Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Additional Parish Moments in Nov. '13

On the Solemnity of All Souls, Nov. 2nd, Fr. Karol celebrated Holy Mass at 7AM with a Procession to the Cemetery at the back of the Church where he blessed the graves. Below are some images (courtesy Desmond Durham) that can be viewed from that morning.

Also, during this month, some of our young friends in the parish made their First Holy Communion. Here are some photos that were taken from that morning's celebration:

Monday, 30 December 2013

Year in Review: 2013

As we close this grand year in our Church, we look back at some of the most outstanding moments that stood out in not only our parish but also within our Archdiocese and the wider Catholic community. There were so many moments that it is difficult to choose just one so here are the Best Moments of 2013, month-by-month.


We started the year off by administering the Sacrament of Confirmation to 42 candidates that journeyed a year prior to their special date. This meaningful occasion took place on Sunday January 20th at 10AM in St. Joseph R.C. Church with His Grace, Archbishop Joseph Harris presiding as the Chief Celebrant.

During this month, the entire Catholic community learned that Pope Benedict XVI would resign. This shocking news broke on the morning of February 10th with almost all media outlets bringing coverage.
This news took the world, more so the Catholic community, by surprise especially since it was revealed days before the start of the solemn season of Lent. During the entire season of Lent, the Vatican was preparing to choose Pope Benedict’s successor. This was also the first time that a Pope retired from this sacred position, since those that came before him took this vow until death.

The Holy Season of Lent began on February 13th (Ash Wednesday) and the parish hosted many activities surrounding this holy season. The usual Stations of the Cross were held every Friday evening on Calvary Hill and The Healing of the Memory Service took place in St. Joseph with Fr. Ian Taylor and his San Raphael youth with Keith Patrick lead the parish in deep prayer and healing through the Holy Spirit. 

On March 13th, the conclave came to an agreement in Rome’s Sistine Chapel where it was announced that Jorge Mario Bergoglio now known as Pope Francis was officially named the new Pope. The entire Catholic community rejoiced when the new broke.
With the Season of Lent still in effect, the parish was preparing for its biggest feast of the year – Easter, but before this grand feast, other special events occurred. On Sunday March 17th, after a long hiatus, the Parishes of St. Michael’s, Maracas St. Joseph and St. Joseph R.C. Church merge to host the Feast of St. Joseph.
This special event started with a procession from St. Joseph RC Church to the First Capitol Park followed by Holy Mass with Fr. Clyde Harvey as the Chief Celebrant and Fr. Karol and Fr. Tangchoon (Homilist) as the concelebrants. The rest of the day featured performances from the Community Schools along with a ‘bring and share’ picnic. During that week, the parish hosted its Annual Lenten Retreat and a Youth Lenten Retreat both conducted by Fr. Jason Grell.

March 24th was Palm Sunday which was the start of Holy Week. The Monday of that week, the Annual Chrism Mass was held at Fatima Parish where Margaret and Kumar Mahabir represented the parish and collected the oil of catechumens which were used on Gloria Saturday night an all the Masses for the Sick and Shuts - ins thereafter in the parish. The Easter Vigil began on the evening of March 28th with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper followed by a vigil until midnight where parishioners were given the opportunity to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.The morning of March 29 th (Good Friday) things took an unexpected turn since the entire nation suffered a severe black out which affected the Stations of the Cross on Calvary Hill but thank God that everything was able to move on and the electricity came back in time for the afternoon service for the Passion of our Lord followed by the vigil led by members of Legion of Mary and prayers led by the Charismatic Prayer Group that very same evening.On Saturday March 30th (Gloria Saturday), the church was still ‘low’ as it prepared for its biggest mass that evening. During the Easter Vigil which began at 9PM, two members were baptized into the faith- Areefa Khan and Alicia-Ann Celestine and Sasha Lackraj was received into the faith. 

One week after the Easter Vigil, the parish of St. Joseph hosted the annual Suburban Vicariate Confirmation ceremony. Seven members from the parish were administered the Sacrament of Confirmation: Kristel Harricharan, Kyle Nunes, Tristana Charles, Ryszardo Jennings, Olivia Constentine, Krystle Ali and Vernon Boodhoo. Later that month, the parish celebrated Good Shepherd Sunday which was also a World Day of Prayer for Vocations with an evening of Eucharistic Adoration and Vespers. Br. Richard Jones, OSB led the evening proceedings. 

We started the Month of May out in a big way by celebrating our patron saint on the very first day of the month and also opening the Month of our Blessed Mother Mary. On Sunday May 12th (Mother’s Day), the parish arranged for a Pilgrimage to the opening of the Laventille Devotions which had an impressive turn out and the Friday of that same week (May 17th), Holy Saviour Anglican and St. Joseph RC communities merged to host an Ecumenical Service for the week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The theme for that evening was taken from the prophet Micah 6:6-8, ‘What does God require from us’. As a result of that evening of joint prayer, both communities agreed to collaborate in creating a ministry which aims to provide the basic needs for the less fortunate and already that ministry has been rendered. The feasts of Pentecost, The Ascension of our Lord and Trinity Sunday were all celebrated to culminate the Easter season. The Wednesday following Trinity Sunday, the parish celebrated Corpus Christi with a procession from the church, around the park and back with Benediction. It was a momentous occasion for many since that also took a little hiatus. Schools of the community all played meaningful roles as we celebrated and were reminded of how powerful the Holy Eucharist really is.

At the start of June, Our Lady of the Rosary Charismatic Prayer Group hosted its biennial Life in the Spirit Seminar which operated on a 9 week duration. Every Sunday, the candidates were exposed to various ways on how they can become closer to God and his Holy Spirit through talks and workshops lead by members of the Prayer Group and even external speakers such as Darryl Grandison and Marilyn Garcia from Precious Blood Community to name a few.

During the summer period, the parish underwent a little make shift as Fr. Karol went back home to
Poland on vacation with Fr. Radoslaw Rakowski filling in for him while he was away. Fr. Radek has stated that he had a wonderful time and looks forward to the next time he is able to visit our parish. During this month, the World Youth Day took place in Rio de Janeiro where some members from our parish participated. Also, the Life in the Spirit Seminar came to a close and during their faith journey, they were exposed to the Jesus Explosion which takes places every July in Preysal High School. All the candidates were so excited and filled with the Love of the Lord that they all were eager to join a Charismatic Prayer Group to keep the ‘fire of the Lord’ burning.

The parish hosted its annual Independence Day BBQ which received impressive reviews.  

September started out with a bang for not only the parish but for the Archdiocese since Trinity TV hosted its Full 24/7 launch on Sunday the 8th and on the morning of September 14th, the entire Archdiocese and the AEC rejoiced as Msgr. Robert Llanos was ordained as the new Auxiliary Bishop at Fatima RC Church, Curepe during the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

The entire month of October was dedicated to the Holy Rosary with special devotions being done on the parish virtual spaces. During this Marian month, our Holy Father Pope Francis designated October 13th (the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) to be consecrated to Mary. That day was also the closing of the Laventille Devotions where an impressive number of parishioners all represented the parish despite the heavy rains which thankfully help up.

To close this month, our sister chapel, St. Jude celebrated its annual St. Jude Triduum, a 3-day celebration in honour of St. Jude, patron of hopeless cases. Featured speakers included Deacons Patrick Lawrence, Malcom Joab and Sheldon Narine respectively all with unique and pertinent messages to meditate on.

November was dedicated to the month of the dead as the parish remembered and offered masses for all departed souls that they may rest in peace.  It was also the start of the parish’s Christmas celebrations. On the evening of November 10th, the parish hosted ‘Bingo with Parang’ and some groups such as the Women’s Ministry closed off their ministry with their annual year end dinner.
The Liturgical Year came to a close on the feast of Christ the King and during this significant time in our Catholic Calendar, some students of St. Xavier’s Private School made First Communion on this actual feast day and the month ended with a Healing of the Memory Service hosted by the Charismatic Prayer Group which featured Fr. George Lewis.
Finally, as the Liturgical Year came to a close, the Year of Faith which Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI instigated in the Liturgical Year prior was also culminated.

In the heights of Advent, as the church prepared for the coming of the King, the parish hosted Rorate masses on every Friday evening in Advent and its usual Penitential Service which gave parishioners the opportunity to reconcile with God before the start of this joyous season.  The Annual Christmas dinner took place on the evening of December 8th at St. Xavier’s Private School Hall with a remarkable turnout. Also, Our very own Sr. Gail Jagroop made her solemn profession and Pope Francis was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year among many other notable moments.
As we draw closer to the end of 2013, we have so much memories (as a parish) to take with us but we are certain that God is going to continue to guide and strengthen us. So, what do we have to look forward to in 2014? Here is a glimpse at what we can expect:
  • A Parish Pilgrimage to Poland
  • Healing Services hosted by the Charismatic Prayer Group in Lent and Advent.
  • The Beatification of Blessed John Paul II on Mercy Sunday
  • In addition to the Counselling Services, Legal Aid will also be provided for that in need.
  • St. Joseph Feast Day among many other events.
Here’s wishing the parish all the very best in 2014 and May God’s grace strengthen and protect us. Happy New Year!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Parish Notices for the Feast of the Holy Family

  1. We hope that you have a restful and peaceful time of Christmas, and we wish you all well. Also, we wish you health, prosperity, true love, and all of  God’s abundant blessings for the new year.
  2.  As a parish community we try to find ways of helping these families and individuals who face some difficulties or even experienced serious evil within from their relatives. We already run the Counseling Center which offers psychological help (contacts may be made through the parish office). We will soon activate the Legal Aid with the mediation service for the families. If you would like to join these ministries, please contact the Parish Priest. 
  3. Our schedule of Masses for New Year's Day, Feast of Mary Mother of God are as follows:
  • December 31st in St. Jude's Chapel, Mt. D'or at 6pm.
  • December 31st in St. Joseph RC Church, St. Joseph: Holy Hour at 11pm followed by Holy Mass at 12 Midnight.
  • January 1st at 8.30am in St. Joseph RC Church, St. Joseph.
Blessings to ALL our parishioners this week!   

Friday, 27 December 2013

Special Notice

The Feast of the Holy Innocents will be celebrated during this weekend's masses: Saturday Evening at 5PM in Mt. D'or Chapel and 6.30PM in St. Joseph RC AND Sunday Morning during the 8.30AM Mass. Bring your kids out since there will be a special blessing for them.

Feast of St. John

Today, the church celebrates the feast of St. John, apostle and evangelist. He was also the author of the fourth Gospel, three Epistles and the Apocalypse. One of the many notable moments of his life on earth was his witness of Christ' Transfiguration with his brother James and Simon Peter and on his last moments before death, Jesus entrusts his beloved mother to John.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Feast of St. Stephen

Hope everyone had a wonderful start to the Christmas season yesterday. We continue with this joyous season as we celebrate and remember the life of St. Stephen, the very first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr's crown.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

The Season of CHRISTmas

Welcome to the most festive season of the year. It is festive for many reasons; the house is freshly painted and clean, new curtains are now on display and the array of foods that we get to partake of is beyond exciting. It is also a time where we celebrate family and of course, shopping is the sole intention for many. But, we often forget the primary reason for the season. We get so caught up with the fun and excitement that we allow the fact that Christmas is about the Birth of a King. Not just A King, but THE King. Jesus Christ, born of a woman who is equally as important as her son is now amongst us and the angels call him 'Emmanuel' which means 'God with us'.
Let us better appreciate why Christmas is such an important season in our Christian lives. Without Christmas, we wouldn't have a King. A humble woman, chosen and fashion by God himself, was asked, through the Angel Gabriel, to bear a child that will be the 'Saviour of the World' and being as humble and obedient as she was, our Blessed Mother and Queen said that 'YES' to God and brought forth a saviour. And whilst bringing that saviour into this world, she and her betrothed, Joseph, experienced trials, as any ordinary family goes through, along the way.
'There is no room for them in the inn' were the words they heard all night from locals in Bethlehem. Just imagine saying 'No' to the mother of our King and our lives. Then Mary and Joseph found an inner manger and she gave birth.

Understand that this blessed couple was rejected and they had to travel in the cold, windy night until they found a resident for animals. So when we ponder on 'Where Jesus was born', Jesus was born in a manger. As oppose to the modern human race being born in a comfortable hospital or nursing home with impressive technologies. Who has the worst end of the stick? For someone to say, 'Jesus does not understand what we are going through' is an invalid statement to make. Jesus' life on earth was very simple and he came from humble backgrounds. His parents was and still is, humble beings. We are challenged season to season, to be more like Jesus, in that, as Jesus is humble, we too must live a humble life. It is hard, especially how we live in a very competitive world but 'Greater is HE that is in ME, than HE that is in the world'. We must stop making ourselves first priority and start thinking of others. Christmas should not ONLY be a time of giving, while the rest of the year we are complaining. If we say, with our own words that we are 'followers of Christ', let not that 'Love' be for a particular season but for ALL seasons. 

We must always remember one word, 'Emmanuel' - 'God with Us'. Jesus walks with us everyday, whether we know it or not. He does it because he wants to, not because he has to. Let us remember that during this season of Love and Joy, while we may be laughing and a having ourselves a merry time, there is always someone out there who needs that same love. Remember them through good deeds and even through prayer. Let us stop taking the 'CHRIST' out of 'CHRISTMAS' and as we journey through this Holy season, may we all embrace the Blessed Child that we call 'King'. 

Advent Reflection Week 4


The angels announced the good news of a Saviour. God sent his only Son to earth to save us, because he loves us! "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16-17).

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Parish Notices for the 4th Sunday of Advent

  1. We are very grateful to all of you who helped in one of our Christmas charity actions or help with preparing Christmas in our parish. We are tremendously grateful to all of you who went to confession in last days and show to us what is truly important in this celebration of the coming of Jesus to us.
  2.  We pray that all of you may have happy and peaceful Christmas. With great joy we welcome all our parishioners who came back home for Christmas. 
  3. There are still Catholic Almanacs available and the cost is $4.00. 
  4. Please check the notice board and folders which are by the main entrance to the church for more information about our pilgrimage to Poland (June 20th – July 6th).
Blessings to ALL our parishioners this week!