Silver Jubilee celebration of Priestly Ordination of Fr. Mari Joseph celebrated by Gujarati Catholic Samaj of USA on October 12, 2019.
Ten diocesan priests celebrated together the Silver Jubilee of their Priestly Ordination (1994–2019): Frs. Arulanandam Alankaram, Alex Clement and Savariraj Savrimuthu, from the archdiocese of Gandhinagar and Frs. Francis Kulandai, Lawrence Aruldoss, Lukas S., Maria Joseph, Peter Lopes, Xavier Amalanathan and Varuvel Gnanadhas from the diocese of Ahmedabad. As the ordination batch of 1994, they decided to have a common celebration of their Silver Jubilee on 27th January 2019 at Our Lady of Forsaken Shrine (Anathoni Mata Thirthadham), Khambholaj.
Fr. Mari Joseph has been visiting USA since 2009 and he has always spend few days with us and celebrated a mass for us. He was planning a visit to Lourdes to provide his services and then he included Canada and USA to his Itinerary. Fr. Salvador D’Britto also accompanied him to Canada and USA. He informed us that he will be with us for 3/5 days in New Jersey. So we decided to celebrate first ever 25th anniversary of a priest of our mother diocese Ahmedabad.
Mr. Ketan Christian arranged a church and a cafeteria hall for our celebration. On October 12, 2019 at 6:30 around 75 members of the Gujarati Catholic Samaj of USA gathered at The Church of the Sacred Heart, South Plainfield for a celebration of Eucharist. Fr. Mari Joseph was the main celebrant and Fr. Salvador D’Britto and Fr. Pervaiz Indrias, the parochial Vicar of The Church of The Sacred Heart, South Plainfield. On this auspicious occasion, Fr. Salvador D’Britto preached a meaningful and enriching homily. He explained that this type of celebration are not to glorify the priest or nun but God and only God.
At the end of the Eucharistic celebration all were asked to go to nearby school cafeteria for a dinner and felicitation program. The hall was nicely decorated with the a banner of Gujarati Catholic Samaj of USA and a special banner made for the 25th anniversary of priesthood ordination of Fr. Mari Joseph. People enjoyed the food and settled down. The program was started with welcome of Fr. Mari Joseph, Fr. Salvador D’Britto, Fr. Pervaiz Indrias, Mr. Shantilal Parmar, President of GCSofUSA, Mr. Joseph Parmar the founder and first president of GCSofUSA and a well-known preacher and bible study organizer Mr. Vinubhai Macwan from Vadodara. They all were greeted with a flower bouquet.
Fr. Mari Joseph was presented with a plaque of appreciation – “Fr. Mari Joseph Arogyapaa, Rejoice in your accomplishments! God is surely smiling on you today as you celebrate 25 years in service to our Lord! May God Bless you to continue His work in serving His people. Thank you for being part of our Community.” He was also gifted a wrist watch with his name and ordination date imprinted on it.
A nice decorative cake was cut by Fr. Mari Joseph with huge round of applause and cheers. He was very much pleased and appreciated the effort by GCSofUSA. He thanked everyone and assure all that he will cherish this moment throughout his life and will pray for all of the members of GCSofUSA. Fr. Salvador also thanked everyone and gave his blessings.
The program ended with a small 3 minutes of play played by four children Saloni, Alayana, Aaryan and Braxton called “ THREE DOLLARS WOTH OF GOD” .
I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please. Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don’t want enough of God to make me love a black man or pick beets with a migrant. I want ecstasy, not transformation. I want warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.
— Wilbur Rees
Please find below pictures of the above event taken by Robinson Jones, Johnson MClin, Raj Macwan & Hensu Macwan. Thank you for your service.