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“VOICES FOR CHRIST” – Festival of Christmas Carols

 

 

By Gerry D’Mello

 

 

“Welcome to all the participating choirs from our Parishes of Cristo Rei and Ss. Salvador do Mundo as well as the choirs from other parishes. This is a beautiful occasion to welcome the Advent Season; the four weeks of preparation for the birthday of the Messiah! This is a time to rejoice for the gift of the redeemer. No wonder this evening, the angels are singing on earth and the archangels are rejoicing! Let us join our voices to theirs!” said Fr.Carlos Macatangga, SVD, the dynamic Pastor of Cristo Rei Parish in his message while inaugurating the tenth "Voices for Christ" Christmas Choral event organized by the Knights of Columbus Council #12214 here in Mississauga. "Congratulations to the officers and members of Knights of Columbus, Christ the King Council for organizing and Cooridnating this year’s edition of Voices for Christ! I cannot think of a better way to usher in the Advent Season than by singing hymn of praises to the Messiah!" he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contrary to the chillness of the winter weather, the warmth of the divine Spirit spread through angelic singing thus preparing Christians in and around Toronto for the joyous feast of Christmas.

 

 

The ‘Knights of Columbus’, a Catholic Association having over two million members all over the world, is a Catholic men’s fraternal benefit society that is very popular in North America. It was formed to render financial aid and assistance offered to the sick, disabled, needy members and their families. Social and intellectual fellowship is promoted among members and their families through educational, charitable, religious, social welfare, war relief and public relief works. It is a great vehicle for Catholics to practice their stewardship in parishes and communities.

 

 

In order to spread the light of Christmas joy, Council #12214 of the ‘Knights of Columbus’ affiliated to Cristo Rei Roman Catholic Church, one of the prominent Churches in Ontario, organized “Voices for Christ”, an event participated by the various Church Choir groups of Toronto in ‘Cristo Rei’ Church Hall for the tenth time. Acclaimed choir groups consisting of talented singers and musicians from different multicultural backgrounds like Canadian, Portuguese, Indian, British, Italian, Polish, Chinese and Filipino participated in this magnificent event.

 

 

The dynamic & dedicated leader of Knights of Columbus Council #12214 and the ‘Grand Knight’ GK Dereyk Rego welcomed the gathering wherein he thanked all the sponsors, Worthy Knights and all those who had worked behind the scenes. He extended a special thanks to the Worthy Chaplain Fr.Carlos for his great support groups and that resulted in a tremendous success!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jason Rodrigues & Jude D’Souza, a couple of the vibrant and talented young personalities of Cristo Rei Parish ably anchored the evening’s program which took off at 7:15 pm with the national anthem “O Canada”. They welcomed the full-house gathering and then read out the list of participating choir groups. They were:

 

 

Couples for Christ Music Ministry’ – Director: R.J .Rodrigues

‘The Konkan Voices’ Mangalorean Choir - Director: Sonia Monteiro

‘St.Maximilian Kolbe Youth Choir’ – Directors: Chorek

Christ the King Canticle Ministries Choir’ – Director: CKCM

St. Jerome’s 10:30 Choir’ – Director: St.Jerome’s Parish Choir

‘Cristo Rei Children’s Choir’ - Director: Lynn Evangelista

‘Prince of Peace Group Choir’ – Director: Tamil Choir from different parts of GTA

‘Grupo Movidos Pelo Espirto Santo’ – Director: Jaime Pereira

‘Divine Voices’ – Director: The Syro Malabar Exachate, Mississauga

‘One Voice’ – Directors: Rod and Lynn Evagelista

‘Goan Choir’ – Director: Ami Goenkar

 

 

The Couples for Christ (CFC) is an international Catholic lay ecclesial movement whose goal is to renew and strengthen Christian family life and values. It is one of 122 International Associations of the Faithful. The organization was affiliated with the Vatican recognition from the Pontifical Council for the Laity. CFC is made up of several ministries, and the music ministry is one them. Moved by the Holy Spirit, one with the Catholic Church, blessed to witness to Christ’s love and service, Couples for Christ is a united global community of family evangelizers that sets the world on fire with the fullness of God’s transforming love.

 

 

Newly formed Mangalorean singing group “The Konkan Voices” is a very talented, cheerful and enthusiastic group proudly led by Sonia Monteiro and performing for the first time in “Voices For Christ”. Most of the singers of this group participate in choir at the Konkani Mass at Sts. Martha & Mary Church every second Saturday of the Month. They are a great team who will bring life for the Mass with their spirit-filled singing. Their mission is to bring the younger generation together and to use their talents for the greater glory of God!

 

 

The St. Maximilian Kolbe youth choir was formed in 2012 and sings on alternate Sundays during the 7:00 pm Mass. The core members are post-secondary students who love to sing. In addition to providing the music liturgy that corresponds to the liturgical calendar, the choir has a rich repertoire of religious song in both English and Polish, which it performs to the accompaniment of a variety of instruments played by its members. In 2015 the choir released a Christmas CD with both English and polish carols. The youth love to sing especially as a group together.

Forging on.... 20 years, and counting. Way back when our parish church was called by its English name, a ragtag group of family and friends started out as a fill-in for the regular choir that took a break during the summer of '96. When September of that year rolled in, this still nameless group was requested to continue its stint. Soon after, we called ourselves the 10:30 choir. Yes indeed, what a colorful and exciting name!!! Through the years, our group has evolved and expanded into a merry mix of family, friends, friends of friends, the young, the not-so-young, and the very young, folks of all ethnicities, as well as an interesting blend of in-born talents and those whose development is, let's just say, work in progress! It is with both amusement and wonder that we think back at how we started out, and persisted to this day, 20 years after those easy, care-free Sundays of summer '96. But it is with enthusiasm, dedication, and much honor that we look forward to the years ahead, as we forge on as members of the Christ the King Canticle Minstrels (CKCM) choir, one of the many choir groups that make up the music ministry of the vibrant Cristo Rei parish community.

 

Picture this: it is September of 1990, six parishioners join forces to form a choir for the 10:30AM Sunday mass at the new parish of St Jerome’s in Brampton. At this time, masses are held in the gymnasium of St Brigid’s Elementary School and hymns are chosen from the “Glory and Praise” hymnal on cassette tapes. A few years later, St. Augustine Secondary School has been constructed in an effort to meet the growing population of Brampton. Upon completion of the high school building, we relocate to St. Augustine’s cafeteria to accommodate the growing parish community. By now, the choir has grown to over a dozen members, including a pianist and two guitarists. In addition, we are now using music from the “Breaking Bread” hymnal. Upon completion of our new church building in 1998, we move into our permanent home and since then our choir family has continued to grow. Here we are in the present day and our tight-knit clan consists of nearly 25 members--including pianists, guitarists, a drummer and flutist, PLUS all four of the primary voice types.

 

We pride ourselves on many things such as the quality of our music and our closeness as a family. However, we take the most pride in living out our mission of making a joyful noise unto the Lord and using the gifts and talents that He has so graciously bestowed upon us. Praise God for all that He has done for us!

The Cristo Rei Children's Choir is made up of young boys and girls who just love to sing. After taking a break for several months, the group reconvened and started singing again October this year with Lynn Evangelista, of the One Voice Choir, as acting choir director. Parents and members of One Voice and Joyful Voices also provide assistance during children's choir rehearsals and services. Some of the members of the children's choir also assist the parish as altar servers. Currently, the group has 37 members with ages ranging from 4 to 13

 

 

"We are the Tamil choir who come together from different parts of the GTA to sing together as brothers and sisters of the Lord at "Our Lady of the Airways" parish in Malton every Sunday at 7PM. We are honored and grateful to be apart of this wonderful Christmas celebration." Participants names. Thaveeth hamiltus iruthaya,Suganga Jude,Tharshika Nimal Antony,Robina Antony Fernando,Regan Leon,Daisy Seelan,Newton Savatipilli.

 

 

The choir named "Movidos Pelo Espirito Santo","Moved by the Holy Spirit", is led by Jaime Pereira. This group is enthusiastic, committed and cheerful. Every Sunday morning they participate with their songs at the 8 a.m. Portuguese Mass giving the utmost to bring the spirit of faith, joy and happiness. The Choir also joins the English Choir on special multi-bilingual Masses. They are a great team who will continue to enhance the Mass with their singing and as well, inspiring their parishioners. Their Choir group would like to wish you all a blessed Christmas full of love, peace and happiness.

 

"The Syro Malabar Exarchate Mississauga is blessed with rich talented people and the cathedral choir 'DivineVoice' consists of 14 members who are specially called by Almighty to serve Him along with the angles. The 'DivineVoice' choir members comes from different professional background including, nurses, pharmacist, IT professionals and businessmen. The team is very much committed and often times makes special alternate arrangements with their profession in order to be part of the Sunday liturgy. The primary commitment of the choir is for the morning Holy Mass on the Lord's Day- Sunday, where the choir members assemble to sing for the glory of God, around 14 songs which are part of the usual liturgy. Every choir members considers their participation in the choir as a blessing "

 

 

“Ami Goenkar” is a newly formed group consisting of family & friends. Some of our members belong to Cristo Rei Parish Choir group (Joyful Voices), who sing on Sunday Mass twice a month. We represent GOA. Goa is a beautiful state in southwest India and will be singing in our Native language (Konkani). The Choir consist of multitalented members. Our youngest member Kanisha Alemao on the keyboards. Elvis Antao on the Drums, Jude Miranda, Audrey D’costa and Rekaiah Rego will be playing the guitars. Our Male Vocalist are Olav Da’costa, Rony Fernandes, Maxie Felizado, Dereyk Rego & Michael Rodrigues, Our Female Vocalist are Cheryl Alvares, Celine Felizado and Philo Rodrigues.

 

 

The One Voice is a multi-cultural and multi-generational choir that enjoys singing traditional, as well as contemporary hymns. The group meets every week on Sundays, either to sing for the 5:30 pm mass or to rehearse. The members enjoy doing spiritual and community activities together like going on pilgrimages, singing carols in Senior/Retirement Homes, and assisting in the Children's Choir rehearsals and services. The group is led by Rod and Lynn Evangelista.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fun-filled program comprised with lots of door and raffle prizes. Children were so

thrilled to see meet & receive gifts from Santa.

 

At the end of the program based on votes by the audience the results were published as follows:

 

1st Place – “Ami Goenkar” – The Goan Choir

 

1st Runner Up – “The Couples or Christ”

 

2nd Runner Up - “The Cristo Rei Children's Choir”