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Newsletter. Issue 26. December 21, 2013

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People Places and Things
55 Plus Goan Association Christmas Dance

Click photos to Enlarge

The always hectic Christmas season in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) got off to a rollicking start with the annual 55 Plus Goan Association dance on Friday, December 6, 2013.

Since this dance has become the most anticipated social event on the Goan calendar over the past few years, it came as no surprise that the event was sold out a month in advance, much to the chagrin of many members who procrastinated.

It was held at the high-end Renaissance by the Creek Banquet Hall where the majestic foyer was decorated with a 10-foot Christmas tree. On entering the elegantly-decorated ballroom after being welcomed at the entrance by 55PGA President Norman Da Costa and Social Secretary Ruth Remedios, the members and guests were entertained with Christmas carols led by Delphine Da Costa and her group of talented Christmas carolers.

That set the tone for the night’s festivities starting off with a delectable sit-down dinner. Amazingly, the highly-efficient Renaissance culinary staff managed to serve all the revellers at the same time, much to the surprise of those in attendance.

Enter Joe Lobo, a former 55PGA president, who did an outstanding job as master of ceremonies. He made sure he had the tick on the tock and everything ran like clockwork starting with the grace before meals by Juliet Rebello, a founding member.

During a break in the meal servings, Norman Da Costa, paid tribute to the members who passed away in 2013 and to the late great South African leader Nelson Mandela.

He thanked the members for their overwhelming support over the last two years as each monthly function was sold out well in advance. He also thanked the spouses of the executive members for their support and assistance. He reiterated that the success of this committee was a result of excellent teamwork.

Norman then requested his executive to join him on stage so the members could acknowledge the people who worked tirelessly behind the scenes over the last 24 months. He paid a special tribute to social secretary Ruth Remedios who burned the midnight candle to ensure every function went off without a hitch and she deservedly received a standing ovation.

Norman then wished members and their families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and invited the members to kick up their heels and dance the night away to the music of Bosco Fernandes and Night Fever who kept the dance floor buzzing all night with their mixture of toe-tapping music. They packed floor from start to finish which is a testament to the band.

There were door and raffle prizes galore, generously donated by committee members and members of this association namely a television set, Samsonite luggage, a number of Chivas and Black Label Scotch whiskey bottles, gift baskets, wine bottles, etc.

It was an evening few are likely to forget in a hurry.
 
Friends of St.Francis Xavier (Toronto) 13th Annual Feast Celebration
at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Church,2950 Midland Ave, Scarborough ON,


Click to view images


A variety of food was available to churchgoers and some stalls sold Goan specialties of packaged foods and Christmas sweets, it reminded many of the older folks of similar activities that took place on feast days in Goa

 
From the Joseph Naik Vaz Institute

At this juncture, the Church in Goa, Mangalore, and Sri Lanka asks your prayers so that Pope Francis will soon canonize Blessed Joseph Vaz to make him an official Saint.

* Bl. Joseph Vaz was born in Goa, rescued the abandoned missions in Mangalore, and re-built the Church in Sri Lanka under Dutch persecution in the seventeenth century. He is thus officially called by the Church: “Apostle of Kanara and Sri Lanka” and “Patron of the Archdiocese of Goa and Damao.”

* Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Sri Lanka and Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa and Damao have officially announced that his Cause for Canonization has reached a crucial stage. They have appealed for a campaign of prayer so that the final miracle submitted for his canonization will be approved by the Sacred Congregation of the Saints.


Your Prayers And Participation Are Appreciatedd
We hope that all overseas Goans, Mangaloreans, and Sri Lankans will respond to their appeal and participate in an International Novena Prayer Campaign for his canonization by saying the Novena Prayer below.

Prayer For The Canonization
Loving Father, Your Son wrote in the hearts of all people Your heavenly message through the wonders of Your everlasting love. Following in His footsteps, your servant, Blessed Joseph Vaz, guided by the Holy Spirit and under the patronage of Your Immaculate Mother, engaged his whole life in exemplary works and showed us that we too can attain grace to walk in Your Son's footsteps and win the crown of the Blessed.

Therefore, we humbly beg of You to grant us a much-needed miracle (pause and pray for a miracle) and thus put Your seal on his heroic life, and move the Church to declare him as a model and Saint. We make this prayer through the same Jesus, Our Lord. Amen..


+ Filipe Neri Ferrao, Archbishop of Goa & Damao, India.

H.H. Pope John Paul II said at Bl. Vaz’ Beatification in 1995:
"I came to Sri Lanka above all to honor Bl. Joseph Vaz…Like a star shining in the Asian sky, this great spiritual guide teaches us many lessons about the goodness of the human person and the nobility of our destiny as human beings.”

Please pass this message on to your family, contacts, social media groups, etc. Thank you..

Joseph Naik Vaz Institute
email: josephnaik.vaz@gmail.com
website: www.josephnaikvaz.org
 
Seniors go on a Christmas outing
By Armand Rodrigues
 
Click photos to Enlarge

In general, Goans are not compulsive gamblers. However, from time to time, the urge to splurge enters one’s psyche. And, why not ? Today’s seniors are relatively comfortable financially and seem to have some disposable income to spare. Day-trips to casinos, or overnight stays, are commonplace. Limo pick-up from home, to connect with a coach, and drop-off on return, is a welcome convenience. And if you have a weak bladder, have no fear. The coach comes equipped with a potty in a cubicle.

This time round, a motley bunch of Goans from the Greater Toronto Area opted for a coach trip to the Seneca Casino & Hotel in the U.S.A..En route, there was a stop at Joseph’s Winery in Niagara-on-the-lake, for wine-tasting and a tour of the processing facilities..

At the casino, the proverbial “carrots dangling in front of each donkey”, were a $100 incentive for use at the slots, plus an additional $20 for first-timers to the casino, and a $40 meal/merchandise ticket. Accommodation was at the casino’s classy hotel all decked out in Xmas motifs. With 803 slot machines and a multitude of gaming tables, one could indulge to one’s heart’s content or until one’s funds were depleted.

The included Christmas dinner was at Salvatore’s Italian Restaurant a short distance away. The place was replete with Christmas decorations from floor to ceiling. The banquet was sumptuous and the ambiance just right. For car aficionados, a visit to the “Men’s” was a treat, with over 1,000 shiny replica model cars in cabinets on two walls. After browsing through this collection, it was easy to forget why you were there in the first place!

By way of entertainment, there was a lively show by the famous Tony Orlando and his band. He belted our all-time favourites like “Tie a Yellow Ribbon...”, “Knock Three times on the Ceiling”, “Candida”, “Sweet Gypsy Rose” and several other songs of the era. Then there were Christmas carols including “Feliz Navidad”, from his Puerto Rican roots.

On the return leg of the trip, there were visits to factory outlet malls and big-box stores. Duty-free shopping was, of course, inevitable. For those who really know their onions, it is easy to make the right choices and not be duped by prices that are supposed to be duty-free in the States but are really lower at duty-paid shops in Canada. A whirl around the famous Christmas lighting at Niagara Falls, on our side, was the icing on the cake.

To their credit, people on wheel-chairs or with canes for support, did not miss a thing, and were an inspiration to others who may have lost some of the spring in their steps, but were steady on their feet otherwise.

It was a worthwhile Christmas outing.
 
Pope Francis named 'Person of the Year by Time Magazine

December 11, 2013. TIME Magazine has announced it elected Pope Francis as 'Person of the Year.' The American publication chose the Pope for his humble personality and for his call to embrace a Church of 'healing'

 
Globally Renowned Humanitarian And Celebrated Spiritual Leader, Amma Dedicates Two Million (USD) In Aid To Typhoon Haiyan Victims In Philippines
MA Center, California

San Ramon, Calif., Dec. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Globally renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma) through her world wide charity Embracing the World has created a relief and rehabilitation package with two million US dollars donated specifically for those hardest hit by the Haiyan Typhoon (Typhoon Yolanda) in the Leyte region. One million dollars has been specifically earmarked for children and their educational needs.

Typhoon Yolanda is considered to be the most powerful storm to ever make landfall, battering the Southeast Asian nation with close to 320 km per hour winds in November 2013.

Over 13 million people have been severely affected; four million displaced and over one million have lost their homes. A staggering 7,000 people have died and the number continues to grow daily. Currently over 2.5 million Filipinos now rely on food aid to survive.

Amma sent delegates from her Embracing the World charity, including Swami Ramakrishnananda who met with local dignitaries including the Governor of Leyte, Dominic L. Petilla, Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez; Congressman Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, and former Senator Jamby Madrigal on Amma's behalf.

Amma shared a message about the disaster: "I was greatly distressed to see the devastation that took the lives of so many innocent people and added an immense burden to the entire nation. During this time of tragedy my heart goes out to each and every being and I pray for their peace and strength. As the holidays approach please pray for the departed souls, their families and all people of the Philippines who continue to suffer."

Mata Amritanandamayi Devi has provided more than 50 million USD in aid to disaster survivors in the last decade. Her philanthropic work has benefited hundreds of thousands throughout the world including those affected by the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Great East Japan earthquake in 2011, the flash flood in Kedarnath, North India and many more.
 
For further information please visit www.embracingtheworld.org 

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