அன்னை வேளாங்கண்ணித் திருவிழா

Penned By : Savariyar Innasimuthu

The RTP Tamil Catholic Association celebrated the festival of Our Lady of Good Health Velankanni on Sunday, August 20th, 2023. The festivities commenced with the Blessing of Holy Oil, the consecration of the new mother Mary statue, and the recitation of novena prayers. Following these rituals, we held a procession around the church, carrying the sapparam with the newly consecrated mother Mary statue. Subsequently, a Holy Mass was celebrated in Tamil, with Rev.Fr. Gnanapragasam as the main celebrant, and joined by Rev.Fr. Arul Yagappan, Rev.Fr. Soosai Arockiadass, Rev.Fr. Lourduraj Alapaty, and Rev.Fr. John Vedanayagam.

The joyful occasion concluded with a delicious dinner, and it’s important to note that none of this celebration would have been possible without the dedicated efforts of numerous volunteers. We wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those selfless individuals who contributed to the success of this event. Below is a list of the various committees and their contributions that played a pivotal role in the success of this event.

To keep the newly consecrated mother Mary statue, the Holy Cross Catholic Church Parish priest Fr. Pius requested us to design a pedestal to match the existing pedestal that is located on the right side of the church. With Paul as a lead, a committee (Antony, Adarsh, Christopher, Inigo, Joseph, John, Patrick, and Savariyar) was formed to obtain quotes for pedestal from various sources. After careful consideration, the committee decided to hire a skilled carpenter “Joe”, to construct the pedestal. Joe has completed the pedestal and delivered it to the church on Saturday, July 27th. Patrick has played a crucial role in this process, working closely with Joe to ensure that the pedestal meets all the necessary requirements, which includes measurements and color.  In addition to the pedestal, Patrick took the initiative to order candles online and modified them to work with electricity and to fix them on the pedestal. Adarsh provided valuable assistance to Patrick in making this modification successfully.

The Decoration Committee was established with the purpose of adorning the sapparam, pedestal, church, and the altar. Vidya took the lead, with Rani, Jency, Monicka, Anjela, and Golda as team members. Rani undertook the task of procuring the necessary decorative items from India. On August 12, 2023, one week before the celebration, Antony, Vidya, Golda, Joseph, Adarsh, and Savariyar assembled at Patrick’s house to make sure the Mother Mary statue fits in the Sapparam and pedestal. We appreciate Caroline generosity in providing snacks and lunch for all the members. On the morning of August 19th, the Decoration Committee members convened at the church and meticulously adorned the Sapparam, church and the altar. Additionally, they embellished the floors with intricate and beautiful Kolam designs.

The Mass Preparation Committee created the worship guide to ensure the smooth flow of the Mass and festival proceedings. Savariyar led the committee, with Angela, Jency, Monicka, and Rani. On July 30th, Savariyar, Joseph, and Golda traveled to Eden, NC, met Fr. Pragasam and finalized the document. The team members thoroughly reviewed the document and printed 100 copies. Joseph and Savariyar conducted altar server training sessions on July 29th and on August 19th.  Ronel, Loran, Anaya and Hannah attended the altar server training. These training sessions proved to be highly beneficial. Deepa led the rosary during the procession. 

The RTPTCA choir (led by Susan and Jeyan, consisted of Antony, Anita, Benitta, Golda, Vijayan, Jency, Maria, Monicka, Prabha, Savariyar, and Susai) offered praise to the Lord through their music and songs during the Mass and procession.

The Prayers for the Sick Committee, led by Golda with Rupa, Monicka, Maria, Raji, Aadarsh, and Aathira filled 500 canisters of oil and provided prayers for the sick.

The Promotion and Publication Committee, led by Joseph and Chris, designed, and printed flyers and disseminated them through various channels, including Holy Cross Church, St. Michael’s bulletin, Facebook, and websites. Richard and Mervin took beautiful pictures and recorded the festivals. Raja helped to organize the Saparam bearers.

The Food Committee played a crucial role in ensuring that the devotees were well-fed and satisfied during their visit. The food committee lead Jayaraj Kanagaraj and its members Anna Rupa, Sneha Kurian, Michael, Joseph, Rani, and Albina were responsible for procuring the necessary catering & cleaning, making weekly calls to ensure that tasks were being handled on time, ensuring that the quality food delivered on time, and the price within our budget. Michael oversaw the serving team. The entire Food Committee had the responsibility of maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in the dining area. Joseph, Rani, and Albina provided invaluable guidance and instructions to ensure the success of this team’s effort.

The celebration went well. May the mother Mary and his son Jesus Christ bless us all. Thank you!!

Lenten Retreat 2023

Penned by : Benita Joseph

Mark 6:31 – Jesus said to them, “Come away with me. Let us go alone to a quiet place and rest for a while”.

 Our Lenten retreat for this year started on March 25, 2023 Saturday at 9:00 am sharp with holy rosary and continued with ‘Praise and Worship’ songs. The theme for our retreat was “I am revelations of Jesus”.

Our preacher was Fr. Amalraj Savarimuthu, who came all the way from Philadelphia. He enlightened us on the depth of God’s word.

Fr. Arul Yagappan gave us his spiritual support and Fr. Lourduraj Alapatty gave us a brief talk about Lenten spirituality.

Fr. Amalraj shared his thoughts over 3 sessions.

Session 1 – I am the Bread of Life & 1st pillar of family life

Father kept us engaged with many interactive questions and inspiring stories. With brief introduction about the importance of family life, he walked us through the history of mankind from creation to present and how God created us to be united as a family. He showed the parallelism of Jesus in the New Testament and Joseph in the Old Testament.

Session 2 – I am the Good Shepherd and 2nd pillar of family life

After a short break, we continued the retreat. With great conviction, Father taught us the love that binds the trinity (Holy Spirit) and the family too. He showed us the power of positive talks by the experiment of Japanese scientist, and the snowflake pattern in frozen water that was positively influenced. Time just flew, when we were reminded by Vijayan that it was lunch break.

Kids Ministry

Meanwhile, in our fellowship hall, our little children were kept engaged with stories of God’s love, importance of Lent along with activities with crafts and acts too. Thanks to volunteers and kid’s ministry coordinators (Maria & Joyce).

Way of the Cross

Our kids were the super stars. They sang hymns in the church and then dressed in the right costumes, portrayed and wonderfully enacted the Way of the Cross, which for sure will be etched in everyone’s memory forever. It was very meaningful as they took us all through each step of Jesus’s journey to crucifixion! Thanks again to Maria, Joyce and parents who were actively involved.

Youth Ministry

During the afternoon session, we had a separate session for the little kids (split into 2 groups age-wise) in the fellowship hall. The youth ministry – session lead by volunteers Chris Peter, David Savariyar, Jessica Antony and coordinated by Vidya, was conducted very effectively. They spoke and taught about LENT.

Chris spoke about ‘Charity & Almsgiving’ and had a LENT Bingo which the kids enjoyed. David lead the group speaking about ‘Fast & Abstinence’ and moving away from distractions to get closer to God. Jessica spoke about the importance of Prayer in our daily lives and how we can talk/chat with God and then ended with an activity where children colored a heart shape paper and wrote down who they wanted to pray for.

Feedback – All of the youth-leads kept the kids engaged so well, that, the kids did not want to leave the hall when called to take pictures.


Thanks to our potluck coordinators (Nirmala Francis and Genrose) we had a sumptuous lunch with so many varieties. The menu was very thoughtful and yummy! Children had special treat too. Yeah, it was Pizza. Thanks to our volunteers who helped in setting up the lunch and clearing it.

Session 3 – I am the Light of the World and the 3rd pillar of family life

Retreat continued post lunch with further enlightenment about the sins in our society and how all the root cause starts from family. Those goose bumps moment came when Mama Mary, the epitome of God’s creation was glorified as the supreme creation of God the Father, Mother of Christ and spouse of Holy Spirit, the complete ‘Unity in Trinity’.

As always, all good things must come to an end. We all were energized, empowered to love our family and most of all, trusting in the goodness of our Savior.

Finally, Father was felicitated by RTPCA’s president Mr. Joseph Prem Anand, bringing an end to the wonderful Lenten Retreat.

Excerpts from retreat:

“I am” – the word itself is a present tense, which gives the assurance that our Lord is always present as revealed by God to Moses from the burning bush. When Jesus said “I am the bread of life”, he wants us to have an intimate relationship with him, specially through ‘Eucharist’ – He wants to be with us.

The uniqueness of Trinity – God the lover, Jesus the Beloved, Holy spirit the Love.

The uniqueness of Mother Mary. Daughter of God the Father, mother of Jesus Christ and spouse of Holy Spirit.

How do we prepare ourselves to receive the bread of life? Are we worthily receiving the Eucharistic Lord?

Importance of Family:

  • Family is the First sacrament – instituted by God himself.
  • Stay together as a family always. The love between the spouses helps the families and children to be disciplined in faith.
  • Love giving, Gratefulness, faithfulness and forgiveness makes us grow as a family.
  • Fatima’s 3rd secret – the final attack of the Satan would be against families.
  • We are made in the image of God and called to love others.
  • Forgiveness – always put yourselves in other’s shoes and genuinely feel sorry for what you did. Rectification of our sins is a must.
  • Joy is always the presence of God in our sufferings and not the absence of sufferings.
  • Focus on God always, so you don’t get distracted (e.g. David’s story)
  • Do what you can do and God will do the rest (e.g. Raising Lazarus from dead. He asked them to remove stone)
  • Never distrust the Lord. Always believe in his Goodness (e.g. Eve was tempted by Satan by sowing doubts, ‘Did God really asked you?’
  • Money is always the opposite of God. Teaching our children to convert money to Joy by converting them into charity.
  • Bethlehem – house of bread
  • Bethesda – house of Mercy
  • Miracle fruit – Fruit that makes whatever we eat for the next 2 hours (sour, salt) sweet. So, trust in the goodness of the Lord, which can turn all your bitter experiences into sweet ones.
  • God’s name is Mercy.

Finally, have a Beer every day! Yes, you heard it right.

B – Bible E – Eucharist E – Evangelize R – Repent

Some feedback on the retreat!

“Engaging”, “Messages deep and powerful”, “Well Organized”, “One of the Best”“Great Renewal for families spiritually”, “Very interactive, peaceful and prayerful”

Picnic – 2022

Penned by : Michael

Our RTPTCA annual picnic this year took place on May 01, 2022. This picnic would need special mention as the last RTPTCA annual picnic was almost two years ago in April of 2019. The organizing committee volunteers reached the picnic venue – Dogwood Shelter,1400 Aviation Pkwy, Morrisville around 9:00 am to setup the place with decoration and welcome sign. Special thanks to the organizing committee and volunteers.  
Lead from the front by our think tank Savariyar and Rani on planning the schedule for the picnic and volunteer assignment.

Joe & Benitta – Setup 

Michael & Mano – Food Menu
Maria & Chris – Kids games  
Leo, Susai, Sebastian – Adult games  
Arokia & Suji – Clean up  
Families arrived one by one after 9 am and played badminton, cricket and other games while waiting for others to come. 
10:30 am – Everyone (adults and children) went on a 5K Walk around the park.  There was very good participation from the RTPTCA families  
11:30 am – We had Potluck lunch – a delicious spread of a large variety of food and we got to know of the culinary skills of each of the RTPTCA families.    
12:30 pm – 3:30 pm – Game time  
For Adults games, we started with the 3-legged race.  For each of the race, we had 3-4 pairs competing and all the families had a lot of fun taking part, cheering and laughing.  
For Kids – Balloon Tag (by bursting the balloon tied around the waist of other kids), sack race and other games
Adults & youth played few games of volleyball and that really shown their gaming skills.  
3:45 – 4:15 pm – Snack time. Our evening snack was Samosa and tea sponsored by RTPTCA for participating families  
4:30 pm – 6 pm – Game/Activities. Adults continued with volleyball play, Little kids got to play in the park close by.
5 pm – Dinner (already cooked food and food on the grill)  
We had early dinner – Grilled chicken (families have nicely marinated) and the same was good for our taste buds. Our tummies were full. Many of our people put in a lot of effort and helped with cooking on the grill at the park.  
 Around 6:30 pm we were greeted by rain and as time went by, it started pouring – really took us back to our early age days when we all helped put away stuff quickly and then ran to be under the shelter…  
8 PM – Cleanup  
Volunteers started the cleanup. Everyone at the shelter helped clean and families started loading their stuff back into their car.  
Overall, all the participating families had a fun filled day – a group picnic outing after almost two years of Covid.  
We thank all the families & organizing teams for their efforts to make this a happy experience!  

Tribute to Fr. Thomas Selvaraj

Fr. Thomas Selvaraj

On Earth: February 4, 1938 In Heaven: August 8, 2021

Fr. Thomas Selvaraj was born in the capital city of Burma (Myanmar) Rangoon (Yangoon).  He studied at St. Joseph’s Catholic Seminary in Rangoon between 1955 and 1964 and, later, earned his Doctorate in Environmental Science. In the following years, Fr. Selvaraj served in the villages of Thailand and Burma by teaching the indigenous people how to generate electricity for their villages. Additionally, he assisted the people in creating machinery that would make oil and grind paddy. He learnt their language and used to walk through the thick jungles for several hours to preach the gospel to the village people. These trips were quite dangerous for Fr. Selvaraj as he had many close encounters with vipers and tigers. However, his fervent devotion to the Lord protected him and allowed him to complete these trips safely.

In Chennai, India, Fr. Thomas Selvaraj served in the Santhome Cathedral and in the Velachery Parishes. Later, Fr. Selvaraj moved to the United States and served at St. Anne’s Church in Charlotte, North Carolina from 1998 to 1999. Then, he moved to serve at St. Joseph of the Hills Catholic Church in Eden, NC for the next nine years from 1999 to 2008.

While Fr. Selvaraj was in Eden, NC, he helped to bring the Tamil Catholics in this area together by visiting our houses monthly and celebrate Tamil Mass with us. He baptized our kids in a traditional Tamil mass which was very special for us. Additionally, he celebrated mass at a church in Greensboro in which the Charlotte and RTP Tamil Catholics participated. His sermons were very clear so that everyone could understand, including our kids who were very small at that time. He encouraged our kids to serve in the altar and patiently taught them the order of the mass. The parents and kids loved him very much. Fr. Selvaraj was very patient, humble, and soft-spoken. When we think of Fr. Selvaraj, we remember his ever-smiling face. We will miss him very much.

You can listen to his Golden Jubilee speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fu-c7l-NN48

Fifth Annual General Meeting

Fifth Annual General Meeting

ஐந்தாம் ஆண்டு அனைத்து  உறுப்பினர்கள் கூட்டம்

RTP தமிழ் கத்தோலிக்கச் சங்கத்தின்  ஐந்தாம் ஆண்டு அனைத்து  உறுப்பினர்களின் கூட்டம் பிப்ரவரி மாதம் 27-ம் தேதி சனிக்கிழமை மாலை 6 மணிக்குத் தொடங்கி இரவு 8 மாணிக்கு நிறைவுப் பெற்றது.  COVID  சூழ்நிலைக்  காரணமாக நிகழ்ச்சி virtual-ஆக  நடைப் பெற்றது.

நிகழ்ச்சியை திருமதி. ராஜி அவர்கள் செபத்துடன் தொடங்கி வைத்தார். திரு. பிரான்சிஸ் அவர்கள் அனைவரையும் வரவேற்றுப் பேசினார். திருமதி. சுஜா அவர்கள் 2020-ல் நடந்த நிகழ்வுகளை தொகுத்து வழங்கினார். திரு. ஜோசப் அவர்கள் நிதி அறிக்கையை வெளியிட்டுப்  பேசினார். திரு. லாசர் அவர்கள் 2021-ல் நடக்கப் போகும் நிகழ்வுகளை தொகுத்து வழங்கினார். அதற்க்கு அடுத்து, உறுப்பினர்களின் கேள்விகளுக்கு பதில் அளிக்கப் பட்டது. பிறகு திரு. சவேரியார் அவர்கள், 2021- செயற்குழுவில் ல்  பணியாற்றிய திருமதி. ராஜி, திருமதி. சுஜா, திருமதி. அனித்தா அவர்களை பாராட்டி, அவர்களுக்கு பாராட்டு  பத்திரத்தை அளித்தார்.  அடுத்த நிகழ்வாக, திரு. அந்தோணி அவர்கள் 2021 செயற்குழு உறுப்பினர்களை அறிமுகப் படுத்தினார்.

2021 செயற்குழு உறுப்பினர்கள்

திரு. ஜெயராஜ் அந்தோணி – தலைவர்
திரு. ஜோசப் பிரேம் ஆனந்த் – உபத் தலைவர்
திரு. விஜய் லாரன்ஸ் – செயலர்
திரு. பிரான்சிஸ் ஆல்பர்ட் – பொருளாளர்
திரு. பவுல் சவரியப்பன் – இயக்குனர்
திரு. சூசை சவரிமுத்து – இயக்குனர்
திரு. சவேரியார் இன்னாசிமுத்து – இயக்குனர்

நிதி  கையாளும் குழு

திரு. பிரான்சிஸ் ஆல்பர்ட்(குழுத் தலைவர் )
திரு. பவுல் சவரியப்பன் ( உறுப்பினர்),
திரு. லாசர் அருள்நாயகம் ( உறுப்பினர்)

புதிய தலைவர் திரு. அந்தோணி தலைவர் உரை நிகழ்த்தினார். இறுதியாக திரு. சவேரியார் அவர்கள் நன்றிக் கூற, நிகழ்ச்சி இனிதே முடிந்தது.

2020 Annual Newsletter

2020  Annual Newsletter

இந்த 2020 எல்லோருக்கும் ஒரு சவாலாக அமைந்த வருடம். இந்த கடினமான வருடத்தில் நிகழ்ந்த நிகழ்வுகளை, தொகுத்து வழங்கியுள்ளோம். இதை முன்னெடுத்து நிறைவேற்றிய அந்தோணி அவர்களுக்கு பாராட்டுகள். இந்த நிகழ்வுகளில் பங்கேற்ற அனைவருக்கும் நன்றிகளும், வாழ்த்துக்களும்.உங்கள் ஒய்வு நேரத்தில் இதை படித்து இன்புற அன்புடன் அழைக்கிறோம்.

RTPTCA Mask Sewing Project

During the COVID-19 pandemic, RTPTCA helped the needy in our community by sewing masks. Our community donated 1,000 masks to the less privileged. RTPTCA has donated masks to the Apex Church healthcare workers, the UNC health care hospital, and the Hispanic Heritage center, who donated to nursing homes and farm workers.

RTP Tamil Catholic Association Virtual Mass

RTP Tamil Catholic Association Virtual Mass

RTPTCA invites you to join our monthly virtual mass.

Starting in April 2020, RTPTCA transitioned from mass at Lourdes Matha Church to virtual mass via Google Meet due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Mass is celebrated on the third Sunday of every month at 6:00. Fr. Rex Lumin, Fr. Peter, Fr. Tensing, and Fr. Loyola have celebrated our masses in the last three months.