Thursday, 19 January 2012

Fr. Edwin on Vacation: "A Visit to the Gateway of India"

On Wednesday morning I visited the seminary and met with Bishop Agnelo Gracias, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Bombay. He was the person who accepted me into the seminary. Bishop Agnelo is a man of faith and loves people. He is always ready to meet, greet and encourage. I have learned much from him.

 On Wednesday evening, I was in downtown Mumbai with my good friend Fr. Andrew, Fr John D'Mello (former professor at St. Pius Seminary)and Elaine D'Souza (young lady who works at the Canadian Consulate). We had an excellent dinner at a Chinese restaurant. The owner went to a Catholic School and so dessert was on the house. Didn't have much as I am getting old. Before dinner, Fr Andrew and myself visited the Gateway of India, which was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Bombay in Dec 1911. From here there are ferry boats that take people for a tour around the harbor. Opposite the Gateway is the Taj Mahal Hotel. Both these places were the scene of a terrorist attacks in 2008. But the people of Bombay are resilient and continue to visit these places of interest in large numbers.

The next few days are going to be last minute visits with family friends. On Tuesday morning (Monday afternoon for all of you) I board the flight to Toronto.

Keep well and God bless,
Fr. Edwin

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Fr. Edwin -- Blogging from Bombay

On Wednesday I visited my friends at St. Pius X Seminary. This is the major seminary in Bombay and it is where my journey to the priesthood began. As I con-celebrated the mass, walked around the seminary and prayed in the various chapels, it gave me goosebumps because this is where it all started for me. As I reflected on my entire journey of discernment and priesthood, I realize how God has always been faithful and continued to give me the strength to serve Him. 

Bombay is a city of 12 million people and most the people live in absolute poverty. People from different faith backgrounds live in peace and harmony. Everyone has some belief and fear of God. As I walk through the streets and watch the poor, I have never seen them sad or depressed. They have absolutely nothing and yet they have peace. Reminds me of the Jesus words: Blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of God (Luke 6).

I continue to enjoy the good weather, good food, super family and friends and the good faith of the people. I hear that Scarborough is full of snow. No worries as long as we have our faith, family, friends and common sense (can't take risks in the bad weather), all will be fine.

God bless,
Fr. Edwin

Monday, 9 January 2012

Blogging from Bombay

Greetings once again from the holy land of Bombay, where the weather is 24C and I am enjoying every moment here. Today Fr. Caje will be visiting and both of us will be going to do some visits. One of them will be Bishop Bosco, auxiliary bishop of Bombay,  who is celebrating his 75th birthday.

Every morning I concelebrate mass at St. Michael's Church. Each Wednesday they have the devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. People from different faith backgrounds attend this novena. It is so amazing to see all these people come together to pray and seek God. 

On Thursday I will be visiting the Archdiocean Seminary, where my journey to the priesthood began. Fr Caje has arranged a gathering of priests on Thursday evening. It will be lots of fun meeting with the guys and catching up on stuff.

My prayers and best wishes to all of you

Fr. Edwin

Friday, 6 January 2012

"On the Twelfth Day of Christmas..."

With the celebration of Christmas and New Year slowly subsiding, we have been treated to a surprising gift and blessing from the Holy Father.  If you have not been made aware already, Archbishop Thomas Collins was named as one of several to be elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope Benedict XVI.  Cardinal-Designate Collins will be the 16th Canadian Cardinal and the 4th for the Archdiocese of Toronto.  The official ceremony, called a consistory, will take place next month in Rome whereby he will receive his "red hat."
For more information, check out the special archdiocesan web page located here.

In other news, Fr. Edwin has landed safely in India and as promised, will be blogging throughout his vacation.  Below you will find his first post from half-way around the world:

Greetings to all from Bombay! I arrived here on Jan 5th at 4 am. My sister Carol and her husband were at the airport and I was happy to take off my sweater etc because the weather is 30 C. So enjoying the break from the cold

My flight from Toronto was good. I flew Etihad, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates. The crew on board were excellent and I enjoyed the flight. I watched a movie, said my prayers, behaved and slept. I had one stopover in Abu Dhabi. While there you hear the Muslim prayers being recited. Interesting how Muslims have no problems about witnessing to their faith. I guess we Christians are too shy or too diplomatic.

My sister Carol is busy pampering me and it has only been a few hours. But then people at St. Barnabas pamper me too! Spoiled brat that I am.

Thank you all for your prayers and may God bless you

Fr. Edwin