shalona menezes

Shalona Menezes – Eminent Parishioner

“The Profession of fashion designing is respectable and highly paid.”

Three years back she designed the dresses of Confirmation students which were very much appreciated. She is the daughter of late Felix Savio Menezes and of Felicidade Menezes from Agnivaddo Guirim. She has a younger brother Shane Menezes. She has done her XII Arts and studies in fashion-designing at Stenodac Institute Margao, presently she is working as Fashion and Garment Technology Instructor at Margao. Meet Shalona Menezes, the fashion-designer who shares the various aspects of her profession.

PRERNA: Shalona, what made you choose Fashion Designing as your profession?
SHALONA: It came from my family. My mother was a tailor and that aspiration to be like her influenced my thinking. But I always wanted to be a teacher. As an instructor, I can still teach, and fashion designing is much more than just being a tailor.

PRERNA: According to you, what is the difference between the old fashions that were prevailing and the new fashions that are existing now?
SHALONA: Regarding old fashions they were there for a long time until the next one came, but the new fashions keep on changing. The old fashion were much more modest and were made suitable for each individual. But the new fashions are mostly vulgar, coming in free size and you can make a choice.

PRERNA: What do people prefer, the stitched clothes or the ready made garments?
SHALONA: Some people still prefer stitched clothes for they are more durable and made of their liking. Where as ready made dresses look good but are not durable.

PRERNA: What is your role as a fashion designer?
SHALONA: I ask people the purpose of the dress and where they will be wearing it. And accordingly I prepare the design. These dresses should be according to the occasion.

PRERNA: What is your advice to those who want o take up this profession?
SHALONA: You can design yours and dresses of suitable customers. You don’t have to work under anybody but you are independent and now a days this profession of fashion designing is much more respectable and highly paid. I feel proud to be a fashion designer. You can also choose this profession and be proud of it.

Shalona Menezes

Stenodac Institute of Fashion Designing and Garment Technology Student Shalona, with her own outfit designed and stitched by her. A part of her Training during the Fashion Designing Course.

Risen Lord

The ‘Lord of life’ is risen!

Dr. Jayant Patel, an Indo-American, was dubbed ‘doctor of death’ because he faced charges of  manslaughter in USA and Australia. He lied about his medical qualification causing innumerable deaths. Similarly Dr. Amit Kumar performed illegal kidney operations of poor unsuspecting victims and sold their kidneys to rich recipients. History abounds with such ‘doctors of death’ besides leaders like Hitler was called the ‘butcher of the Balkans’ Besides these killers, we too consciously or unconsciously promote death rather than life. We have become agents of abortion, euthanasia or mercy killing and murder conversely. Easter exhorts everyone to celebrate the Lord of Life and defy death.

We celebrate the Lord of Life during Easter. Three L’s-Light, Life, Love are symbolized by the Easter candle, waters of baptism and empty tomb.

Light and Easter Candle: The Easter Vigil begins with the ‘service of light’. Good Friday hardly seems ‘good’ since evil overpowers good and death triumphs over life. The world appears draped in darkness. But God dispels the darkness of death and raises Jesus as the ‘Light of the world’. Jesus reminded us ‘You are the light of the world!’ (Mt 5:14) Are we truly agents of light who dispels the darkness around us?

Life and Baptismal Water: The symbol of water comes alive at Easter with ‘the Spirit of God moves over the face of the waters’ (Gen 1:2), ‘With joy you’ll draw water from the wells of salvation’ (Is 12:3) and ‘I will sprinkle clean water upon you and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness’ (Ezek 36:25) We are reminded of our own baptism. Can we resolve anew to resolve sins so that we become apostles of life.

Love and Empty Tomb: Jesus leaves humankind with only one historical proof of his resurrection, namely the empty tomb. Easter tells us that true love does no terminate in tombs but flourish in the world’s ‘wombs where people breathe hope to recreate a new humanity, the emptiness of Jesus tomb proves the fullness of Jesus’ love. When you left the womb, you were crying and everyone around you were smiling. Easter exhorts you in such a way that you are approaching the tomb, you may be smiling and everyone around you crying. Will we able to smile while we approach death?

Jesus Temptation

Temptations Lead Us To Sin

A rich man found his dog dead from old age. He went to his Parish Priest and asked if services could be conducted for his dog. The good priest said: ‘Oh no, we can’t have services for a dog here.’ ‘Father do you think Rs. 50,000/- might be enough of a donation’ asked the rich man. ‘Well man, why didn’t you tell me that your dog was a catholic?‘ Temptations make us compromise our ultimate values. In the desert Jesus was tempted but he resisted all temptations. With God’s help we too can resist temptations.

First – Temptation is not a sin, but rather it is in giving into temptation which becomes sin. It is the action which misses to mark, not looking at the target. If at all possible, try to avoid the circumstances for temptation.

Second – Temptation is resistible. Jesus was tempted, but he did not yield.

Third – Temptation is universal. It is common to everyone. The temptations which you now face are not unique. The same kind of temptation has been faced and successfully over come by thousands of other people.

Fourth – Knowledge of the Word of God is key to resisting temptation in our lives. It was in the life of Jesus. Pray for divine help. With God’s help, we can resist all temptations. Take time even if only a few minutes to study the Word and come to understand the gospel of Jesus.

Fifth – Our efforts to resist temptations will always be rewarded. The Greek word for trials and temptations is peirasmos. It means to tempt, to try, to test, to prove. That is the temptations and trials of life are, to prove us, they are for a beneficial purpose. What is the purpose to make stronger and more pure person – more holy, righteous and just. By conquering temptations, we become much more like Jesus.

So if we want to keep away sins from our lives, we have to resist all temptations, which are occasions to sin. With God’s help we can resist any temptation. Many a times we advice others about temptations. What about us? Lent is a right time to reflect on our temptations that lead us to sin and ask forgiveness from the all merciful and loving God!

Fr. Anand da Gama Pais

all souls day

The Triumphant and the Suffering Church

On 1 November we honor its Church Triumphant – all Saints in heaven. All those who lived a holy and good life according to the will of God, have attained salvation, and they are seeing God face to face. Their purpose in life has been fulfilled. The purpose of God is creating human being is achieved, that is God created all of us to know him, to love him and to be happy here on earth and to be happy in heaven in his company for all eternity. In the beginning of the early church the great martyrs, heroes of faith were venerated and their life was taken to be an example to follow. Later on when Christians were free to worship according to their conscience, the Church acknowledged other paths to sanctify. As we honor the Church triumphant we are called to bring to our mind that all of us are called to holiness. By doing God’s will in our lives walking in the steps of Jesus, we will be in the company of the saved ones, the Saints, praising God for all eternity. nd Having honoured the Church in heaven, on 2 November remember the Church suffering in purgatory. The suffering of the souls in purgatory is very severe. They suffer the pain of loss for having faced God in judgement and they realize the great loss separated from him. The tragic part of the souls who suffer in purgatory is their helplessness. They can do nothing to help themselves. They can only wait and suffer. But we on earth can help them, we can offer our prayers to save their souls. Our prayers can be the cause oof liberating a soul from the fiery prison of purgatory. If such is the case, that soul will be eternally grateful to us. Let us remember them in the eucharist, rosary and personal prayer. For the Church Triumphant for all those already in heaven, let us thank and praise God and those in the suffering Church, for the souls in purgatory – let us lift them up to heaven with our prayers and sacrifices.

Fr. Anand da Gama Pais

Temptation: Hand offering an apple.

Conquer Temptations Be Much More Like Jesus

Temptations and trials of life are to prove us: they are for a good purpose. What is that purpose? To make us stronger and more pure. When we conquer temptation, we become a much more pure person – more holy, righteous and just. When we triumphantly go through the trials of life, we become a much stronger person more steadfast, enduring and persevering. By conquering temptations, we become much more like Jesus.

Temptations is not a sin, but rather it is the giving into temptation which becomes sin. Adam and Eve were tempted with the promise of greatness. They fell! We should not expose ourselves to temptation.

Temptation is resistible. Jesus was tempted, but he did not yield.
Temptation is universal. It is common to everyone. The temptations which you may now face are not unique. The same kind of temptation has been faced and successfully overcome by thousands of other people.

Knowledge of the Word of God is key to resisting temptation in our lives, just it was in the life of Jesus. Pray for divine help with God’s help we can resist all temptations.

Our efforts to resist temptation will always be rewarded. The path of life is not an easy path to walk. It is filled with all kinds of temptations, trials, sickness, accidents, disappointments, sorrows, suffering and death.

There is something else. Whenever we give in to a temptation, it takes power from us, but when we resist a temptation we take power from it. The devil wants to take power from us, to make us weak, but when we resist him, we gain strength. If we unite ourselves to Jesus, we can achieve true happiness.

Fr. Anand da Gama Pais


Good News of Great Joy


‘The Word became a human person, and full of grace and truth, lived among us’ (Jn 1:14)

A child’s innocent, sweet smile brings joy and hope even in the most dire situations. A child’s smile dispels darkness because it ushers in another world. A child is a cause of joy, a messenger of hope. It brings good news. For us human beings the birth of the saviour seems too wonderful, yet we know this is exactly what happened more than two thousand years ago in that stable of Bethlehem. And the poor, humble shepherds were the first ones privileged to receive the good news. God’s love for man was so great that He could not leave him in his miserable sad state of being a slave to sin and to the powers of evil, Jesus in Emmanuel, ‘God with us’ God’s purpose in creating us was that we live in Him by loving Him and loving one another. That means we have a great responsibility to recognise His presence in us and in our neighbours. The ideal way to celebrate Christmas is to make room for the saviour of this world and in our lives. Christmas is not a time or season, but a state of mind. To have the real spirit of Christmas is to love, share and be at peace with God and others. When we open our hearts to the lonely and the frustrated and extend a helping hand to the poor and the sick, we have spirit of Christmas.

How am I going to celebrate Christmas this year? Only with a beautiful dress and new pair of shoes? By making a crib and hanging a star? By making some sweets? Are we not going to clean our heart with a good confession? And empty it to receive Jesus? Can we keep Jesus there only or are we going to share the good news of the Lord with great joy? Let Christmas be Christmas this year! Wishing you all a Christ filled Christmas!!!

Fr. Anand da Gama Pais

Mission Sunday 2019

We Are All Missionaries

On 20th October, all over the world we celebrate the ‘Mission Sunday’. These men and women who have left their families, security, comfort in order to proclaim the gospel to the whole world. These men and women have taken seriously the commission of Jesus to go and make disciples of all nations. We celebrate their heroic witness to faith, love for Jesus Christ and the Church and their deep love for all people.

When we hear the words ‘Mission Sunday’ we often ask rhetorically ‘can the appeal for money be far behind? The answer is “no”. We appeal for money to support the missions. We ask you to give generously and become engaged in the works of the missions and share in the missionary work of the Church. Today we have the opportunity to pay a call on the generous help and be a part of this missionary effort. What is most significant in what each of us do by our prayers and offerings is that we won’t enjoy immediate results or public recognition. Responding to Mission Sunday is a great act of faith in our giving and praying the good that we participate is hidden from our eyes. What we sow today will be reaped by others on some distant place. We must be content with the belief that God’s grace will multiply our generosity and prayers, so the word of the gospel will continue and grow.

We can in our own way can make a significant way, even today, by our own exemplary lives. God has given us our body, and we can use our mind, ears, eyes, tongue, heart, hands to proclaim Christ. Whether in our homes where we live, in schools and colleges where we learn, in offices where we work, in the Church and society where we can be a true witness. People who look at us, see the radiating Christ. This Christ in us will bring many people more closer to Him. Even the non-believers will be drawn towards Him. Jesus clearly indicates that in our missionary work, we are protected by the Father’s love. Be a good missionary and God will bless you hundredfold!

-Fr. Anand da Gama Pais

holy rosary

Rosary is the Gate To Heaven

In Luke 7, Jesus observed a  huge funeral procession in Nain. The entire town was present. He observed the young men and women weeping. He observed the pastors and apostles weeping. He observed the elders weeping. He observed the fathers weeping. He observed the children weeping. He observed the sadness on people’s faces. Nothing seemed to move Him, until He saw the mother.  The Bible says He had compassion when He saw her and immediately raised her boy from the dead. (Luke 7:12-15). It was the cry of a mother that moved the Heart of God. Still today, mothers who cry before the Lord for their families, for their marriages, for their homes move the Heart of God. When mothers stop praying their families (especially their children) perish. Satan gets a foothold and starts to destroy the home, yet when they return to their rightful place as the anchor of the home, demonic strongholds get demolished. In Psalms 17, 36, 57, 63, and 91 God’s role is likening to that of a mother. As a mother protects, upholds and defends her children, so does God also protect us under the shadow of His wings. We find refuge there and can hide there until the danger is over.

A mother’s role is so vital that a father cannot get his prayers answered if he dishonours/ disrespects her (1 Peter 3:7). Because, of this favour over mothers, they are also the most attacked persons in the home. The devil is terrified of mothers (the powerhouse in the home). Yet the Lord has put inside mothers grace and resilience to overcome any situation. Today, as the woman of the home, consider yourself blessed. Consider yourself highly favoured and consider yourself victorious, praying the daily rosary with all your entire family, when you pray, the daily rosary.  “Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother. Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces given by God, passes through the Blessed Mother.” 

-Fr. Anand da Gama Pais

st teresa of kolkata

St. Teresa of Kolkata: An Icon of the Good Samaritan

St. Teresa of the Gutters, as she is commonly called, was one of the greatest missionaries of the twentieth century. She spoke the universal language of love that is intelligible to everyone. With all the fibres of her being, she preached through action. She went everywhere to serve Christ in the poorest of the poor. With the witness of her life, St. Teresa reminds everyone that the evangelising mission of the Church passes through charity, nourished by prayer and listening to God’s word. She proclaimed the Gospel living her life as a total gift to the poor but, at the same time steeped in prayer. Her life was a radical living and bold proclamation of the Gospel. “As you did it to one of the least of my brethren you did it to me” (Mt 25:40) St. Teresa highlights the deepest meaning of service – an act of love done to the hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick, prisoners, is done to Jesus himself!

The figure of St. Teresa of Kolkata is well known all over the world. Her personality and humanitarian work have been broadcast through every form of the media. She had been favourite subject of countless biographers and hundreds of books have been published  about her in nearly all languages. She was born on 26th August 1910 in Yugoslavia as the youngest of three children and was baptised Agnes. Her father Nikola Bojaxhui and mother Rosa Drane Markit were both natives of Albania. St. Teresa was always cheerful, hardworking, charitable and generous, and had a notable talent for organisation. She founded the missionaries of charity through which she continued with her ministry to the poor while bearing witness to the joy of loving and serving. She won the Nobel Prize for Peace and the Bharat Ratna is 1980. She accepted all these “for the greater glory of God and in the name of the poor.” She always labours and spoke out to uphold the dignity and value of every human life.

On 5th September 1997 she was called to her heavenly reward. Let’s imitate her in all her goodness, the icon of the Good Samaritan. Reflecting on the pastoral theme “Go and do likewise” (Lk 10:37) be a Good Samaritan to others.

– Fr. Anand da Gama Pais