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Rexband ‘rocks’ Nagpur with messages of love and forgiveness 

By: Lissy Maruthanakuzhy.

Nagpur: Rexband, the musical outreach of Jesus Youth Movement “rocked” Nagpur, central India, on November 27 with messages of love and forgiveness.

It was also an occasion for celebration for the decree of recognition awarded to the first Indian Catholic band at the Vatican in May 2016.

Over 5000 people participated in the three-hour long musical celebration.

Introducing the Rexband, Archbishop Abraham of Nagpur said: “This is not an orchestra. It is a conclusion of the celebration of blessing Jesus has showered on us during the past years.”

“This is a thanksgiving gathering named ‘Jubilation’– celebration of God’s blessings,” Fr Prashant Karavallil, Chaplain of Jesus Youth in Nagpur, noted.

“In line with the Jesus Youth, Rexband sees itself as a “missionary movement at the service of the Church,” said Archbishop Abraham Viruthakulangara of Nagpur, who is also an Ecclesiastical Advisor to Jesus Youth.

The Jesus Youth Movement was first approved by the Church in the Archdiocese of Nagpur.

On May 2, 2016, the movement received the Pontifical approval from Rome.

This is the first Indian and second Asian Missionary Movement to be approved by the Church”, Archbishop Viruthakulangara disclosed.

‘The Lord has brought a deep experience in our lives. Today, through this powerful music ministry we want to sing and praise God,” the prelate added.

“Out of the many ways of evangelization, music is the one that touches our hearts and souls deeply.

With Music being the key to influence the present generation, the Rexband was inspired to present and promote a brand of music that builds up, inspires, makes sense and above all expresses the joy that Jesus brings. The Rexband has always drawn its strength from the precepts of the Jesus Youth Movement. The band takes its contemporary nature, youth centricity and passionate love for Jesus from the movement,” Archbishop said.

Shelton Pinheiro, the leader of the Rexband said, “We derived our name from Jesus Christ the King (Christus Rex).”

“This is a moment of healing, a moment when Holy Spirit fill our lives,” said Shelton, who had brought the Rexband to Nagpur 10 years ago.

“When I was 21-years- old, I lost my father. My mother worked as a typist. We had no savings.

Everything was spent for the treatment of my father. I was afraid deep down. But outwardly I maintained a cheerful countence. My relatives told me, being the eldest in the family I had to take care of them. I was confused. In the silence of the night, one day, I knelt before Jesus and prayed. ‘I need a sign from you, Lord, that you are going to lead me,’ I cried out. Nothing spectacular happened. I felt deep inside that someone taking hold of my hand; not only of mine but of a larger group. I felt peace within me. Since then I have experienced the Lord leading through all my life,” Shelton Pinheiro who is the director of an advertising firm, told the gathering before beginning the first hymn of praise.

The 20-member team consists of 17 professional men and three women.

Mr George, director of Lufthansa, Frankfurt, Beena Manoj , an English professor from St Theresa’s College and her husband Manoj Sunny from Cochin, three from the Malayalam film industry, software engineers and music teachers comprise the team.

The band came together in the early 1990s after experiencing Christ through the Jesus Youth charismatic movement which was started in Kerala.

Beena Manoj said: “At a very young age when I was confused and broken the Lord came to my rescue and I surrendered to him, ‘Lord with your grace, I will do your will in my life.’ Ever since God has led me through my life and I have experienced so many good things in my life.”

“I value the presence of Jesus in my life. He gives me peace. No matter what your life is now, everything will be turned in to good for those who love him,” added Beena who has been with the Rexband for 25 years.

Jesus Youth is an international Catholic youth movement with a charismatic spirituality. It had its beginnings in Kerala, southern India, but is now active in most of the Indian states and nearly 40 different countries in the world.

According Archbishop Viruthakulangara, Jesus Youth is an initiative of young people themselves, who, filled with the Holy Spirit try to reach out to other young people. The strength of the movement is its special focus on a life centered on the Lord Jesus Christ, beginning with an experience of

God nourished by prayer, the Word of God, the sacraments and fellowship, and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with others.

Jesus Youth is a network of small but vibrant groups of young people, who in their own life situations strive to give time to the Lord and respond to the challenges of today’s world in the power of the Holy Spirit.

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