The Goan Overseas Association (GOA) Vancouver will celebrate the feast of St Joseph Vaz on January 14 at St Matthew’s Parish in Surrey, BC.
The event, which will be hosted by the Sri Lankan and Goan communities since St Joseph Vaz was born in Goa and evangelised Sri Lanka, will begin with the Rosary at 6.40 pm, followed by the Holy Mass at 7 pm.
The main celebrant will be Fr Frank Sharma and he will be assisted by Deacon Dileep Athaide and Deacon Peter Thilina Gomes. The Mass will be in English with hymns in Sinhalese and Konkani.
After the Mass, there will be a fellowship with a Potluck dinner to follow, which will include a wide array of Sri Lankan and Indian/Goan cuisine. There will also be a fusion of music and dance performances from both communities.
“It’s beautiful to see the Goan and Sri Lankan communities come together to honour this feast. Let’s show our solidarity and we encourage our Goan community to join our Sri Lankan community as we celebrate together the feast of St Joseph Vaz,” said John Braganza, president of GOA Vancouver.
In his homily at the Canonisation of Saint Joseph Vaz at Colombo on January 14, 2015, Pope Francis said: “Saint Joseph gives us an example of missionary zeal. Though he came to Ceylon to minister to the Catholic community, in his evangelical charity he reached out to everyone. Leaving behind his home, his family, and the comfort of his familiar surroundings, he responded to the call to go forth, to speak of Christ wherever he was led. Saint Joseph knew how to offer the truth and the beauty of the Gospel in a multi-religious context, with respect, dedication, perseverance and humanity."