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Songs for a Spiritual Journey

By Sheila Remolar-Reduta

A book to re-energize one's spirit and soul

FREMONT, Calif. -- The parishioners of St. James the Apostle Catholic Church, Fremont, were presented with a special Christmas gift from their pastor, Fr. Antony Vazhappilly. His second book, “Songs for a Spiritual Journey,” was released in early December 2013 and perfectly complements his first, “A Marian Handbook” which was published in 2010.

“Songs for a Spiritual Journey” is a compilation of 52 poems and reflections by Fr. Antony to guide his readers through a weekly contemplation throughout the year. This book is intended to re-energize one's spirit and soul as one journeys back to the basic Christian teaching that man needs God and forges ahead by living with this same belief and conviction. This book is a testament of Fr. Antony's gift of poetry writing and 30 years of inspirational work as a priest, educator and counselor.

A book-signing event was held at St. James the Apostle Church, Fremont, on December 23, 2012. Fr. Antony’s close friends and supporters and his parishioners graced the occasion. Union City Council member and St. James parishioner Jim Navarro was Master of Ceremonies. An opening prayer, led by Joe Parish, was followed by Fr. Antony's introduction of the book and acknowledgement of all who shared their treasure, time and talent from the early stages of the book to its completion and publication.

Fr. Antony’s guests wrote praises for the book and shared their personal reviews. Among them were Fr. Joseph Antony Sebastian SVD (St. Joachim Parish Hayward), Fr. Joseph Kalapurayil (Indian Orthodox Church), James Neiman (Information SystemsProfessional, Sensei at Shugyo Aikido Dojo, and St. James parishioner) and Edward Caron (Administrator, Stanford University and St. James parishioner). Sincere appreciation was also extended to Deacon Dick Folger of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Union City for publishing the book. Folger is the Founder & President of Folger Graphics, Inc.

The event continued with Fr. Antony's book signing as the God Our Father choir of St. James rendered beautiful Christmas music during the fellowship. Members of the Mary Our Mother ministry of St. James, led by Elmie Shahab, have generously shared their time to promote and help sell Fr. Antony's book since its debut.

“Songs for a Spiritual Journey” is available at $15. All proceeds will help construction of the Mother Teresa Children's Education Center at St. James to provide for our children's continuing religious education and youth programs.

As we welcome the New Year, let us draw inspiration from one of the quotations in Fr. Antony's new book - “Heaven is the ultimate goal. We can get there only when we make this journey a spiritual and continuous experience.”

For more information, call (510) 792-1962, visit St. James the Apostle Catholic Church, 34700 Fremont Boulevard, Fremont, or

Fr. Antony Vazhappilly, St. James the Apostle Catholic Church, Fremont. Photo by Carlos Mariveles.

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