at 10:30 am. On December 24, Ruhengeri Cathedral will host a Christmas Eve mass led by Vincent Halorimana at 6pm which will be aired on Pacis TV’s YouTube channel. The Christmas Eve mass at Saint Michel will be led by Cardinal Antoine Kambanda and aired on Radio Maria. Other churches such as Regina Pacis will also celebrate Christmas Eve. On Christmas day, at 10:30 am, Kibungo Cathedral will host a Christmas mass led by Cardinal Antoine Kambanda and Mgr Vincent Halorimana. The Christmas mass in English will take place at Saint Michel and Regina Pacis at 9am while the mass in French will take Place at Christus at 11am. In his Holiness Pope Francis’s address to the Roman curia for the exchange of Christmas greetings on Thursday, he said: “Much has happened in the course of this year and, before anything else, we want to thank the Lord for all his blessings. Yet we hope that among those blessings is that of our conversion. Conversion is a never-ending story. The worst thing that could happen to us is to think that we are no longer in need of conversion, either as individuals or as a community.” “To be converted is to learn ever anew how to take the Gospel message seriously and to put it into practice in our lives. It is not simply about avoiding evil but doing all the good that we can. That is what it means to be converted. Where the Gospel is concerned, we are always like children needing to learn,” he added.