Wednesday, September 29, 2010
An ideal place to find inner peace, meditation and reflection in the vast expanse of the beautiful Shrine.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
ON HER BIRTHDAYHOLY MASS
AT THE BASILICA OF THE NATIONAL SHRINE
OF OUR LADY OF FATIMALewiston, New York.
'WORLD' DEVOTION TO OUR LADY OF FATIMA,
Sunday, September 19, 2010
It seemed unusual to Felicio that the first official day of onset of the monsoon season should be the first day of school. Luckily it had not rained that day, although low grey clouds loomed above. Sitting in the first row on the first day in school seemed a far-cry from his initial Sunday school Catechism class at the village chapel. This is really an upgrade, Felicio thought. And even better than the massive one-room of the Portuguese Escola Primária adjacent to the village chapel.
Another thing that Felicio also wondered about was why it was that, after the Christmas holidays, school days began again starting on his birthday which was the 7th of January. Perhaps, was it because his name was Anthony? A childish thought, he mused!
Felicio was a day scholar. One of the favourite first words in school that he heard and liked was “particular”. The boy seemed to be fascinated with the word and thought it had a nice ring about it. “Particular! Particular!”, he went on saying when he came home from school on the first day. He would repeat it to himself and to his folks at home, “Particular! Particular!”
As days and years passed by, Felicio got used to attending his new school and various other activities like the massive ‘drill’ under the giant 'nunerca' tree and ‘Mocidade Portuguesa’ conducted in front of the grotto. The long walk to and from school was just a normal part of school life. He liked his school and the teachers seemed to have liked Felicio too. He especially showed a great interest in drawing. The face he liked to draw was of Samson. Every last period used to be a ‘drawing’ period. Sometimes towards the end of the period the drawing teacher would ask and encourage him to draw on the blackboard using white chalk. Quick scenery sketching was one of his favourite things.
Once he had taken part in the School Concert when he was selected as one of the three child artists, who painted a scene, on a large canvas set up on the stage, in three minutes carrying water-based colours in buckets, marching to the canvas to a music beat, alternating with 3 different colours. This concept was brilliantly enacted by the guidance of the excellent resident school artist, Brother Vitalis, OFM Cap. The annual school concerts were held on two days.
The first day was for the students. The second day was for the parents and public. The Portuguese Governor General as well as other prominent doctors, leaders, priests and teachers and ex-students attended the concerts.
Felicio’s mother was among the packed audience in the hall on the second day. He could not see her from where he stood. The blinding bright lights in front of the stage made it impossible to recognise her. He wondered whether his mother would cry with joy as usual, or smile. Hope she smiles today, he thought. Students who excelled in their school studies and extra-curricular activities were awarded prizes that were distributed on the second day of the school drama. Felicio was waiting among other students on the right-hand side of the stage to receive his prize. He hoped he could hear his name called out clearly. It might be very embarrassing if he did not hear, or else may be he would miss out on collecting his prize, Felicio thought! He was a bit nervous as Sir Veloso, a senior teacher at the school, began calling the names in his admirable and booming voice and an imposing personality to match, that needed no microphone. Finally, the great moment had come. Felicio was ready for his name to be called. Although slightly nervous, he happily proceeded to the stage to receive his prize for his favourite subject, drawing.
After the concert ended Felicio’s mother embraced and kissed him. Obviously she was happy for him. A few neighbours from his village were present there too, and they came forward to greet and congratulate him as he came out of the school building. There were stalls set up in front of the grotto, selling soft drinks and snacks, by the light of the petromax lamps. They all walked home lighting the path with a battery-powered torch light that they had remembered to carry with them.
On the way home the dogs barked in front of some of the houses. They passed through the fields and many wards of their village. Somewhere in the distance an owl hooted. The moon cast a faint glow over the eastern horizon as it was about to rise up in the east. All the youngsters walked in front followed by their parents discussing and commenting on how good the school drama had been.
As the village folks approached and turned towards their house, Felicio could faintly see the lights of his house in the distance. The front door was open. He saw the dark silhouette of his grandmother who was sitting outside on the bench in the balcony, anxiously waiting for their return. As he turned left, he noticed the lights of Monte over his shoulder. Felicio had often heard that one should never look back while walking in the night. Somehow he just could not help but look and remember what a wonderful day it had really been.
“I’ve be waiting for you all to come home, and I was worried”, Grandma said, as she rose from her seat. “I was not sure whether you had carried along a torch light, or at least a candle, as it gets dark soon these days”, she continued as we stepped in. “I said three rosaries waiting for you all”. “I wish I could have gone along with you all, like I did in the past”.
Felicio’s grandma suffered from arthritis. She would not have been able to climb the hill now that she was getting older. She said she had watched a few concerts up there in the past, and had also many times been there for the annual candle-lit procession held after a Holy Mass, held every year, late in the evening of the 8th of December – the day of the feast of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. “Come on now, let’s all go in” she said, “Supper is ready, and I have to rise up early to attend Mass in our chapel, come on, I will start serving whatever little that I have prepared for you.”
Felicio’s neighbours proceeded on their way. “Good night” they said in succession. “Deo bori rath dhium”, one of them said. “Sleep tight” said another, with a prompt and quick follow-on with: “Don’t let the bugs bite.”
Felicio was very fond of his Grandma. She would always wait for everyone to join in for dinner whenever they went out for salves and novenas. Felicio related to her about the concert and the prize that he had received for excellence in drawing. The play, ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’, had turned out to be very good and well-enacted by students. One of his class-teachers had played the lead role. His name was Thomas Mendonça. His diction was impeccable. He was very proficient in English and French, and had passed his SSCE in the same school. The students also sang in Portuguese, as the Governor General was present. His Excellency had been very kind to dedicate his precious time to watch the entire play.
The school concert had begun with the school boys in uniform singing the Portuguese national anthem on stage: ‘Herois do mar, nobre povo, naçao valente, immortal’. Felicio also liked the tone of the Portuguese word ‘immortal’. For Felicio, it had a special ring to it as well. Also, he remembered his father reciting a prayer that consisted of that particular word at the end of the evening Rosary.
The light from kerosene lamp in the centre of the table of the ‘sala’ cast oversized flickering shadows on the wall as young Felicio took his turn in relating and re-enacting some of the scenes of the play. His grandma loved him, he thought, as she did not show any signs of boredom. Even though it was quite late in the night, she was a patient listener. As he finished his supper, he looked up and turned sideways in the direction of his grandma. She was crying too. “Now these must have been particular tears of sheer joy”, Felicio thought, as he had cried too.
After supper they all sat in the balcony for a short while, as for Felicio the next day was a holiday. Then it was time to say “Boa Noite”. The moon had risen bringing a dull glow to the sandy front yard of the house, as the tall coconut and mango trees cast soft shadows on the cool earth. Visible and twinkling far away in the distance over the sprawling fields were the lights of Mapusa town.
Those were the great days of schooling and some of the memories of Monte de Guirim of long ago. In retrospect, as I reminisce about them every now and then, it seems it was just yesterday. We lived a happy and simple lifestyle with loving folks. We got through with the basic necessities. Though hard days sometimes prevailed, adversely facing some scarcities from petrol to cereals, we learned to take it all in stride.
Tony ‘Felix’ (Felicio) Fernandes
Guirim, Cumbiem Morod,
CLASS OF 1964
The huge hall on the first floor was actually a dormitory for senior students. It was temporarily converted into a drama hall for the two special days in the school calendar as described above. On one occasion, I had also witnessed an Ordination to priesthood of one of the students of Monte in the late 1950’s, by the Archbishop of Goa.
The large dormitory comprised of a purpose-built stage with permanent fittings. It was well-known for its unique curtain that resembled a beautiful scarlet drape, far ahead of its time in its operation and the way it opened during the 1950's. It consisted of a timber frame-work that was fitted to the lower half of the curtain at the rear. The ropes were attached to the top of the timber frame, and the curtain was completely lifted up into the ceiling, aided by a pulley syestm, forming a neat horizontal crease midway, making it look majestic as it went up. It had also had other rolling scenic curtains which were painted by Brother Vitalis. The stage had an array of boxed floor lights in the front end. The entire facade from ground to the sloping roof, and side to side, was painted in light bluish-grey hues resembling marble Roman architectural columns.
On the second day of the school concert, students attended Holy Mass at the school chapel, followed by breakfast in the hall mentioned above.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Saibinnichi Ladainh (Latin baxen)
Deus in adjutorum meum intende Domine, ad adjuvandum me
festina Gloria Patri et Filio, Et Spiritui sancto, Sicut erat in
principio, et nunc et simper, Et in saecula saeculorum. Amen
Christe, audi nos.
Christe, exaudi nos.
Pater de caelis Deus, Miserere nobis.
Fili Redemptor mundi Deus, Miserere nobis.
Spiritus Sancte Deus, Miserere nobis.
Sancta Trinitas unus Deus, Miserere nobis.
Sancta Maria, Ora pro nobis
Sancta Dei Genitrix,
Sancta Virgo virginum,
Mater Divinae Gratiae,
Mater Boni Consilii,
Causa nostrae laetitiae,
Vas Insigne Devotionis,
Sanctorum Omnium, Regina
ReginaSine Originali Concepta, Labe
Sacratissimi Rosarii, Regina
in caelum Assumpta, Regina
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi: Parce nobis, Domine.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi: Exaudi nos, Domine.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi: Miserere nobis.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
O’ clemente O piedosa, O doce, sempre Virgem Maria. Rogai por nos, Santa Mae de Deus, para que sejamos dignos das promessas de Cristo. Amen (Jesus)
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 09, 2010
HOT EGGPLANT is one of the great flavours from the 12 other varieties of Edna's Pickles. It is her highest seller. It will make you see eggplant in a whole new light and dimension. Try it. Truly exquisite.
Visit her website at : www.ednaspickles.com,
or come and taste a sample in her booth at the various Craft Shows in Ontario. One can also order online through her website.
The plant is native to India and has been cultivated in southern and eastern Asia since prehistoric times. It appears to have become known to the Western world no earlier than ca.1500. The first known written record of the plant is found in ancient Chinese agricultural treatise completed in 544. The numerous Arabic and North African names for it, along with the lack of the ancient Greek and Roman names, indicate that it was introduced throughout the Mediterranean by the Arab people in the Middle Ages. The scientific name for Eggplant Solanum melongena is derived from a 16th century Arabic term for one variety.
The name eggplant, refers to the fact that the fruits of some 18th century European cultivars were yellow or white and resembled goose or hen's eggs. The name aubergine, which is used in British English, is an adoption from the French word, derived from Catalan alberginia, Arabic al-baoinjan, Persian badenjan, Sanskrit vatiga-gama. In Indian, South African and Malaysian English, the fruit is known as a brinjal, which derives directly from the Portuguese "beringela". In the language of the Konkani speaking people of Goa, it is known as 'Vainghim' (pl.) Vainghem (sing.)
Aubergine and brinjal, with their distinctive br-jn or brn-jl aspects, derive from Persian and Sanskrit. A less common British English word is melongene which is also from French and from Italian melazana. In the Caribbean and in Trinidad, it also goes by "meloongen" from melongene. - wikipedia.
Apparently it believed that the health benefits of eggplant include type 2 diabetes management, cholesterol lowering and cancer prevention.
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
During my years as a student in Bombay, I longed for the arrival of this date - the unforgettable date - that is the 8th of September, the feast of Our Lady of the Mount. It is a great day for all the faithful as well as for the business people. Thousands of peopke from all walks of life flock to the beautiful and religious shrine, irrespective of their caste, creed or religion to pay their annual homage and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
But for me as a young lad, the wait was more for the fun fair that I looked forward to - the games, the giant wheel, the different stalls selling different toys, clothes and snacks.
This majestic Roman Catholic Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount, is situated on a hillock in Bandra, Mumbai, India. The week-long feast is celebrated and culminates on birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
During the time when I was in Goa as a young child, I accompanied other boys and girls from our village to St. Diogo's with little baskets of flowers and sang 'Devache Maie, pau to amkam'. During the celebration all children stood in line along the centre aisle and tossed the flowers up in the air over our heads in adoration.