GCSofUSA invite all member and faithful for a holy mass in Gujarati celebrated by Fr. Lawrence Martis.

Gujarati Catholic Samaj of USA invite all members an faithful for a holy mass in Gujarati celebrated by Fr. Lawrence Martis. He was here last year around the same time and he participated in our annual picnic of last year and we were fortunate to have his company again this year for the 4th of July annual picnic. We were not able to arrange a Gujarati mass last year but this year it all worked out well.

Fr. Alex is also in town and he will be joining us for the mass and get together. 

Day & Date: Saturday, July 28, 2018

Time: 2:00PM mass followed by  get together with light refreshment.

Place: St. Anthony of Padua

615 8th Street

Union City, NJ 07087

We are thankful of Fr. Aro Nathan for his unconditional support as always. 

SERGEANT CALVIN R. CHRISTIAN 2018 Recipient of CSM Doug Russell Award for Excellence in Military Intelligence.

It is not only a proud moment for the family but for the Indian American community and especially for the Gujarati Christian Community. Many congratulations to Sergeant Calvin R. Christian for his courage, Services and intelligence.

Sergeant Calvin R. Christian son of Mr. Robin Christian and Desdemona Christian, grandson of Rev. Manubhai Christian and Ruthben Christian was awarded “The Command Sergeant Major Douglas Russel J. Award for Excellence in Military Intelligence” award for the year 2017 on June 29, 2018 at The US Army Fort Huachuca, AZ.

SGT Christian was born in Manama, Bahrain in 1982 and graduated high school in Colonia, New Jersey, in 2000. In March 2014, he enlisted in the United States Army as an All-Source Intelligence Analyst (35F) and graduated from Basic Combat Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

After completing Advanced Individual Training at Fort Huachuca, SGT Christian served as a Long Range Artillery Analyst with the 8th Army Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion in Yongsan, Korea. After completing the Basic Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia, he was assigned to the famed 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, where he served as an Intelligence Analyst in the Battalion Intelligence Section. During this assignment, he served as the Future Operations Analyst during Operation Swift Response at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany. In October 2016, he earned the rank of Sergeant and was re-assigned to Delta Company (MICO), 127th Airborne Engineer Battalion as an All-Source Intelligence Sergeant and Team Leader.

Shortly after reassignment to Delta Company, SGT Christian participated in the Brigade Culminating Training Exercise in preparation for combat operations. He deployed with Combined Task Force Devil Strike Brave Hearts to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan from July 2017 to March 2018 in support of Operation FREEDOM’S SENTINEL 17-18. He served in the Kandahar Intelligence Fusion Center as the Lead Analyst for the Vehicle-Bourne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) Targeting Team. He led the effort to interdict VBIEDs as they entered the Kandahar Ground Defense Area and identify key Taliban VBIED staging and support zones, resulting in nearly 30 VBIEDs and VBIED facilities destroyed.

SGT Christian earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance in March 2017 from Maryland University College. Additionally, he graduated the United States Army Advanced Airborne School Jumpmaster Course in April 2017, distinguishing himself as an Airborne leader. He is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in National Security Studies at the American Military University.

SGT Christian’s awards include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and NATO Medal. SGT Christian has also been awarded the Parachutist Badge, Combat Action Badge, and his company received the MG Oliver W. Dillard Award as the best Brigade Combat Team MI Company in US Army Forces Command for 2017.

WHAT IS CSM Doug Russell Award:

The CSM Doug Russell Award was established in 2000 to recognize the outstanding achievements of Soldiers within or on behalf of the Military Intelligence Community.  In 1943, Mr. Russell entered the United States Army and began a lifelong career of military service to his country.  He served in the Armed Forces during WWII, the Korean Conflict, as well as two tours of duty in Vietnam. In 1975, after 32 years of service, Mr. Russell retired from the United States Army with the rank of Command Sergeant Major. During his distinguished military career, he was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and numerous other commendations. He then moved to Washington, DC where he became the Director of Enlisted Services for the AUSA, a position he held from 1979 to 1993. From 1995 until his death in 2009, he held the position of President of The American Military Society, also in Washington, DC.

To be eligible, a candidate must be a Soldier in the rank of Sergeant (E-5) or below in the Active Army, Army Reserve or National Guard. While it is not mandatory that the candidate hold an MI Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), he/she must have performed actions that directly contribute to the MI Corps during a calendar year.

Eligible candidates must meet the following criteria:

(1) Be a Soldier in the grade of Sergeant (E5) in the US Army during the period of eligibility.  The MI Corps CSM may approve SSG packets if accomplishments were made as a SGT within the covered period.

(2) Be fully eligible for continued service for at least one year after award presentation. Award cannot be given posthumously.

(3) Must not be under unfavorable personnel action or UCMJ.

(4) Meet height and weight standards specified in Army Regulation (AR) 600-9.

(5) Maintain a current passing grade on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT). The APFT requirement is waived for deployed nominees who are unable to take the APFT.

Nominations are accepted only for individual Soldiers (no unit or group nominations). Soldiers cannot self-nominate.

“Yoga Is Secular”, Says Kerala Nun, A Yoga Teacher since 30 Years – News from NDTV

“Yoga Is Secular”, Says Kerala Nun, A Yoga Teacher since 30 Years – News from NDTV

67-year-old Sr. Infant Tresa says yoga has been her constant companion along with the Bible.

Kerala | Press Trust of India | Updated: June 21, 2018 14:48 IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: She prays with folded hands and bent knees every day reciting Bible verses. With the same devotion and dedication, she practices ‘surya namaskar’ (sun salutation), ‘pranayama’ (breathing exercise) and ‘asanas’ (yoga postures) daily and imparts training to hundreds of people, cutting across religion.

A difference among Church groups and objections raised by some denominations against Yoga has not prevented this Catholic nun, from Central Kerala, from practicing and popularising the ancient form of exercise.

67-year-old Infant Tresa, a member of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC), one of the largest women’s religious gatherings in the country, feels that ‘Yoga is secular’ and ‘it does not belong to any particular religion.’

This confidence has given her strength to practice yoga for the last 30 years and provide training to over 5,000 people so far, irrespective of their religion, gender and age.

After retiring as a nurse from the government sector in 2006, Sister Tresa has dedicated her life completely to promote yoga and meditation and started two centres for it at Muvattupuzha and Thodupuzha in central Kerala.

As the country celebrates yet another International Yoga Day today, the nun says her strong faith in Yoga came from her own personal experience.

She also admitted that many Church groups still have ‘misconceptions’ about Yoga and its practice.

However, her own Congregation is extending complete support for her new role as ‘yoga trainer,’ she said.

“I learnt Yoga in 1985 and have been practising it since then. I was suffering from severe back pain and wheezing at that time. I tried many medicines but got no relief,” Sister Tresa told PTI.

“It was Yoga which brought me relief. After knowing about this ancient form of exercise through a newspaper, I tried to learn and practice it regularly.. and the result was amazing,” she said.

The nun claimed that her health issues-both back pain and wheezing-reduced step-by-step and she got completely cured within months.

Since then, yoga has been a constant companion of Sister Tresa, along with the Bible.

As her love for Yoga grew, she tried to gather as much information as possible from books and underwent a training programme in Bengaluru after availing three months leave from her nursing profession during the 1980-90 period.

After retirement, she has been travelling extensively in and outside the state to take classes on yoga and attending seminars and conferences.

Even at this age, the sexagenarian spends at least three hours for yoga practice and takes at least one of the three daily sessions at her yoga centres.

As a regular practitioner of yoga and meditation for over three decades, the nun said she found it difficult to understand why people were making unnecessary hue and cry over it.

“Those who call yoga a part of Hinduism and raise objections against it, do not know what it actually is.. Yoga does not belong to Hinduism or any other religion.. It is completely secular,” she said.

It is a physical, mental and spiritual practice, which originated in ancient India and there was no need to mix religion with it, the nun said.

Sister Tresa’s word assumes significance in the wake of the recent stand taken by Syro Malabar Church, a prominent church denomination in Kerala that ‘yoga and Catholic faith cannot go together.’

A report by the doctrinal commission of the Syro-Malabar Church had underlined the views expressed by its Synod last year that yoga is not a medium to attain divine experience.

However, Sister Tresa said the number of Christians and Muslims learning Yoga was on the rise, besides Hindus.

When asked whether she had faced any objections when she started training yoga, she said it was natural to face some resistance in the initial phase but her Congregation, bishop and colleagues have extended her all support.

“I am not defying any rules of the Church. I do not use any particular mantra or pictures of any God or goddesses, while practicing or training yoga and meditation,” she said.

She alleged that there were some hardcore Christians who think that doing ‘sun salutation’ was a sin. Sister Tresa does not mind advising them to use pictures of Jesus Christ and do ‘yesu namaskar’ (saluting Jesus Christ) instead of ‘soorya namaskar’ (sun salutation).

Performing yoga with the accompaniment of any particular mantra or practicing ‘secular yoga’ (sans any mantra or prayer) are also not wrong.

“Doing yoga is more important.. mantra, prayer or pictures are just tools that can be used according to individual choices,” she said.

Seeing people experience physical and mental relief through yoga is the happiest part of the stint as yoga trainer, said Tresa who had joined the Congregation embracing nun-hood at the age of 19.

મારું જીવન…મારાં સ્વજન…મારો સમાજ…મારું જગત…૨૦૦૪ થી આ જાળું ગૂંથી રહ્યો છું…