yearly tradition: Eight-year-old Joseph Brown touches a doll version of baby Jesus as Deacon Roy Raghunanan looks on during the Feast of Holy Innocents mass yesterday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church at Harris Promenade, San Fernando. —Photo: INNIS FRANCIS

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Priest: Please watch over your 'innocents'

By Innis Francis innis.francis@trinidadexpress.com

The few parents who attended the traditional Feast of Holy Innocents at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church on Harris Promenade, San Fernando yesterday, were cautioned to be aware of the people surrounding their children.

Monsignor Christian Pereira, who officiated at the service, warned the parents of the perilous times that we are living in.

He said parents should be concerned with their children's acquaintances, the places they go and the people they meet.

He turned to the children and warned that they should not take money from strangers. He said their parents should be the only ones to give them cash.

The Feast of Holy Innocents is observed on December 28, in commemoration of the slaughter of male children, two years old and under, in Bethlehem when King Herod attempted to kill the infant Jesus.

Children are taken to church to have their Christmas toys and gifts blessed.

Pereira said: "Many boys, many children died just recently. Did you all hear about that in America? That don't happen in Trinidad, I hope it never happens by us. Some man come and killed plenty children and there was a lot of sadness in that place. The Americans were sad and when we heard about it we were very sad that a lot of little children were just being killed.

"Even today many little children are being guided and sometimes they would bring a little box of KFC for you, and you ask them who give that to you? Little friends and sometimes people bring a little treat to you, a little $100, and tell you I will give you this $100 if you doing something for me. You have to be very careful as children because the only people who supposed to give you money is your parents. Only your mummy and daddy should give you money and the priest."

He said sometimes children appear unhappy, but adults need to learn to understand their children.

He said teachers have an important role to play in the lives of children.

Pereira said it was his wish that parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents and teachers assume their roles to guide and protect children to be free from danger at school, home and on the streets.

After singing Christmas carols and performing skits remembering the birth of Jesus Christ, the children gave an account of the biblical definition, called the Alphbibicalchristmas, for the birth of Christ.

Pereira asked the children to promise that before the new school term begins they give something special to their parents that is priceless. He said that gift should reflect the love they had for their parents that money cannot buy.

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