A priest’s life is dedicated to the service of his flock. It is a life of obedience and requires dedication, patience and immense spirituality. Achieving 50 years as an ordained priest is indeed a testimony of faithfulness, devotion and perseverance accompanied by gratitude to God for the call to follow him.
Such a milestone was celebrated by MAC on June 10, 2017 as Rev. Fr. Edwin D’Souza, Spiritual Director of Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC) and former Parish Priest of Sts. Martha & Mary Catholic Church, Mississauga completed 50 years as an ordained priest.
Fr. Edwin’s celebration started off with a solemn mass presided over by him with co-celebrants, Monsignor Thomas Kalarathil, Rev. Fr. Martin Pereira and Rev. Fr. Andrew Lewis.
A cultural program and dinner was then held in the church hall with guests that included close family and friends. The emcee for the evening, Vidya Alvares welcomed the guests and Jake Pereira’s trumpet rendition of the hymn “How great thou art” set a joyous tone for the remainder of the event. A toast was raised by Janet D’Souza who spoke about Fr. Edwin’s childhood, his spontaneous decision to become a priest, some highlights that included his meetings with Pope Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa.
A touching tribute was paid by his sister, Mrs. Celestine Martis who stressed on the close bond between brother and sister.
Virginia Kanary, an ex-parishioner of Fr. Edwin, narrated a moving story about the deep faith, support and solace Fr. Edwin offered in times of her great need.
Prem Lobo, a visiting famous singer from Mangalore composed and dedicated a song to Fr.Edwin. It was sung by Prem, Dora, Renee and Gerry D’Mello accompanied by Wilson D’Souza on the guitar.
A magnificent cake was cut by Fr.Edwin as everyone applauded wholeheartedly.
The highlight of the event was a felicitation ceremony where Manohar Pais, President of MAC, respectfully draped a shawl round Fr. Edwin’s shoulders.
The church hall then reverberated with the fast paced, enthralling Hollywood & Bollywood fusion performance by Elvis Menezes, Symona Albuquerque, Deandra Albuquerque, Kirsten D’Souza and Jayden D’Souza. Kierra Mathias, the young lady with the golden voice sang “Give thanks with a grateful heart” moving people to give her a standing ovation. The incredibly talented Elvis Menezes entertained the guests with a tap dance.
Dinner was a sumptuous and scrumptious spread of dishes cooked to perfection by Konkan Delite. Everyone enjoyed the food which was followed by the mouth-watering delicacy, Vorn.
The Baila sung by Prem Lobo, Manohar Pais, Gerry D’Mello and Wilson D’Souza had everyone swaying and dancing to the melodious tunes.
The evening ended with a Vote of Thanks by Melwyn Menezes, Vice President of MAC who offered his appreciation to the clergy and the guests who participated in this wonderful celebration. Melwyn also thanked each and every one for helping to make this event memorable and successful for Fr. Edwin whose selfless love and caring has endeared him to one and all.