Feast of Saint Joseph Vaz celebrated in California

Feast of Saint Joseph Vaz celebrated in California

The Feast of St. Joseph Vaz was celebrated for the first time on January 16 by CalifornianGoans, a Goan community based in the San Francisco Bay Area of ​​California, USA.

A well-attended celebratory Mass at the Queen of Apostles Church in San Jose was celebrated in Konkani by Father Bernardo D’Sa, a Goan priest from Eureka, California.

In his homily, Father D’Sa urged Goans to emulate the humility and missionary zeal of the First Saint of Goa, who also became the first Saint of Sri Lanka. He emphasized his tremendous work in the island nation of Sri Lanka against all odds by his humility, simplicity and holiness that flow from the sacramental life.

The Konkani Choir was assembled by Randolfo Dias (keyboards), Lizann Lopes (aspiring pianist) along with Francis Fernandes, John Azavedo, Alfred Naik, Drina Coelho, Lydia Fernandes, Anunsya D’Cunha, Ember Pereira, Lafica Fernandes and Nadia Rebello.

The coordinators of the fair were Sharon, Gracian and Maria.

Joseph Lourenco, president of the CalifornianGoans, later proposed the vote of thanks and also expressed gratitude to Lavita, Nana Dona, and the Queen of Apostles congregation in San Jose.

A Latin Ladainha was recited by the Goans after the festival mass.

After the Eucharistic celebration there was a procession followed by blessing and veneration of the statue of St. Joseph Vaz.

There was a small gathering in the church hall with our traditional Latin Ladin followed by authentic Goan snacks such as Choris Pao, Formenhas, Beef Stew, Bebinca, Bathika and a hot cup of tea to keep everyone warm in this freezing weather.

“The response to the festival service and get-together was great. Also, we don’t have the opportunity to celebrate Mass in Konkani and we would only prematurely celebrate a Konkani Mass once a year for the feast of St. Francis Xavier,” said Nadia D’Souza e Rebello.

“So this time we can celebrate two fairs in Konkani. We must thank Father D’Sa who traveled 4-5 hours to celebrate Mass and another 5 hours to return to Eureka.”

Joseph Lourenco commended Filomena Saraswati Giese, founder of the Joseph Naik Vaz Institute in Berkeley, for inviting California Goans to celebrate the feast of St. Joseph Vaz.

Drina Coelho added, “Filomena was the one who reached out to our President Joseph Lourenco of California. We had planned to celebrate the first mass earlier but were unable to do so due to the Covid pandemic. This is the only way we were able to celebrate the first festive Mass of St. Joseph Vaz this year.”

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