45th Annual Mass for Feast of St Joseph Vaz in California

45th Annual Mass for Feast of St Joseph Vaz in California

The California-based Joseph Naik’s Vaz Institute has invited diaspora Goan organisations, Indian-Sri Lankan community and friends in the San Francisco Bay Area to join its Annual Mass tradition for the 45th Annual Feast Mass of St Joseph Vaz and to pray for the Beatification of Venerable Fr Agnelo de Souza, another candidate for the sainthood from Goa.

The Mass will be celebrated at the Cathedral of Christ the Light of the Diocese of Oakland, California on January 29 at 11 am and the celebrant of the Mass will be Fr Brandon Macadaeg, Rector of the Cathedral.

After the Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the Light on January 29, there will be a short programme on the life of St Joseph Vaz and a festive reception in the Cathedral Hall. Viva Goa, a well-known Goan restaurant in San Francisco will cater the Reception and also provide Konkani music and singing.

“We started this Annual Mass tradition with our Masses in our homes and those of other Goan families, and in churches in San Francisco and Berkeley in 1978,” said Filomena Saraswati Giese, founder of the Joseph Naik Vaz Institute.

“In 2014, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Sri Lanka requested everyone to offer a monthly Mass to inspire Pope Francis to canonize then Blessed Joseph Vaz. We offered a monthly Mass at St John the Baptist Church here in El Cerrito, California. We continued these monthly Masses until Covid struck.”

About a year and a half ago, the Joseph Naik Vaz Institute asked several Goan organisations and individuals in the US and Canada to join in the tradition of celebrating an Annual Mass for our Goan and Indian-Sri Lankan Saints and offer a similar Annual Mass for St Joseph Vaz.

“We got a positive response from the Californian Goans here in the San Francisco Bay Area. They celebrate Konkani Masses in honour of St Francis Xavier and of “Sao Joao” (St John) every year. In January 2022, we and they celebrated a virtual Mass in honour of St Joseph Vaz because of the Covid pandemic,” said Saraswati Giese.

“This year, the Californian Goans will offer a Konkani Mass at Queen of Apostles Roman Catholic Church, San Jose, California and the celebrant will be Fr Bernard D’Sa. We would like to take this opportunity to invite other Goan organisations to join our tradition of making an annual Mass for our Goan Indian-Sri Lankan saints. We are continuing our English Mass with Konkani and Indian-Sri Lankan music at the Cathedral of Christ the Light on January 29,” she added.

“Because of our present concerns over Covid and its infectious devastation, we would like to especially highlight St Joseph Vaz’s nursing care of the abandoned victims of the smallpox epidemic in the Buddhist kingdom of Kandy in Sri Lanka in 1696.”

“At the Canonization of St Joseph Vaz in 2015, Pope Francis noted that St Joseph Vaz’s care of all victims regardless of race, creed, caste, or social standing was an example of the Church’s charitable work of mercy toward all.”

For more information about the January 29 Mass and after Mass programme, please email the organizers at josephnaik.vaz@gmail.com or text at (510)325-1803.

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