Fr Baptist Menezes to Unveil Late Bishop Basil's 'The Unknown’ Side on Sep 5


Fr Baptist Menezes to Unveil Late Bishop Basil's 'The Unknown’ Side on Sep 5

Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore

Mangalore, Sep 1: ‘The Late Bishop Basil Salvadore D’Souza, The Unknown’, authored and published
by Rev Fr Baptist Menezes, Episcopal Vicar, Udupi district of Mangalore diocese, is all set to be released
on the 14th death anniversary of the late Bishop on September 5, 2010. The author says that it is
his long association with the late Bishop, first as a priest of the diocese and then during their trip to
Europe together to attend the “year of the Priests” that gave him ample opportunity to know the Bishop
personally. And this book is the result of his knowing him from close quarters, and to bring to the
fore the “unknown side” of this great religious personality as seen by him, unlike the tough image he
presented to the public.

Fr Menezes says, “Almost everybody has a notion that he was heartless, ruthless, business-minded,
workaholic and money-minded, but a very able administrator. This is the only side practically everyone
has about the late Bishop. But he was not so. There is another side of this great personality which is
the “Unknown Side” and I have delved to bring to the public domain this lesser known side of the late
Bishop, surprisingly after a long gap of 14 years since his death”.

Bishop D' Souza - The Known

Late Bishop Basil D’Souza was born on May 23, 1926, at Bondel in the parish of St Lawrence and was
baptized at Omzoor church. He was christened Basil Salvadore by his parents Diog D’Souza and Mary
Pereira. Basil was the eldest among the seven children born to his parents. He was born at a time when
life was quite hard, poverty was rampant and money was absolutely in short supply. The family was
dependent on the only source of income derived from the cultivation of beetle leaves. His family was
hardworking and god-fearing too. That was the time when life of Christian families was as strong as a
rock and he belonged to such a family.

He was appointed as the Bishop of Mangalore diocese on 22nd March, 1965 when he was serving as the
Manager of the Catholic Board of Education and at the well-known Kodialbail Press. It was Fr James
Knox, Nuncio in India, who ordained him as the Bishop on May 11, 1965. Then onwards he administered
the diocese of Mangalore with an iron hand till he passed away in 1996, thus becoming the longest
serving Bishop of Mangalore diocese.

He was one of the privileged few who participated in the final sessions of the Second Vatican Council.
He prudently and conscientiously implemented the renewal then proclaimed by this council, thereby
becoming the first Bishop in India to translate into action the mind and spirit of the Universal Church as
envisaged in the Documents of Vatican Council II. While the older generation of clergy was reluctant
to accept these changes the younger generation was over enthusiastic rather than realistic to accept
them, which made way for novelty and spontaneity in liturgy. It was a herculean task to strike a
balance but the late Bishop managed it in his own strength as his words carried weight and his stature
and personality added respect and a bit of fear too. And since then, as the cliché goes, there has been
no looking back.

The Mangalore diocese under his able stewardship marched forward with renewed vigor and with
a sense of purpose. A major step forward was taken by introducing vernacular services in the
diocesan churches. The bible and other necessary liturgical books were translated into Konkani.

It was under his guidance and leadership up-to-date arrangements were made to welcome the Supreme
Pastor of the Universal Church, the late Pope John Paul II, during his historical visit to Mangalore. The
podium erected to receive the late pope stands even today as a visible sign of his gift to the Diocese of
Mangalore. His greatest contribution was the adoption of Bidar as a missionary territory, which went
on to become a part of Gulbarga diocese.

His end came suddenly and unexpectedly on September 5, 1996. He had five more years for retirement
and considering his robust health even after crossing the age of 75, it was expected that the Vatican
would allow him to continue for another couple of years. He was interred at the Rosario Cathedral on
September9, 1996.

The Unknown Side of Bishop in the Eyes of Fr Menezes

Fr Menezes goes on to recollect the first time when he saw a Bishop in his life and presents ‘‘Unknown’’
side of the late Bishop Basil. The book gives a vivid account of his personal interactions with him or the
so called encounters, both pleasant and unpleasant ones. This book has brought to light the other side
of the late Bishop, which otherwise would have escaped the attention of the public making people
believe he was authoritarian and too demanding.

He says, “The ‘Unknown’ side of the late Bishop Basil is my personal experience and there would
certainly be many others who also might have come across, seen and felt the other side of him as well.
But I have dared to write before others because other than my own personal experience, I also have
gone through his letters to the benefactors in Malta, which, to a large extent have enriched me with a
lot of information as to his spirituality and simplicity of life, mission oriented attitude and disposition
and above all his detachment from looking for material wealth though he had opportunities galore to do
so”.

Fr Menezes also says that only he had the privilege of listening to him and to several hitherto unheard
narratives of his, which has helped shape the contents of the book “Unknown” during the long walk they
had in the village of Weingarts in Germany and Missionhaus in Bamberg. “That sharing without even
an iota of exaggeration prompted and motivated me to come out with this cumbersome but worthy
mission of making known his other unknown side”.

“Even the individuals concerned whom Bishop Basil had in mind when he spoke to me, after reading
the book think what I have written is correct. If this book helps in the changing the wrong impression
people had about him which might have resulted in causing misunderstanding and pain, who knows
salvation might come in the form of the “Unknown”, opines Fr Menezes.

About the Author

Fr Baptist Menezes, the Episcopal Vicar of Udupi district, was born on July 28, 1948 at Pernal and
completed his primary and high school studies at St Mary's, Shirva. He joined St Joseph's interdiocesan
seminary for priestly studies for the diocese of Mangalore in 1965 and was ordained priest on Oct 25,
1974 by the late Bishop Basil himself. After three years of priestly ministry in the diocese of Mangalore,
he was appointed to be on the staff of St Peter's Pontifical Seminary at Bangalore in 1977 and was sent
to Rome for higher studies in moral theology.

Having completed successfully his doctoral studies, he joined the teaching staff of the said seminary in
1982 and rendered his teaching ministry there up to 1994 in moral theology at the B Th level and canon
law in the department of canon law for M CL degree. In 1995 he was appointed administrator of the
St Joseph's Interdiocesan Seminary and continued his teaching ministry there in moral theology till he
was appointed director of Fr Muller Charitable Institutions, Kankanady on February 22 1997, where
he served till he was appointed Episcopal Vicar of Udupi district in the diocese of Mangalore on July 6,
2007.

  

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Comment on this article

  • Joe Gonsalves, Mangalore - U.S.A.

    Mon, Sep 6 2010

    I was present at the release of the Book Titled Late Bishop Basil's "The unknown side" by our our present Bishop A.P. D'Souza at the Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Bishop's House, Kodailbail. It was a touching ceremony. Our Bishop Aloysius gave the introductory talk on the book as well as on The Author. I have a faint feeling that Bishop Basil is held in very high regard by Bishop A.P. and indeed for valid reasons.

    Before the release of the book the author, Father Baptist Menezes gave an account of his attempt to write the Book. I have no hesitation in saying that Father Baptist has taken a lot of trouble to bring Bishop Basil back to life. I was deeply moved by the vivid account of this great man and of course Father Baptist has not minced words but has been most sincere and realistic in his terminology. Reading between the words one can gauge that the author did not receive any particular attention from Bishop Basil but he has taken the trouble to bring out tangibly the inner qualities of this great man.

    I met Father Baptist after the ceremony and he expressed to me that the book is just a synopsis and that indeed volumes could be written about the great man who in my opinion is a saint.

    Kudos to you Father Baptist for the trouble you taken to bring back Bishop Basil to life. Of course he continues to dwell in our hearts and he will always be there. Thank you Father Baptist for making THE UNKNOWN TO BE KNOWN.

    Joe Gonsalves

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  • Prema Pinto Muscat, Bajpe

    Sun, Sep 5 2010

    Dear Rev. Fr. baptist,
    May God Bless You for your Great work! Inspite of your busy schedule you have given us the unknown information about our beloved late Bishop Basil whom our family knew Him closely..though he was our relative we never knew & you have made us known now. He was Great Bishop & He was very humble & Simple!
    Well done Fr. Baptist... You are also not less in all these good qualities! Keep it Up dear Fr. Menezes...Well Done! May God bless you with Good Health...

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  • Roshan Rodrigues, Karkala

    Sat, Sep 4 2010

    Atlast a much awaited book on the life of the Great Shepherd of Mangalore is coming to light. What a successful ministry he had for 31 long years.. A great man with a great heart. Thank you very much Rev. Menezes for this great gift to us. Bishop Basil, Pray for your beloved flock..

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  • Fr. George Olivera, Mysore

    Fri, Sep 3 2010

    The first impressions of Introductory that is found in the Daijiworld website on the Late Bishop Basil is negative to say the least with the expression like Almost everybody has a notion that he was heartless, ruthless, business-minded, workaholic and money-minded, but a very able administrator. A tribute of this sort is not a tribute at all. Many including me found the Late Bishop as a warm personality, kind, and a person with simple life-style and who had genuine love for the Church Jesus Christ. With the remark as it found - I do not find what is the unknown to be told and retold to the readers. Any way all the best to Author of the Unknown side of the Bishop

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  • hilda pinto , attavar / mangalore

    Fri, Sep 3 2010

    good work Father.. we still miss your speeches in Fr muller. with your experience and talent we still expect more from you . all the best father

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  • Fr J. B. Saldanha, Mangalore

    Fri, Sep 3 2010

    The Most Rev. Dr Basil S. D’Souza was ordained as bishop of Mangalore May 11, 1965 and continued in the office until he breathed his last on September 5, 1996. He was responsible for the liturgical renewal in Mangalore diocese. Liturgical texts including the missal text was translated during his time and mass in Konkani was made possible by this great bishop. The medical apostolate, educational apostolate, and socio-economic developmental apostolate saw great progress during his time. To encourage laity participation in Church administration, he approved the constitutions of the ‘Diocesan Pastoral Council’, ‘Deanery Pastoral Council’ and ‘Parish Pastoral Council’ already in 1970. He showed his missionary zeal by adopting the Bidar mission in June 1982. He had a clear vision for the local Church in Mangalore and relentlessly he worked to carry out the mission of Christ. R.I.P. - may his soul rest in peace. Thanks a lot Fr Baptist Menezes for bringing out to us the ‘unknown side’ of late bishop Basil.

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  • Fr Maxim Rosario, Jeppu, Mangalore

    Fri, Sep 3 2010

    Congratulations Fr Baptist! You have the ability to write, more so about Bishop Basil. Just waiting to know what are its contents. God bless you Father.

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  • Meena Sequeira(D'Silva), Bangalore/Melbourne

    Fri, Sep 3 2010

    Dear Fr.Baptist,
    Hats off to you on your literary work.You are an amazing person with God given talents.May you have every success.All the best.

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  • Cedric D' Silva, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Thu, Sep 2 2010

    Highly appreciate Fr. Baptist for taking time to write about our beloved late Bishop Basil D'Souza. I knew him from my childhood. HE WAS A GREAT BISHOP OF MANGALORE.

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  • Fr. Rudolf V. D'Souza OCD, Madanthyar

    Thu, Sep 2 2010

    Bishop Basil D'Souza was a great inspiration to the entire Mangalore Diocese. His works and his leadership have enriched the pastoral and spiritual lives of the faithful. He was a great spirtual leader. As Jesus was accused by people of his time, any leader for that matter is normally accused of so many things. No one can satisfy or please all. We thank Fr. Baptist Menezes has done a commedable task through this book doing justice to Great Bishop Basil.
    Fr. Rudolf V. D'Souza OCD

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  • Fr Arun Lobo and Fr Valerian Pinto, kulshekar Parish

    Thu, Sep 2 2010

    congrats dear Fr Baptist,this is a valuable contribution from you. eagarly waiting forward to read the book

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  • Rev Fr Michael Antony, Bangalore

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    I read the write up of 'The Unknown' I had always been your shishya and enjoyed you lectures, cherished your notes and nourished your presentations. Your latest work is really a feather in your cap. Your manner of writing is really superb. I hope you will continue to script many more in the near future. I congratulate you on your success of 'THE UNKNOWN'. GOD BLESS YOU ABUNDANTLY.

    REV FR MICHAEL ANYONY.

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  • rudy, bantwal

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    welldone fr baptist great job nothing easy writing a job

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  • Maria Dsouza, Cascia /Jeddah, Cascia/ Jeddah

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    Congratulations Fr.Baptist Menezes.You have done a great job by unveiling the UNKNOWN side about our Late bishop.I am eagerly waiting to read this book.All the best. Keep up the good work !!

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  • stephen quadros permude, mangalore

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    Great............congrats!

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  • Antony T. D' Souza, Karkala / Qatar

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    Two controversial publications in a week. One, “Unknown” side from Fr. Baptist about Late Bishop Basil D’ Souza. Second, “A Journey’ by Charismatic Tony Blair, Ex PM, UK. The later one
    already received a 4.6-million-pound as advance but about “Unknown” yet to be known. Surely it will not lag much behind !. A single comment, had Bishop Basil was alive then, 14/9 would not have come into being. Reason is simple. He was very bold, intelligent, quick to grasp a challenge and to act, heartless at times ruthless - a truly a capable church administrator.

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  • Joe Gonsalves, Mangalore - U.S.A.

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    It is good of Father Baptist Menezes to reveal the correct side and version of late Bishop Basil D'Souza. I knew Bishop Basil intimately and I have no hesitation in saying that was one of the most able administrators. He was kind and understanding but many misunderstood him. During his tenure I had the pleasure of serving the Diocese of Mangalore in different capacities as the Governing Board member of many Institutions like Father Muller's Hospital, Catholic Board of Education, St. Joseph's Workshops and others.

    Several times I would get a phone call from Bishop Basil to say that he had decided to appoint me on commissions relating to problems in the Diocese and he would never take "NO" as an answer. When Pope John Paul II came to Mangalore he decided to put me in charge of Security for the Pope in conjunction with The Police Department. His passing away has left a VOID in my heart. However he continues to live in my heart and in the hearts of many more who loved him. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.

    Our present Bishop was his choice from the beginning and he continues to carry on his mission.

    Father Baptist. Thank you for reviving Bishop Basil's memory

    Joe Gonsalves

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  • Fr. Simon D'Souza, Indubettu

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    Congratulations Fr.Baptist. This will a real and sincere tribute to a person who has committed his life for his flock. all the best, keep up the good work.

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  • Fr. Francis Assisi d' Almeida, Advocate, Mangalore

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    Dear Fr. Baptist,
    You have fulfilled your long standing desire to unravel the real life of late Bp. Basil. Good!. Keep it up. I suppose, Still one more work is pending before you. Let God give you power and grace to accomplish it also.

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  • Felix F.,, India/Ksa

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    It is understandable to write about a persons persoanlity, and achievements,failutes etc, but about spirituality/religiousness it is known only to the almighty.

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  • vbaretto, Bantwal-Bangalore

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    I am eagerly awaiting to have a copy,for, Bishop Basil was known to me since his ordination and I was his Alter boy in Modankap and he employed me in Codialbail Press in 1960 and I stayed in his sister's house for 3 yrs. between 1960 and 1963. Thank you Fr.Baptist.

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  • Fr Stephen D'Souza, Bejai/Shirva

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    Congrats Fr Baptist Menezes.. Looking forward to read THE UNKNOWN..

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  • Naveen Frank, Sharjah/ mangalore

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    Thank you Fr Baptist for taking the time to write down the lesser known side of our dear departed Bishop, Rev Basil Dsouza. I was privileged to accompany the bishop on his last trip abroad- The Holy land. He undertook this pilgrimage along with 29 other priests of his diocese and a few lay people, a few months before his demise.
    It is on this trip that I became very close to him and learnt how deeply spiritual and a simple man he was. I am sure everyone who reads your book will savor his life of simplicity and piety.


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  • Eulalia D'Souza, Bijai / Mangalore

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    Dear Fr. Baptist, it is great to know that you have written a book on our late Bishop. Basil D'Souza. I am sure this book might bring about a change in mindset of people who conclude on opinions regarding our religious leaders. Also I am proud of you, because you also have an author in yourself, which I did not know so far. Keep up the good work. May God Bless you always.

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  • Ina D'Souza, Kingdom of Bahrain/Thottam

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    Thank you Rev. Fr. Baptist. Your work will be a sincere tribute to the greatness of our beloved late Bishop Basil. It is wonderful you kept working on this book over the years while all of us kept him in memory in our hearts. I think those memories are now brought forth to light in record for our future generation. I would love to read the book when released.

    I learnt the goodness and greatness of our beloved bishop as a young girl at my first holy communion when he administered Holy Communion and Confirmation at my parish at Gangoli. I want to mention that he had an outstanding memory power and great personality as a shepherd for his flock of Mangalore diocese.

    I was also blessed to be there at his funeral during my holidays in Mangalore. Congratulations Fr. May God bless us all.

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  • CGS, Mangalore

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    Dear Fr.Baptist,very happy to note
    that your new book "The Unknown"
    will be known to the public on 5th
    September.I am sure it will be sold
    like hot cakes if not hotdogs!Congrats and all the Best!

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  • STALIN MISQUITH, M'LORE\BAHRAIN

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    ALL THE BEST TO U Fr.BAPTIST FOR YOUR NEW BOOK ON LATE BISHOP OF M'LORE, PLZ REVEAL THE POSTIVE ATTITUDES OF LATE BISHOP BASIL. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.

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  • Sunil Fernandes, Kota/Dubai

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    Congrats Fr. Baptist Menezes...Great work... Eagerly waiting to read this book.

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  • naveen mascarenhas, derabail

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    great job fr baptist i hope you right one more book about THE KNOWN.

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  • Fr. Roshan Crasta, valencia,Mangalore

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    congrats to Fr. Baptist Menezes.It gives us an opportunity to know and learn from the experiences of late bishop BASIL'S PERSONALITY ESPECIALLY YOUNG PRIESTs like us . this book will definately help people at large.

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  • geo Agrar, agrar

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    Kudos Fr. Baptist.
    Am eagerly awaiting to go through the book. Hats off to your efforts, initiative and courage. May God bless you abundantly. Congratulations Fr.

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  • fr franklin RYD, bangalore

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    congrats fr Baptist menezes. all the best for your new book.

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  • Canute, Mundkur

    Wed, Sep 1 2010

    Dear Fr Baptist
    I sincerely congratulate for bringing out the real truth as regards out previous Bishop Basil which you have put it as unknown side of the Bishop. I am sure you have done justice to Bishop Basil with your hard work which will definitely help people of our diocese to change their unhealthy opinions and negative attitudes if at all regarding Bishop Basil. May God bless you for your good work.

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