Wednesday, 31 December 2014

New Years Message from Msgr. Alexander

Dear parishioners,
New Year Greetings! I pray that in 2015 you may savour the graces that will come your way and that nothing will steal from your hearts the true peace and joy that the Christ Child brings.
I was going to express the wish, in the line above, that you will receive many graces. Then I corrected myself. Fact: We live each day, receive all that we have, through the goodness and love of God. You have lived through 2014 and see a New Year only through the grace of God, his amazing grace. So, I wish that in 2015 you and I may relish, appreciate, “taste” the goodness of God. Everything is grace.
It is not easy to explain or define grace.
Let me share with you some ways in which I have glimpsed it more recently.
I have now been in the parish a little over three months. It has been a challenging period. Uprooting oneself from one place and moving to another, as you may know, is not always easy: some will say is never easy. But then, there was my illness with its own challenges. I thank God for his healing. Thank you for your support, not least of all through your prayers. Thank you. This is God’s amazing grace.
As I stood in the sanctuary of the main church in September and took in the stately architecture and brought to mind its 200-year-old history, I knew to be here now was grace. And each week, the Lord shows me something new and amazing in its own way. One week it is the many children and young people. Another week it is the light from the stained glass window reflecting on the Divine Mercy image in the sanctuary, lighting up the rays that flow from the heart of Jesus. Last week it was the sight of several families present for Mass and the many men, of all age groups, who were there – not the usual sight in many parishes.
Here, too, is God’s grace.
As we enter a brand New Year, what will God do among us? How will his grace be most evident? I do not know, but I know his amazing grace will be given us. We will need to listen intently to his word, to be vigilant, to unite our hearts with his and one another. I find all this very exciting.
Well, don’t you?
May God bless you all.

Msgr Cuthbert Alexander
Parish Priest 

Year End Review

As we close the doors on 2014 and welcome 2015, it would only be fair to countdown the most memorable moments our parish had this year.

#5 Patronal Feast Day
Each year, our feast day is celebrated on March 19th but in 2013, then parish priest, Fr. Karol reinstated the feast day celebrations by joining with St. Michael's Parish to celebrate the Patronal Feast at the First Capital Park and in 2014, the tradition continued. Archbishop Harris served as Chief Celebrant for the special mass with Frs. Karol Wielgosz (St. Joseph) and Gerard Tang Choon (St. Michael) concelebrating.

#4 The Season of Easter
For Catholics, the biggest liturgies center around the joyful season of Easter, a time of new life and rebirth but just before this time of joy, the church undergoes the solemn season of Lent. During this time, the parish continued its usual Stations of the Cross on Calvary Hill on Fridays in Lent. As the weeks progressed in Lent, another set of preparation was taking place in the parish, seven members of the parish were preparing to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation and it all culminated at the Easter Vigil on Gloria Saturday night and at the Suburban Vicariate Mass at St. Michael's parish.

#3 Celebrating a Great Man of Faith
On Sunday, May 18th, Bishop Emeritus Sydney Charles celebrated his 60th anniversary of religious life and St. Joseph parish hosted a special mass which featured Archbishop Harris, His Excellency Archbishop Nicola Girasoli among many other bishops and priests from both the neighboring islands and parishes. 

#2 Saying Goodbye to a Special Friend
Goodbye is never an easy thing to say and on June 29th, the parish had to do so. After serving as parish priest for 3 years, the time came where Fr. Karol had to leave the parish and return to his native homeland, Poland. So many memories were created during his time with us and it was only fitting that we gave him a farewell like no other so on Sunday June 29th, the parish added on one extra mass for that weekend alone at 5PM to say goodbye to a great friend. Patrice Mahabir from St. Joseph and Brent Durham from Mt. D'or represented the parish and recalled all of Fr. Karol's great moments. The celebration continued with a sharing on the parish greens with entertainment from Nuestra Cosa.

#1 Welcoming our new Leader.
With Fr. Karol's departure taking effect as of July 1st 2014, the parish learnt that Msgr. Allan Ventour would now take up the position of the parish as the new pastoral leader. However, due to his health condition, Msgr Ventour was unable to do so. As such, Fr. Michael Mackhan filled in as the temporary parish priest during the months of July to August. It was then announced by Archbishop Harris, in an official statement which he made while celebrating mass at St. Joseph in August, that because of Msgr. Ventour's health condition, the new parish priest would now be Msgr. Cuthbert Alexander (Vicar for Communications). This took effect as of September 1st and since then, Msgr. Alexander has been our new parish priest. 

2015 promises to be another spectacular year for our parish because we will be celebrating our 200th Anniversary of the Church, as such, all our existing events will now be tailored according the bi-centennial celebrations in addition to new events which will be taking place. There are more moments to be created and we hope that you all will be part of it. God be praised

--B. Durham, 2014

Friday, 19 December 2014


This morning, our parish lost a great friend and a great leader. Mr. Herman Figueira passed away on December 19th, 2014 and he will forever be missed. One of the most notable roles he held was leadership of the Eucharistic Ministry among many other ministries and today, we thank him for all his services which he was able to give while serving in the vineyard of the Lord. May his soul rest in peace. 
Funeral date and time is still to be determined.

UPDATE: The funeral of the late Herman Paul Figueira will be held on Tuesday Morning (December 23rd) at 10AM in St. Joseph R.C. Church.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Christmas Dinner Photos

Every Year, the parish always ends its activities on a high note and this year was no exception. The Annual Parish Christmas Dinner was held at the St. Xavier's Private School Hall and many parishioners came out to support and be part of a fun-filled night which featured live entertainment from Nuestra Cosa.
HERE you can view the photos which were taken during last night's dinner. 

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Celebrating the Season of Advent

Last week, we began the new Liturgical Year, Year B and the season of Advent helped us open that year. Each week, we celebrate a special virtue during this season of waiting and preparation.
Let's have a look:

Let us take this opportunity to not only prepare our physical homes but also our hearts for the coming of a King. As we use an advent wreath, the shape of the wreath symbolizes God since a circle has no beginning or end and that is exactly how God is, he too has no beginning nor end. Let God be glorified in our lives as we prepare for the coming of Jesus.

Parish Notices for the 2nd Sunday of Advent

  1. It’s almost here. Our Parish Christmas Dinner is next Sunday. It will be held on the spacious grounds of St. Xavier’s Private School on Sunday 14th December from 6pm. Come, dine then enjoy the sweet sounds of Nuestra Cosa. There are still a few tickets available.
  2. A reminder of the CCSJ: St. Joseph/Mt.D’or Parish Group “Christmas Matelot Outreach” project. The group is seeking donations of non-perishable items (food, toys, books etc.) for needy families in Matelot and St. Joseph. Please give generously.
  3. Catholic Almanacs are now available at the Catholic News Stand. Cost is $4.00. Please your copy early as we have limited supplies. 
  4. "O Come Let Us Adore Him” is the theme of St. Joseph Girls' RC School Biennial Christmas Concert on Sunday 7th December at the Arima New Government School.  Come and enjoy the sweet sound of traditional Christmas Carols and our festive Parang group. Tickets are available at the Parish Office. 
  5. You are invited to An Advent Retreat with Sr. Christina and Sr. Gail at the Dominican Wellspring Retreat House, St Joseph on Saturday December 20th from 9.30 to 2.30 pm. Call 663-1530 or talk to either of the Sisters for more details.
 Blessings to ALL our parishioners this week!