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Fr. Tony



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Dear brothers and sisters, and the viewers of this web site, I am Fr. Joseph Anthony Andrade better  known as Fr. Tony Andrade. I was born and brought up in Barkur. My primary education was in Barkur. In 1980 I joined the seminary to become priest and was ordained to the Holy Order of priesthood on the 19th of December, 1992. I served a short period of time in Bangalore (India) and then went to the USA to serve in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in the state of Minnesota. Presently I am the parish priest of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church located in St. Paul, Minnesota (visit our web site:-

I Hope and pray this column "Spiritual Corner" will inspire many viewers of our web site. As all of us know the need of spirituality in our daily life. We walk our faith journey trusting in God our creator and we are certain one day we will meet our creator God in Heaven. Meanwhile here on earth we need good insights to enlighten our minds and hearts in our spiritual life. in this column I will write articles which will be short and precise that may help our interested viewers to reflect on their own spirituality. I welcome others also to share their articles and reflections. This column is open to all the faith denominations. What is important is that we inspire each other on our own spiritual journey.

My sincere thanks to Kishoo de Barkur, the designer of this beautiful web site, and for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts and reflection on our web site.

Fr. Joseph Anthony Andrade


It is that time of the year again our Muslim brothers and sisters gather at the mosques or homes in large numbers, to pray, fast and engage in the works of charity and almsgiving. The fasting of the day ends at the sunset then begins the dinner at the twilight. It was during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, that the Holy Quran is believed to have been sent down from heaven and revealed to Prophet Mohammad.

The much-anticipated start of the month is based on a combination of physical sightings of the moon and astronomical calculations. During this month, Muslims fast from sunrise until sunset. The fast lasts the entire month, but only during the daylight hours. The fast of Ramadan  is the most carefully observed of all religious duties of many Muslims. The daily period of fasting starts at the breaking f dawn and ends at the setting of the sun. Not only must they refrain fro food ad drink between dawn and dark, but also they must not commit any unworthy act. One lie can make a day’s fast meaningless. The day is supposed to be spending in prayer and meditation. Once the sunset gun has sounded, the feasting begins. The usual practice is t have a pre-fast meal before dawn and a post-fast meal – iftar –after sunset.

The Ramzan fast is mandatory for all healthy Muslim adults. It means total abstention from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual relations from dawn to sundown for 29-30 days of the month. Muslims get up early during Ramzan to take their pre-dawn meal, before starting their fast. At the end of each day, the fast is broken with prayer and a meal (Iftaar).

Iftaar gatherings are common in India, where Muslims visit their friends and relatives and together break their fast. In India, Iftaar parties are also hosted by prominent non-Muslims for their Muslim friends. During this period, the focus is on fasting, prayers, a strict moral code, restraint and compassion for the poor and needy. Spiritual consciousness and social responsibility take precedence over the concerns of daily life during Ramzan.

Muslim children are encouraged to keep this tough fast, though it becomes mandatory only after they reach puberty. Though this fast is essential for all adult Muslims, some people can be exempted under specific circumstances. The elderly, the chronically ill, pregnant or nursing women can miss the fast, but then, they have to feed at lest one poor person every day in Ramzan. In case someone is very ill, he/she can postpone the fast and keep the fast another day after Ramzan.

The 27th day of Ramzan has a special significance for Muslims. It is called the “Night of Power.” It was on this night during Ramzan that the Quran was believed to have been revealed to Prophet Mohammad in parts over 23 years. It is believed that Allah sends down his angels to ray for the salvation of believers on this night. It is also called the night of mercy and light and prayers on this night are said to have greater power than a thousand other prayers. According to the Quran, on this night God determines the course of the world for the following year. It is said that on this “Night of Power” the gates of Paradise are open, the gates of Hell shut and the devils are tied in chains. The last ten days of Ramzan are a time of special spiritual power as everyone tries to come closer to God through devotions and good deeds.

So what can we learn from our Muslim brothers and sisters? I do not think we are called to imitate them literally in the way they fast. But let their readiness to abstain totally from food and drink during daylight hours act as a witness to us. Let us find in their simple and unquestioning obedience to God’s commands a lesson for us to obey God in whatever He asks of each one of us. Let their special awareness of God remind us to find our own ways to turn to God and to thank Him for all He does for us.

 -Fr.Tony Andrade.


Barkur, located in Udupi Taluk, Karnataka, India. 576 210

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