Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fr. Joe conducts Intense kripafoundation Iyengar Yoga in Bergelingen, Germany




It was 27 years ago that Fr. Joe and Guenter Oberschmid met for the first time. After which this bondage of friendship grew stronger and stronger in between the two through yoga and in his support to Fr. Joe in his work of addiction. Street children and children living with HIV.
It is her in   Bergelingen which is really the perfect place for a quiet and peaceful yoga retreat that Fr. Joe comes year after year to teach and conduct yoga Iyengar yog workshops. This year at Waltrud and Gunther' yoga workshop the participants were treated to special cuisines  prepared by Michael, the Ayurvedic cook. The yoga workshop of Fr. Joe was a sell out,with most participants from  South of Germany. This year  the Therapy workshop was more focused on " Pranayama" which was liked by all participants. But most of all on a number of occasions throughout the sessions  memories and homage with great respect was given to late Yogacharya  Guruji B.K.S. Iyengar, even at the daily Eucharistic Celebration conducted by Fr. Joe.
At the end of the workshop the participants were filled with positive energies, wishing that the workshop would never end. 
Submitted by
Gabriele Wilde
Germany
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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fr. Joe's 72nd Birthday Celebration @ Bandra and Vasai










Keeping in  line with the on-going tradition that has been been going on for more than a decade, Fr. Joe began the celebration of his" Gift of life" by offering a Thanksgiving Eucharistic celebration  at the on-going Novena's at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount, Bandra, Mumbai, India.

Immediately after the service Fr. Joe was greeted at his Helpline office in the same building by his nun Sister Theresa,relatives,staff and well-wishers. The traditional birthday song was sung ,after which Fr. Joe cut his 72nd birthday cake and shared it with his sister Theresa and those gathered in his office.

Throughout the day the telephone lines were buzzing with calls of greeting from all over the world. Fr. Joe took time off and spent some  quality time with the patients in treatment. He said to them " Being with you all on my birthday, is the  most important celebration for me." 

In the evening a grand reception was held  jointly planned by Kripa and the yoga group of Bandra.. Many guest, friends of Fr. Joe , the parish fathers team, staff and patients numbering around 200 attended the function.

The program was compered by our National Program Director Bosco D'Souza who kept the gathering happy with songs from various singers and dancing.to the music of Aloo Sounds..

The party started on a nostalgic and emotional note, when a minute silence was observed for Late Yogacharya Guruji B.K.S. Iyengar. Fr,. Joe's beloved Yoga Guruji. The silence was penetrated with the playing of the "Last Retreat" on trumpet by Mr. Vesaokar which bought great solemnity in paying respect to Fr. Joe's Yoga Guruji.
To commemorate the occasion Lloyd  put up a great fantastic power point presentation of Fr. Joe's work since the last birthday.

The Grace before meals was said by the Parish team of Fathers along with Mr. Conrad and  Mrs. Mercy Saldanha.

 The guest were treated to  sumptuous dinner topped with desserts  prepared by the in-house chefs from Kripa, .helped by Lester, Sterling, Rouginton, Ruby, Charmaine, Chandu, Greta and Tensin.. The staff of Kripa Bandra and Vasai playing perfect host, with timely support of Lloyd,  Mervyn,  Solomon, Sheldon and all the patients of Kripa Bandra.

As the function ended one could see the content on the faces of our  guest as they left, taking back fond memories of a party well enjoyed- HAPPY BIRTHDAY FR. JOE.

The next day.....

In continuity of his birthday celebration Kripa Vasai hosted a lunch party for Fr. Joe's immediate family members and relatives, VRACS advisory board members, patients of Kripa Vasai and Vasai Region AIDS Control Society

 After the VRACS board meeting, Fr. Joe rushed to speak to the 150 members of families of patient in treatment, which was much appreciated and the birthday cake was cut along with guest of Kripa and a Al teen member The birthday celebration along with the Kripa Family and Fr. Joe's Family started with a bhajjan prayer led by Fr. Seraphinus  Ekka and some patients of Kripa Vasai, It was a pleasure to watch Fr. Joe cut yet another  birthday cake along with his immediate family members.

The VRACS Advisory board greeted Fr. Joe with flowers and well wishes. In his address to the gathering Fr. Joe shared the fond memories of his Mother and family in this place which they had gifted for Gods work and how the work of Kripa has grown all over world.

The program ended with the guest being treated to a well spread lunch buffet catered by Lester, Rouington,  Sterling, the chefs of Kripa Vasai under the guidance of Bosco. Mrs. Jean Pereira along with the staff of Kripa Vasai who played perfect host to the guest on the occasion.

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First pictures of Fr. Joe @ The Intense Kripafoundation Iyengar yoga® at Seminarhose - Bergelingen, Germany





Today, after an Intense 4 hours intense yoga session, Fr. Joe spent some time having brunch along with Gunther & Waltrud along with  yoga participants doing  Intense Kripafoundation Iyengar yoga® at Seminarhose - Bergelingen, Germany.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Read Fr. Joe's homily @ The Basilica of Mount Mary, Bandra at the ongoing Novena'





Fr.Joe's Sermon at The Basilica of Mount Mary, Bandra, Mumbai, India.

Beloved brothers and sisters, in our lord Jesus Christ. The theme today, is the very characteristic of being a Christian. Each one of us always signs ourselves, reminding ourselves, that the cross, is a must for all Christians. We cannot escape it, and sometimes we have this cross, scripted in our entire life’s journey. And so Mary also when she came to offer Jesus, Simone gives her this script, that she will be a Mother of sorrows. On my ordination day, as my Mother was overwhelmed, she whispered to me “ Sonna boy from the time you were born, I have developed this Bronchial Asthma. And I always knew that God was giving this son to me, who would do, who would have a very special vocation.” Four years in the priesthood, mom succumbed to that cardiac asthma. Everyone of us, from that very birth, has some kind of note, that we will be fulfilling, the essential characteristic of a Christian. The Cross. “If you wish to be my disciple, learn to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. Alas satan is coming along with a different kind of script, and using renewal programs like born again, fundamentalist, proclaiming a gospel that is called feel nice Christianityfeel nice Christianity. You come to us you will always feel nice, and the other one is more dangerous it’s called the prosperity gospel. You come to us and you have everything that you need, money, bungalows whatever you want. Satan is trying to destroy the church, by a contrary message that it will always be smacking of running away from the cross. Let’s ask the lord to save us from this. But there is another aspect of this message today, and that is what St. Paul struggled with, he was embarrassed, but he was given what he called a thorn in the flesh. Many of us specially working in the field of addiction, see people embarrassed about being an alcoholic, chemically dependent, sex addict, something that they  cannot really overcome, And they are afraid to admit it. St. Paul cried, to take this away, and God said, “No it’s ok, for when you are weak, you are strong for virtue is made strong in weakness.” And the punch line is…” My Grace is enough for you.” So God, really doesn’t need our strength, he does excellently if we acknowledge that we are human, and I may be human in a particular way, that I may be human in a particular way, by my weakness, my sickness, whatever it is, but I can make of that something beautiful for God. And finally, Mary stood by the Cross. In the final analysis, it is not whether our life becomes a success or a real failure, what matters in the word of Blessed Mother Teresa is “That we are faithful..We are faithful to the end.” Let us pray to Our Mother that all of us will get this Grace to be faithful, and when we receive the Eucharist, we receive that same power, which Mary from the time of conceiving Jesus till she stood by the cross, stood she, experience this power, all through because without Gods Grace we can do nothing. Amen.

Submitted
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Email: boscodsouza@hotmail.com for the original audio version

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sunday reflection by Fr. Joe @ Kripa Foundation Vasai- His Homily at Sunday Mass in Kripa Vasai


A narration from the recording of Fr. Joe' Sermon on 7th September 2014.

Beloved brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ. When the first murder took place, in the history of the Judea Christian records. When  a brother killed a brother. And the voice of conscience boomed, and said “ What Have you done”. Cain shouted out and said “ Am I my brothers keeper”. And ever since than humanity is always looked upon as non- caring of one’s own loved ones as the greatest sin.  And today the scripture very clearly declares, the principle of someone you see that person doing something wrong, and you can go and influence him, and yet you don’t. The scripture of the first reading tells us, well because of he going into this wrong doing he will face death, but you too because you had an opportunity to help him turn away and you did not do that. My dear friends today, Jesus says there is a methodology of doing this. First respect the persons individual rights, and confront him directly. Keep his so called anonymity and talk to him as a person to person. And then if his pride is too much and he doesn’t listen, than get two or three together and try to convince him, if that also does not work go the church the assembling and there if he really does not recognize his fault than let him be abandoned. And the first reading says, having done this he will die but you will save your life.  What’s all this? This is behind the entire program, of the Alcoholics Anonymous. Strange but you know the founding Fathers had some extraordinary priests- Frank Bauckman, the Episcopalian pastor. John Schumacher also the Anglican, and our own Jesuit priest Ted Dowling.  Ted Dowling was the first Jesuits priest to embrace recovering alcoholics. Keep them in his basement as we do – the rehab centres. That was the first attempt and that’s how they shared their tales of woe together and helped one another to be alright. This is the principal of recovery. If somebody feels, that he is all knowing, and specially when it comes to alcoholism, that he can manage that he has studied a lot, that he has read a lot of books, that he know a lot of philosophy and theology and therefore he can handle this by himself..He’s a lost soul. Satan, strives on that kind of pride, and therefore today, we ask the Lord that we in kripa that more and more people may get this humility, because if you don’t get this humility, you go into the 40% for those who never get alright. Thank God for that its only 40% here. The World Health Organization says 98.5 % never make it to recovery. So that is how are recovery rate is so high. That’s why we have in our midst, just a couple of days ago someone coming all the way from California. The world today, is not believing, that there is a freedom from this satanic grip of alcohol. And the one who gave us this formula was none other than the leading Psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. He described this statement of Jesus in the Gospel “Where two or three are gathered in my name. I am there.” That is what Carl Gustav Jung gave a scientific name for it. You know what he called that? He called it “collective consciousness.” ….“collective consciousness.” And that is why in the AA room when all sit together and share, what happens? There is where God really is, because these are a bunch of people who are with humility walking into that classroom and saying … “ I am an Alcoholic.  I cannot do this by myself. I need the help of another, and that help of another does not come from that individual other but from the collective other. And that is what today’s Gospel is saying. What a beautiful methodology but one kind of person will never get this, a person who thinks he knows it all. A person who is arrogant. He is denying that he has got this disease and even when he knows he is fully victim of it, he still says “ All you people are wrong. I will show you that I can stay clean.” And that’s called a defiant person. And God resist the proud and raises the lowly. Everyday…Everyday as much as I get news of beautiful recoveries, everyday I get news of people dying. Dying of alcoholism, dying of denial of this disease. So let’s really pray that God may give us more and more people the Grace to tell the truth, about themselves. It is only when you know that ... Then you Love. The commandment of Jesus is very clear. You should owe nobody anything except love, keep loving,  what it is ?…Love your neighbor as yourself. But if you don’t love yourself, if you don’t tell the truth about yourself, you can’t love somebody else, and that is why what happens these arrogant alcoholics who don’t recover, what happens to them ? . They die in their loneliness, because such kind of a person lives in a population in a world of just one …himself. And then like Arthur Hemmingway he writes a final note “A man alone in this world has no chance to exist.” He took up the gun and shot himself. A great author… loneliness kills.   Robin Williams the great man who made all of us laugh. A great Hollywood actor, did you’ll know he was suffering of alcoholism? How many times he went to rehab centres, he went into depression, and finally depression is the death of the mind. And therefore, finally people, 20% of alcoholics get the desire to die, and 2% of alcoholics actually kill themselves. This is a disease of Necrophilia. Necrosis is death, and therefore Necrophilia is love for to die. “Just leave me alone, let me die”. And that is why when people sometimes want to leave and go… I tell them …” You want to walk into death”. Jesus said to St. Peter “There will be a day, when they will tie, a rope round you, and lead you to a place where you will never want to go”. And the Psalm today says: If today you will listen to His voice, Harden not your hearts… If today you will listen to His voice harden not your hearts.” May God grant us the Grace, to end our egoistic life and that is what yoga and meditation in the morning does. Helps us to bypass the Ego, and acknowledge the “ANTARYAMIN”-the inner controller, the indwelling spirit of the risen Jesus. And that is why I pray to these great souls Blessed Mother Teresa, whose anniversary was celebrated on the 5th this Monday , 3 hours before my birthday she passed away. International clocks sometimes put her death on the 6th. She and Guruji B.K.S. Iyengar who also passed away us this unique way of connecting with God, so that filled with that love, because I know whom I am than I know who God is than I can give that love which I experience and how by the 12 steps. What is the 12 step?. Having had a spiritual awakening, I take this message to other suffering alcoholics.  That’s the message, and try to fit in all our other affairs of life. But if you don’t do that, you never can maintain your sobriety. Please understand that, that the principal of getting well is only sharing what God has given you as a gift to other suffering alcoholics. And here is well I put a special request to all of you, to wake up. There are very few Alcoholics Anonymous groups in Vasai. Please, whoever you have known, as getting well from here or just directly through the AA? please help them to start AA groups in all your parishes. Why in Bombay we have about 300 groups namely in parishes? and here in Vasai hardly 3 or 4 groups? Because, we are living in a denial society. We deny that Alcoholism is a disease, we deny this, and God will never bless a denying society. And we will come here, and praise God in our churches and make big noise and never get in touch with our Antaryamin, because there is too much noise in my life. And there is no way that I can bypass my Ego, except by that humility in telling the truth about myself. Only than that Truth will set us free. May God grant us the Grace to wake up to this powerful message that Jesus has given us in today’s Gospel, and the whole liturgy speaks that we are our brothers’ keepers. We are responsible one and another and specially that satan using this horrible weapon of alcoholism and drug abuse all the more must wake up and help one another walk hand in hand. Amen.



Email: boscodsouza@hotmail.com to receive the audio version

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Fr. Joe Celebrates His Birthday Mass- Read His Homily @ the Eucharistic Celebration .


READ FR. JOE'S HOMILY @ HIS BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION MASS
Beloved brothers and sisters in our lord Jesus Christ. We are people with flesh and blood and therefore when we relate to God also, we want to feel God like flesh and blood. This among the common people in Maharashtra was recognized by none other than the famous Lokmanya Tilak. And so he encouraged and fostered this concept of a flesh and blood God in Ganesh…Ganapati. And we are having these days the celebration of this Ganapati. Lokhmanya Tilak went further and advised, that this Ganesh, a so called flesh and blood kind of statue should be ultimately immersed in the sea. It has to be put into the ocean of the absolute. There was another Narayan Vaman Tilak. Who instead of doing this way, went the direct way of getting to know the flesh and blood God in Jesus, and he converted to Christianity and composed many a kirtans and Bhajaans which today are very well know in Maharashtra.  But there was a whole lot of Indians, Hindus who were searching for this flesh and blood God beginning with the absolute Bhraman and kept on jounerying down the Vedas culminating in the Bhagavad Gita. And in the 6th chapter, Krishna tells Arjuna “Forget it, you can never touch God on the level of materialism – Prakriti, you have to come to the level of Purusha, a personal encounter with God. At that time in Bethlehem this God was born. He became flesh. And that is the beauty of incarnation. The final longing for God to be in flesh and blood became in a historical manner present amongst us, and she who bore this flesh and blood God, was Mary. And that is why in so many ways what the Eucharist actually is a flesh and blood God amidst us was exactly in Mary, even before the institution of the Eucharist. My dear people therefore we become Christ bearers and therefore our pray has to be that most beautiful prayer of John Henry Cardinal Newman. “Dear Jesus help me spread your fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with your spirit and your life penetrate and posse my entire being so utterly that all my life maybe a radiance of yours.” Lets pause for a while, Mary was the most beautiful person research has shown and BBC once proclaimed  it that the most beautiful woman in the world are the religious nuns, because when they give themselves completely to the Lord beauty shines through their own personality. Mother Teresa was like that externally one could look at her face and feel that she was not so beautiful but if you looked her Holiness her radiating Christ brought about the beauty and that’s what we have to be lets pray at this mass that in the likeness of Mary we may be truly Christopher’, truly Christ bearers starting with me and all our priest we are Alter Christus … Other Christ. Pray for us that we may be  truly  people who radiate Jesus. Amen

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Fr. Joe cutting his first birthday cake with his Nun Sister Teresa Pereira in his office