Wednesday, July 30, 2014  


Moving ahead with the Power of the Holy Rosary - 11/2/2009

St Mary's Catholic Church Dubai News Network

In the Catholic Church, the month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary.  True to this tradition, the Holy Rosary was recited before the evening mass every day of the month at St Mary's Church, led by various prayer groups, youth groups, sodalities, choirs and communities taking turns.  The devotion came to a grand conclusion on Saturday 31 October after the 5 pm mass with a solemn candlelight procession from the church to the grotto carrying the image of Mother Mary on a palanquin decorated with fresh white orchids.  One verse of the Ave Maria was sung after each decade of the rosary during which, the congregation raised their candles. 




Small children dressed in white holding blue and white balloons stood in front of the grotto to represent the Living Rosary. As the procession ended in front of the grotto, the Celebrant Rev Fr Freddy D'Souza consecrated the parish to Mother Mary.  In his message to the congregation, Fr Freddy stressed that even though the month-long special devotion to Holy Rosary in the church has concluded, this devotion should be ongoing in our families. The beautiful evening came to an end when the children released their balloons just before the singing of the Magnificat. 



Launch Ceremony of Catholic Youth Conference in Arabia 2009 - 11/4/2009

St Mary's Catholic Church Dubai News Network
Friday 9th October 2009 saw the Bishop of the Vicariate of Arabia officially launching the first ever Catholic Youth Conference in Arabia 2009 at St Mary's Catholic Church grounds.  Dubai parish is honoured to have been chosen as the host parish for this great event which is jointly sponsored by the Vicariate of Kuwait and the Vicariate of Arabia.  An estimated 800 participants from all the Gulf countries are expected to participate in this 3 day event scheduled for 26 - 28 November 2009.

Holy Mass at the Cemetery Remembering the Dear Departed - 11/5/2009

St Mary's Catholic Church Dubai News Network

Christians all over the world observe 2nd November as All Souls Day.  It is a day to reminisce the precious moments that we cherished with our loved ones while they were living.  It is a day to visit the cemeteries and pay homage and to pray for their souls.


In Dubai too, it is a tradition to visit the cemetery and bless the graves and pray for the departed souls on this day every year. However, this year it was an unique experience as the parishioners of St. Mary's Catholic Church, Dubai for the first time in its history celebrated a Holy Mass at the nearly 40 year old Al Jaddaf Christian Cemetery which was the first Christian burial ground in Dubai.  A bus was arranged to facilitate the parishioners to commute to and from the cemetery. 


As one entered this holy and peaceful place it was indeed touching to see many of the graves decorated by their near and dear ones with flowers and lit candles which added light to the surroundings together with the setting sun.  A make-shift altar was set up in the middle of the cemetery for the celebration of the Holy Mass.


The prayer service commenced at 4.30 pm with the recitation of the Holy Rosary and was followed by Holy Mass. The melodious voices of the congregation contributed to the meaningful celebration of the Holy Eucharist by Rev. Fr. Tomasito Veneracion, Parish Priest of St. Mary's Catholic Church who was joined by Rev. Fr. John Weir, Senior Chaplain of Holy Trinity Anglican Church Dubai.  During the liturgy, Fr. John delivered a short homily and spoke on the relationship of saints and souls and pronounced "Alleluia, rejoice, Christ is risen, Alleluia.  Indeed He is risen from the dead, Alleluia".  Truly, this is the hope of eternal life after death.  He stated that all mankind has to pass through a fine line - as a saint or as a soul. It is a time when we remember the death of our Lord Jesus which is the pillar of our faith and His resurrection which holds the true meaning of Christianity.


Fr. Tomasito particularly thanked Fr. John for joining with the Catholic congregation of St. Mary's to celebrate the day of the departed souls. As he commended the services of all those who contributed to this event and also to the upkeep of both the Christian Cemeteries in Dubai, he also suggested that occasional visits to the Cemetery to spend  a few moments praying for the departed souls, would bring us peace and tranquillity.


The celebration came to a conclusion with a special prayer for the souls of all the faithful who are resting at the Christian Cemetery, followed by blessing of individual graves.




20th Anniversary Celebrations of our New Church - 11/5/2009

St Mary's Catholic Church Dubai News Network

How quickly this new church building of St. Mary's Catholic Church, Dubai completed 20 glorious years! Yes, time flies but truly these 20 years have been filled with great blessings from the Almighty to the parish of St. Mary's and its parishioners.


The 20th Anniversary of our Church was celebrated on Tuesday the 3rd November with a Concelebrated Solemn High Mass. The Holy Mass commenced with procession from the portico and was led by altar servers holding 20 lighted candles signifying the 20 glorious years of our Church.  Rev Fr Michael Cardoz carried the Golden Book with names of benefactors, along with our Parish Priest Rev Fr Tomasito Veneracion, accompanied by Rev Fr Freddy, Rev Fr Seraphin and Rev Fr Antonino.


During the homily Fr Tomasito, thanked the Lord for blessing us with such a beautiful Church and remembered with gratitude the contributions of the previous Parish Priests Fr Daniel, Fr Peter and all the benefactors who helped building this Temple of the Lord. He also appreciated the hard work put in by his assistant Priests. Fr Michael's name was particularly mentioned as he was present both at the inauguration of the new church in 1989 as well as today.  Fr Tomasito also pointed out to the congregation the need for all the parishioners to have a sense of belonging to our Church.  Our Church is a pilgrim Church and the priests along with the parishioners make it a vibrant Church. St. Mary's Choir made the occasion grand with melodious hymns.




The present church building stands on the same grounds as that of the original church building which was inaugurated on 7 April 1967.  The land for the church and school premises and the entire compound was graciously donated by the then Ruler of Dubai, His Highness the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. Rev Fr Eusebius Daveri was the first parish priest. Within twenty years the new church building was commissioned and built to cater for the ever increasing congregation, under the leadership of His Excellency Most Rev Bishop Bernard Gremoli, Rev Fr Daniel Cerofolini and Rev Fr Michael Cardoz.

A Success Story: Catholic Youth Conference in Arabia 2009 - 12/11/2009

St Mary's Catholic Church Dubai News Network

First three-day event attracts 950 youth at St Mary's Catholic Church Dubai Illustrating the Power of Youth


'Put out into the deep' (Luke 5:4) was the theme aptly chosen for the first Catholic Youth Conference in Arabia (ACYC). The main speakers for this event were Bishop Christopher Prowse, a charismatic and powerful servant of God who is very passionate about the youth, from Australia, and Rev Father Tom Forrest, an 84 year old visiting priest from the USA, youthful and energetic and fully empowered by the Holy Spirit.


One could sense the spiritual presence of Jesus welcoming with open arms as you walked into the premises of St. Mary's Catholic Church, the venue for the three-day event from November 26 to 28, 2009 for the youth of the Vicariate Apostolics of Arabia and Kuwait.


The 950-strong Catholic youth contingent at the Conference represented Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


But more overwhelming was the camaraderie among the various nationalities from the Arab region, as well as Irish, Indian, Filipino, Sri Lankan, Australian, African, Pakistani, French and many others.


The event was inaugurated with the recitation of Hail Mary in 6 different languages at the Grotto of Our Lady, followed by flag bearers with the ACYC flag and other nation flags leading a procession to the beating of drums. The Youth for Christ, Dubai kept all eyes fixed on their dance performance before entering into the Main Hall where comperes Mini Mathew of Abu Dhabi and Dony Peter of Jesus Youth, Thailand, kept the momentum of the day's proceedings.



The inaugural address was given by our beloved parish priest Rev Fr Tomasito and the keynote address by Rev. Fr. Varghese Chempoly, the General Convenor of the event. This was followed by the inauguration of the Conference by Monsignor Francis Jamieson who also was the chief celebrant of the Holy Mass later in the Church. The theme of the homily was "Youth: a time of hope". The Gospel Choir of El Shaddai, Dubai made the Eucharistic celebration more beautiful with their lovely singing.



The talks for the first day of the Conference were on the following themes

-          "We have set our hope on the living God" by Fr Tom Forrest

-          "Saint Paul, witness of hope" by Manoj Sunny

-          "Called to be the Saints of the new Millennium" by George Devassy


There were also break out sessions centered on the following topics

-          "Heart for worship - attracting youth through contemporary music" by Shelton Pinheiro, lead vocalist of the Rex Band

-          "Initiating, building and sustaining a youth ministry" by George Devassy, International Coordinator of the Jesus Youth movement.

-        "Mentoring / accompanying youth" by Manoj Sunny, Executive Director of the Jesus Youth Movement.

-          "Teens workshop" by Dony Peter, Coordinator for Jesus Youth, South East Asia


Apart from these sessions, there were vibrant praise and worship sessions, panel discussion by some ACYC delegates, lively performances by various countries and youth groups, a 1 hour live-wire musical concert by the Covenant Singers and a powerful Eucharistic Adoration led by the English Charismatic Prayer Group of Dubai which made the day a memorable one for all the delegates.


The ACYC office was perpetually busy and volunteers with registration, food distribution and crowd control were in action throughout the three day event. Co-ordination for accommodation with foster parents and transportation for participants was quite a task that was ably done by the ACYC officials. About 150 families from Dubai opened their homes to accommodate the delegates from other emirates and countries which was indeed a big blessing for our parish. The food was also very efficiently organized and served to all the delegates with minimal confusion and disruption. Resource personnel for the event had also come to Dubai from far and wide.


The youth transformed the church compound into an arena of love and joy during the lunch break and moved around in trains to the beating of drums, singing hymns.


The Holy Mass on the second day of the Conference was concelebrated by His Excellency Bishop Christopher Prowse, His Excellency Bishop Paul Hinder, Rev. Fr. Varghese Chempoly, Vice Provincial for the Vicariate of Arabia and all visiting priests from Sharjah, Kuwait, Bahrain, Germany and USA. The homily delivered by Bishop Hinder focused on "Mary Mother of Hope". The singing was beautifully led by New Life Youth Choir of Dubai.



The talks for the second day of the Conference focused on:

-          "Rooted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith" by Bishop Christopher Prowse

-          "Put out into the deep" by Fr Tom Forrest

-          "Spreading God's love - A Middle East perspective" by Fr Joy Menacherry

-         "Reconciliation with God, oneself and others" by Fr Tom Forrest

-          " Commit your life to the Lord" by Bishop Christopher Prowse


The break out sessions for the day centered on the following topics:

-          "Heart for worship 2 - Bringing up worship leaders" by Shelton Pinheiro

-          "Discerning God's call and responding to it" by Fr Varghese Chempoly

-          "Student spirituality" by George Devassy

-          "Leadership Forum" by Manoj Sunny

-     "True love waits - Discovering the beauty of relationships" by Dony Peter


The highlights of the day included praise and worship sessions, sharing of experiences by some of the Rex Band members and a powerful and profound Eucharistic Adoration led by Bishop Christopher Prowse and backed by the Rex Band. Many delegates were visibly touched during this Adoration. There were altar calls made by the Bishop for those who wanted to commit their lives to Jesus for the first time in their lives and many youngsters came forward. The most touching part of the adoration happened when about 35 delegates from various countries expressed their desire to join the religious life by coming forward and being prayed over by the Bishops and the priests.  


The day's proceedings were ably compered by Conchita Fonseca of Come Alive Youth Group, Dubai and Bibin Solomon of Jesus Youth, Dubai.


Day 3 of the Conference began with an awe-inspiring Taize adoration led by the Rex Band with a beautiful stage setting prepared by Jesus Youth, Abu Dhabi. The talks for the day were on the following themes:

-          "Living a victorious life in partnership with the Holy Spirit" by Bishop Christopher Prowse

-          "Dare to Go" by Fr Tom Forrest


Sharing of experience by some delegates was inspirational to all to be missionaries by spreading the love of Jesus through our life and testimony. This was followed by a time of reflection and discussion in ones own groups and countries on how the ACYC helped them and how they can share this experience with others. This session was led by Santosh Mathew, the General Coordinator of ACYC, and George Devassy. Over 16 youth groups from all the 6 participating countries came forward and shared their dreams and experiences.


The Conference concluded with a concelebrated High Mass where the Homily "Do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord" was preached by Bishop Hinder. The Come Alive Youth Group led the choir with melodious singing.  


Jojo Varkey, General Secretary of the ACYC, proposed the vote of thanks before all the participants met for dinner and then paraded to the Al Nasr Leisureland for the 'Grand Finale' by the world renowned Rex Band.


The Rex Band inspired the fully-packed arena of more than 3200 people by their extravagant performance, integrating powerful music, thrilling choreography and thought-provoking contemporary theatrical expressions. The group has more than 400 stage performances to their credit stretching over 18 years, which also includes singing for the three previous World Youth Day events in Canada, Germany and Australia.


To top it all, the welcome message by Bishop Paul Hinder, the "Youth of Arabia arise" call by Bishop Christopher and the message by Rev Fr Tom Forrest that 'the youth have the power to move mountains by their faith' left an indelible mark giving the participants perfect memories of the night of 28th November 2009. Rev. Fr. Varghese Chempoly delivered the vote of thanks while volunteers in attendance ensured a smooth exit of all the delegates.


The first Catholic Youth Conference in Arabia (ACYC) may have come to a successful conclusion enhanced by the Rex Band, but everyone in the Vicariates of Arabia and Kuwait strongly felt it was just a beginning of many more youth events to follow.




Sacrament of Confirmation for Adults - 1/3/2010

St Mary's Catholic Church Dubai News Network

35 young adults received the Sacrament of Confirmation on Tuesday, 24 November, 2009, at St. Mary's Church, Dubai, at an impressive, solemn High Mass.  H.E. Bishop Paul Hinder came from Abu Dhabi especially for the occasion, and administered the Sacrament.  The group had been prepared for the Sacrament over the last 2-1/2 months by dedicated Catechists and Sisters of Comboni Convent.  The group comprised several nationalities like Pakistani, American, Nigerian, Sri Lankan together with a mix of Philipinos and Indians, thus representing in the fullest sense the cosmopolitan congregation of St. Mary’s and the universality of our Catholic Church.   Several of these young adults are getting married shortly, so we pray that their marriages be happy and healthy.  God bless them all !




"Behold I Make All Things New" - 1/3/2010

St Mary's Catholic Church Dubai News Network

Self-Renewal Convention: 9-12 November 2009


With the Blessings of our outgoing parish priest Rev Fr Peter and the support and encouragement of our new parish priest Rev Fr Tomasito, 'The Self Renewal Convention' at St. Mary's Parish Dubai was a turning point in their life for a large number of participants. The four day convention commenced on 9 November 2009 with the theme "BEHOLD I MAKE ALL THINGS NEW" (Revelations 21:5). 


The first day, being the feast of the dedication of the Lateran Basilica, Fr Tomasito in his homily said, "St Mary's Church which owes its allegiance to the Lateran Basilica is a pilgrim church, the church of the poor and a Herald.  St Mary's is a herald preaching the word, the good news calling everyone to change.  The Mother Church heralds and once again calls people to undergo change, to be renewed and refreshed, to leave behind what is not good and look forward to tomorrow. Let this be a wake up call for us to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit.  As we celebrate this Mass we humbly ask God to heal not only our physical ailments but also spiritual and emotional ailments".


The four days that followed were infused with an outpouring of grace into the hearts of the faithful in great magnitude.  Daily programme commenced with the Holy Rosary to implore Our Lady's intercession to be 'formed into the image of Jesus and His likeness' and concluded with the Benediction.   The Holy Mass was celebrated daily and the liturgy on each day was supported by the choirs of El Shaddai, Novem Jerusalem, English Charismatic and Jesus Youth prayer groups, with the singing of the theme song "I will make all things new".  On all days, both Fr Joshi and Brother Bob Canton called out many healings and gifts received and those who were healed of their ailments raised their hands in testimony to the works of the Holy Spirit. 





On day one, Brother Bob Canton spoke on the topic, "Why lacking in sincerity".  At the close of his talk he led the congregation in a prayer for healing.  Following the Holy Mass Fr Joshi spoke on "Why can't people forgive and love".  Fr Joshi explained that main reasons for unforgiveness that we encounter are money that increases pride, ego that decreases faith, land that decreases love and talents that increase selfishness.  The root reason for all problems is inner wounds.  Fr Joshi said, "Some people are not ready to accept that they have wounds.  Some are not ready to treat their wounds. Why you cannot love is because you cannot trust.  If you love you can do anything".  And echoing the theme of the convention, he quoted from prophet Isaiah, "Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the desert I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers". (Isaiah 43:18-19)



On the second day of the convention Bob Canton quoted from the Bible where it says, "This place will never be the same again after the events of this week.  Tell them to receive my Word with Joy.  And the Word will bear fruit".  Enlightening the gathered faithful on, 'How we can surrender our weaknesses', he urged, "It is important to see that God is able to work and give us His strength in our weaknesses, for he says: 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness'".


Subsequent to the Eucharistic liturgy, Fr Joshi led his talk on "How can people change themselves."   Fr. Joshi asked us to direct our gaze on Jesus like St Peter and convert ourselves through confession of our sins. Confession should be complete with true repentance that gives up the desire to hold on to the comfort and pleasure of sin.  Further and more importantly we must dwell on the divine word and ponder on Jesus in our hearts and pray like Mother Mary.  To overcome the 'selfishness of sin' Fr Joshi advocated that we must 'love'. Love is in giving and we must teach ourselves and our children to give.  God commands us to give ten percent of our strength, time and money.  It is in giving that we receive and are blessed.


On Day Three "The need for inner healing" was stressed and illustrated through several examples by Fr Joshi.  He stated, "Inner wounds are the cause of 95% of sicknesses and bad habits.  The root causes of our inner wounds are fear, anxiety / worry, deep sorrow, guilt feelings and depression.  In John 14:27 Jesus says, 'Peace I give you, my own peace I give you, a peace which the world cannot give you, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid'".   During the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament Br Bob prayed for inner healing, asking the Holy Spirit to walk back with us through various stages of life ranging from conception, birth, childhood, adolescence, adulthood to the present moment.  


In his homily during the Holy Mass Fr Joshi emphasised that, "Rosary is not a prayer to our Lady.  It is a prayer that we make with our Mother meditating on the life of Jesus. Some say the Rosary is a repetitious prayer.  But how many times do you say I love you to someone you love?"


When the liturgy of the final day commenced, the congregation was completely motivated to recite the Rosary with faithful devotion.  Fr Joshi later preached on The Power of Prayer saying "it was felt by saints like Padre Pio, Anthony of Padua and Francis of Assisi who toiled like Jesus and communed with the Heavenly Father in prayer. Jesus' prayer was heard by the Father because of His love and reverence for the Father".  Fr Joshi reiterated the importance of family and personal prayer and asked all to invoke the presence of God on all occasions and before any celebration, including weddings, and at all times.  He also exemplified the most powerful prayers:  The Holy Eucharist, The Eucharistic Adoration, Sacred Heart Rosary, Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Way of the Cross. 


The Holy Eucharist was the High-point of the Self-Renewal Convention and was concelebrated by Fr Varghese, Fr Joshi, Fr Tomasito, Fr Antonio, Fr Seraphin, Fr Michael, Fr Freddy and Fr Matthew from Ras Al Khaimah.  During the homily Fr Varghese once again reiterated that God loves us and listens to our prayers. 


Br Bob enumerated further 'The Role of the Holy Spirit' saying "The Holy Spirit is the Love between the Father and the Son, the uncreated power of God."  Before the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Fr Joshi led the congregation in repentance for receiving Jesus in the Holy Communion unworthily.  During the Benediction many hearts were stirred to deep repentance, some felt a warmth, many felt the cool presence and some experienced showers like raindrops - all signs that the Holy Spirit was at work anointing his people, Fr Joshi explained. 


Parish Priest Fr Tomasito thanked the Parish Council members, organizers, the liturgical teams, prayer group leaders and choirs responsible for making the Self Renewal Convention an enriching experience and the congregation for their participation.  He also thanked Fr Joshi and Br Bob for renewing the parishioners through their prayers, words and reflections.  Fr Tomasito reminded the congregation that, "Your Faith has been strengthened.  Remember, God always answers prayers.  To some He answers by granting miracles and to some He answers by giving them patience to bear their trials".


A vote of thanks was made by Godfrey to Oswald Tauro the Main Coordinator of the convention and the organizing team. In turn, Oswald thanked Fr Peter and Fr Tomasito for their support and blessings.



"What God has Joined Together ..." - 1/3/2010

St Mary's Catholic Church Dubai News Network

The 15th Mass Wedding Ceremony at the St Mary's Church Dubai


The Year 1994 witnessed the first Mass Wedding Programme at St Mary's Catholic Church.  With that humble beginning initiated by the Filipino Community (FILCOM) in association with the Legion of Mary every year more and more couples benefited from this initiative.


Yet again, on 2nd December 2009, 14 couples  - all looking beautiful and radiant - marched up the aisle of St Mary's to commit their love for each other until death do them apart.




As the ceremony got over and as the couples marched down the aisle, the programme coordinators and volunteers were thankful to Almighty God, "Here they are, Lord.  Take care of these 14 couples and bless their marital union, for in your presence they have promised each other to stay together and love each other in good times and in bad times, in health and in sickness, in richness and in poverty.  Give them the strength, grace and faith to live life together, to the fullest."


The aim of this programme is to encourage couples to solemnize their vows in church at minimal cost and time.  It also provides assistance in the preparation process especially in following the rules set by the Church.  These include marriage preparation course, helping couples receive sacraments needed prior to receiving matrimony and even assisting in getting proper documents.


Having helped more than 320 couples avail a church wedding in its 15 year history, the programme has proved itself to be one of the most successful ministries of the St Mary's Catholic Church in Dubai.

"I Rejoice in the Lord, for He has Anointed Me" - 1/11/2010

St Mary's Catholic Church News Network
In a rare and blessed coincidence, St Mary's Catholic Church celebrated a second sacerdotal silver Jubilee within a period of three months and that too in the Year of the Priest!  This time, the celebrant is Rev.Fr. Varghese Chempoly, OFM Cap,Vice Provincial Minister of the Capuchin General Vice Province of Arabia. 



On 28 December 2009 as the Church was celebrating Holy Infants feast, Dubai parish also celebrated the Thanksgiving mass for Fr Varghese who was accompanied by Bishop Paul Hinder and 17 other co-celebrants who had arrived from various parishes of the Vicariate.  The solemn procession of altar servers and celebrants made the grand entry into the church from priests residence, with children holding candle-light served as guard of honour inside the church.  Parish Priest Fr Tomasito briefly introduced Fr Varghese Chempoly, who was ordained a priest on 31 December 1984.  He served in India, Oman and is currently based in Dubai for the last four years.





In his homily, Bishop Paul Hinder called the faithful and specially the priests to carry out the message of Jesus who has called us all to be the light of the world.  At the end of the Holy Mass, on behalf of the congregation, Mrs Aboline D'Cunha, Vice President of the Parish Council read the felicitation address to Fr Varghese and highlighted his various achievements.  Bishop Paul Hinder then presented Fr Varghese with a gift on behalf of the parishioners.  "I rejoice in the Lord, for even in my failures he has guided me and chose me as His anointed one" said Fr Varghese in his response and urged the congregation to accept even failures as God's plan and move on in life with faith and perseverance. 
Being the feast of Holy Innocents, the Bishop blessed all the children.  In conclusion the Souvenirs of the Silver Jubilee of Priestly ordination of  Fr. Varghese were distributed to the congregation together with sweets courtesy of ICCRS (International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services) of which Fr Varghese is the Convener.



St Mary's Family Fest 2010 : Sharing with Love; Serving with Joy - 1/21/2010

St Mary's Catholic Church News Network

In Jesus Christ we are a family of God.  As a family we need to come together and celebrate our joys and share in each other's hardships. It is in this spirit that the festivities of Christmas and New Year continued through to the Family Fest 2010 on 14th and 15th January at St Mary's Catholic Church, Dubai.


The mega event had a dual purpose:  It was an occasion for St Mary's parishioners to come together and celebrate the gift of unity and love.  It was also an opportunity in sharing and caring for the needs of the lesser privileged parishioners.   With a variety of songs, dances, mimicry and mime from various communities and groups, the stage events attracted large crowds.  The church compound was filled with eager participants who were enthusiastically taking part in games and fun activities. There were mind challenging games for adults, thrills for youth, bouncing castle and trampoline rides for children and a carousel for toddlers! Then there was food for everyone at the various food stalls!!

The grand inaugural festivity on Thursday 14 January evening started with the opening prayer song followed by the inaugural parade participated by all the communities.  In his welcome address the Family Fest Coordinator James Joseph appreciated the efforts of all those who were actively involved in the planning of the event.  Fr Tomasito, the Parish Priest and the Chairman of the Organising Committee inaugurated the festivities and called upon everyone to enjoy and benefit from the variety of fare that was on offer!


The two day event was sponsored by CAD Space Interior Design LLC (Main Sponsor), Tiger Group of Companies and Western Union Money Transfer (Associate Sponsors), Emirates Airline, Emirates NBD, Joyalukkas (Co Sponsors), Dubai Duty Free, SAPIL (Benefactors) and many others as promotional stall and banner sponsors.  Additionally the support of parishioners - young and old - working hand-in-hand for the success of the festivities was in itself a testament of service and spirit of sharing.

Just before the announcement of Lucky Winners of St. Mary's Family Fest 2010, the Key Sponsors  as well as Priests present at the event and Sr. Ann Marie, Head Mistress of St. Mary's school were  invited to the stage and were felicitated with flowers. Mrs. Aboline D'Cunha, Vice President of the Parish Council proposed the Vote of Thanks wherein she particularly thanked all the Sponsors, Donors and Well Wishers who contributed in cash or in kind towards St. Mary's Family Fest 2010.  She thanked the various groups in the Parish for participating in cultural events , the Youth of the Parish for organizing and manning the Games Stalls and Kids Corner, Volunteers for their dedicated and committed service, the members of the organizing team for all  their whole hearted support coupled with dedicated efforts and hard work, the Parish volunteers for their committed service and more than all she extended her gratitude and appreciation to all the  Parishioners  without whose support, Family Fest  would not be possible.



The Parish Council Secretary commended the effective compering by the masters of ceremonies Melwyn Vaz, Jessie Darkman, Susan Jose and Errol Goveas, together with deejays Clayton and Melvin for their remarkable style in keeping the audience at center stage enthusiastic and cheerful throughout.


"Not what we give, But what we share, For the gift without the giver, is bare" (James Russell Lowell)

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