Having endured an enormous change in the weather with heavy snow over most of the country in the days leading to Sunday 5 December, many people were anxious to know whether we would be celebrating the St Francis Xavier feast that day.

The celebration did take place – commencing with Mass at St Boniface’s and concluding with a reception in the Parish hall – and a good turnout of brave folk tackled the icy roads and pavements to get there.

The Mass was celebrated by Fr Lucas Rodrigues SFX who gave us a lovely and inspirational sermon.  Choir members and guest musicians from the Goan Musical Society again did us proud – under the able direction of Jovito Dias.  We were honoured to have Joanne D’Mello (soprano at the Royal College of Music) in the choir and to listen to her sing solo.  The second collection was offered to the Pilar Fathers Mission in the UK.  The GOA UK President – Flavio Gracias – was fulsome in his praise of all who had supported and participated in this celebration and he also congratulated the Pilar Society for having the Pontifical Right bestowed on them.  He however did express his disappointment that not many Goans from the Tooting area had attended that day; yet a number had come from far afield as Kent and North London.

As usual, the reception next door was enhanced with very enjoyable music played by Nitelife, tasty snacks and meals provided by Bernie’s Kitchen as well as generous prizes offered in the Raffle draw.

Anita Rebello
Public Relations Director