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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

THE PIETA, Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, Lewiston, New York

The Pieta by the Pond
Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, Lewiston, New York

This is a major Catholic Shrine. It is open to people of all faiths.
An ideal place to find inner peace, meditation and reflection in the vast expanse of the beautiful Shrine.

Monday, September 27, 2010


In the foreground of this magnificent Basilica, the heart-shaped water pool with fountain in the centre, and lights spaced around it depict the five decades of the Holy Rosary. Each light represents the bead of the Rosary.
( A wide-angle view from the top of the dome of the Basilica)
Side view of the Basilica.
63 steps lead up to the top of the dome of the Shrine from where one can have a bird's eye view of the beautiful surroundings.
Surroundings of the Shrine of
Our Lady of Fatima, Lewiston, New York.
atop the dome of the Basilica of the National Shrine of
Our Lady of Fatima,
Roman Catholic Church,
Lewiston, New York.
(For enlarged views please double click on pictures)

View my photos on Panoramio

Sunday, September 26, 2010


OF OUR LADY OF FATIMALewiston, New York.

THE QUEEN OF PEACE(Picture by Tony Fernandes)
Please double click on picture for an enlarged view

Since 1954, Our Lady of Fatima Shrine has become a place of natural beauty, art, communal prayer, and renewal to thousands who visit the unique buildings and grounds each year. The magnificence and natural beauty of the Shrine is highlighted by an awe-inspiring Dome Basilica covered with two layers of glass and Plexiglas, with a contour of the Northern Hemisphere of the globe. The impressive approach to the Basilica is down the Avenue of the Saints (over one hundred life-size marble statues represent Saints from every race and walk of life) and around the serenity of the Rosary Pool. Two flights of stairs, with 63 steps, said to represent the 63 years of the life of the Blessed Mother, lead to the top of the Dome, where, in graceful majesty, stands a huge statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The statue, carved from Vermont granite, is 13 feet high and weighs ten tons. From the top of the Dome, visitors can view the entire Shrine grounds and surrounding countryside.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Particular Days at Monte!
by Tony (Felicio) Fernandes

It seemed like a long hike from the village of Cumbiem Morod to the hilltop. The journey seemed endless. It was Felicio’s first day at school. He held his older brother’s hand as he climbed through the winding path lined by cashew trees. The legend ‘ST. ANTHONY’S HIGH SCHOOL', 'AD 1947' was visible high up on the stepped steeple – the distinct and typically striped pinnacle and façade of the stone school building. As he reached the top of the hill, he turned to look back and take in the panoramic view. The villages of Guirim set beautifully in the forefront, Arpora, Nagoa, Parra and Verla to the west, Bastora toward the east and in the distance towards the north was the town of Mapusa. The surrounding hills in the distance were also a delight to the eye.

It seemed rather 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 in the skies. 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 of Our Lady of Assumption at Vancio Vaddo in Gurim. This seems to be really an upgrade, Felicio thought. And even better than the massive one-room classroom 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 that he heard during the first week in school, and 'particularly' liked, was the word “particular”. The boy seemed to be fascinated with the word and thought it had a nice ring to it. “Particular! Particular!”, he went on saying when he came home from school. In his own childish way 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, though arduous, was just a normal part of school life, serving as a natural exercise keeping the students fit. Felicio liked his school, the Fathers, Brothers and teachers,and he thought that perhaps they in turn seemed to have liked him 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 school concert was held on two days. The first day was for the students only. The second day was for the parents and the public, and also to students who received prizes. The Portuguese Governor General as well as other prominent doctors, leaders, priests and teachers and ex-students attended the concerts on the second day.

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 recognize 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. It had turned dark by the time the concert ended. 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 other 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 the path that led to his house, Felicio could faintly see the lights through the open window of his house in the distance. The front door was open. He saw the silhouette of his grandmother who was sitting outside on the bench in the balcony, anxiously waiting for their return. As he turned left over his shoulder, he noticed the lights of Monte in the far distance. 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 the moon had risen bringing a glow to the sandy front yard of the house. T
he tall coconut and mango trees cast soft shadows on the cool earth. As for Felicio the next day was a holiday. Visible and twinkling far away in the distance over the sprawling fields were the lights of Mapusa town. Then it was time to say “Boa Noite”.

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,
Bardez, Goa.

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

LITANY - Kyrie

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
Kyrie eleison. 
Christe eleison. 
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 Christi,  
Mater Divinae Gratiae,  
Mater Purissima, 
Mater Castissima,  
Mater Inviolata,  
Mater Intemerata,  
Mater Amabilis,  
Mater Admirabilis,  
Mater Boni Consilii,  
Mater Creatoris,  
Mater Salvatoris,  
Virgo Prudentissima,  
Virgo Veneranda,  
Virgo Praedicanda,  
Virgo Potens,  
Virgo Clemens,
Virgo Fidelis,
Speculum Justitiae,  
Sedes Sapientiae,
Causa nostrae laetitiae,  
Vas Spirituale,  
Vas Honorabile,  
Vas Insigne Devotionis,  
Rosa Mystica,  
Turris Davidica,  
Turris Eburnea, 
Domus Aurea,  
Foederis Arca,  
Janua Caeli,  
Stella Matutina,  
Salus Infirmorum,  
Refugium Peccatorum,  
Consolatrix Afflictionem,  
Auxilium Christianorum,  
Regina Angelorum,  
Regina Patriarcharum,  
Regina Prophetarum,  
Regina Apostolorum,  
Regina Martyrum,  
Regina Confessorum,  
Regina Virginum,  
Regina Sanctorum Omnium,  
Regina Sine Labe Originali Concepta,  
Regina Sacratissimi Rosarii,  
Regina in caelum Assumpta,
Regina Pacis,  
Regina Mundi,
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

SALVE RAINHA - Part of Ladainha (Sung Litany)

Salve Rainha

Salve Rainha, Mãe de Misericórdia, vida doςura e esperanςa nossa. Salve, a vós bradamos os degredados filhos de Eva. A vós suspiramos, gemendo e chorando neste vale de lagrimas. Eia pois, advogada nossa, esses vossos olhos misericórdiosos a nos volvei e depois deste desterro nos mostrai a Jesus benedito fruto do vosso  ventre. 
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)

Repeat: misericórdiosos,      das promessas            

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

VIRGEM MAE DE DEUS - Part of Sung Litany

Virgem Mae de Deus

Virgem Mãe de Deus, Valei-nos
Virgem Mãe de Deus, Ajudai-nos
Virgem Mãe de Deus, Defendei-nos
Virgem Mãe de Deus, Socorrei-nos
Virgem Mãe de Deus, Amparai-nos
Virgem Mãe de Deus, Consolai-nos
Virgem Mãe de Deus, Guiai-nos
Virgem Mãe de Deus, da peste Livrai-nos
Virgem Soberana Nossa  Senhora
Sede Nossa Intercessora
Deus nos ajunte na Gloria
Do paraiso. Amen Jesus.

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 :,

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


Bandra Feast

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 tum 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.

Thursday, September 02, 2010


Booth at CNE
Queen Elizabeth Exhibition Hall
Arts, Crafts & Hobbies Section

Wednesday, September 01, 2010