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 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.