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Msgr Raymond Mascarenhas Remembered on 50th Death Anniversary

Msgr Raymond F C Mascarenhas Remembered on 50th Death Anniversary
Media Release
Pics: Savitha B R
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore (PS)

Mangalore, Dec 16:
The 50th death anniversary of the first Mangalorean Servant of God Raymond F C Mascarenhas was celebrated at St Sebastian Church, Bendur on Thursday December 16 at 4 pm.

Servant of God Msgr RFC Mascarenhas has been a towering personality of Mangalore and recognizing the holiness of his life as a priest and his commendable service to the society at large; he was declared as the Servant of God on June 3, 2008.

The celebration included a mass at St Sebastian Church, Bendur at 4 pm which was officiated by Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, bishop of Mangalore Diocese. In his homily he said that Servant of God RFC Mascarenhas was a visionary who looked ahead of his time into the needs of the people and forged into action, with determination.

He visualized a country where every child would receive education and the right of the girl child would be upheld. He gave momentum to a great revolution of establishing institutions in rural areas to facilitate the education of the girl child. Bethany Educational Society which he founded, in fidelity to this vision of its founder has preferential option to the rural masses, particularly to the education of girls, even before India’s political independence, he added.

This was followed by the programme at St Sebastian Church Jubilee Memorial Hall at 5.30 pm with Dr Bernard Moras, Archbishop of Bangalore as the chief guest and Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, bishop of Shimoga, Dr Robert Miranda, bishop of Gulbarga, Dr Varghese Chakkalakal, bishop of Kannur and Dr Lawrence Mukkuzhy, bishop of Belthangady, as the guests of honour.

To make the 50th Death Anniversary celebration meaningful and memorable, humanitarian projects were launched at this programme in six Provinces of Bethany Congregation. Project of Western Province namely Dr Ohm’s Indo German hospital extension with lab, X-Ray and pharmacy at Chittapur, in the Diocese of Gulbarga was opened by Dr Bernard Moras, Archbishop of Bangalore Archdiocese.

Project of North East Province namely 'Human Resource Development Centre' for tribals at Umsning in Meghalaya was opened by Dr Gerald Lobo, bishop of Shimoga Diocese.

Project of Northern Province namely ‘A Home for the Destitute Women’ in Karnal in the Diocese of Shimla-Chandigarh was opened by Dr Robert Miranda, bishop of Gulbarga Diocese.

Project of Southern Province namely ‘Home for the Destitutes’ at Karakundu, in Kannur Diocese was opened by Dr Varghese Chakkalakal, bishop of Kannur Diocese.

Project of Bangalore Province namely, ‘Karuna Matha Holistic Health Cum Palliative Care Unit’ at Gadenahally in the Diocese of Chikmagalur was opened by Dr Lawrence Mukkuzhy, bishop of Belthangady Diocese.

Project of Mangalore Province namely ‘Alternative Systems of Health Care’ at Shubhada, in the Diocese of Mangalore was opened by Dr Aloysius Paul D’ Souza, bishop of Mangalore Diocese.

The new project in the Delegation abroad comprising of Europe and Africa is already initiated by opening a centre with medical and social apostolate in Senegal, North West Africa.

On this occasion Sr M Wilberta B S the Superior General of the Congregation, released the book titled ‘To You my Daughters’ which contains the inspiring letters of Servant of God RFC Mascarenhas compiled by Sr. Lillis the Postulator and Sr. Miriam the Vice-Postulator.

Fr Peter Noronha, the Parish priest of St Sebastian’s Church, Bendur, released the book containing the German translation of the English literature on Monsignor Raymond by Jochum, Aachen, Germany. Sr Jyoti the former Superior General honoured the authors.

As Founder of Bethany Congregation: To bring the compassionate love of God to the poor and lowly of our world, Servant of God RFC Mascarenhas founded Bethany Congregation, joined in by 4 lady teachers on July 16, 1921 at Bendur. Today it has spread far and wide with more than 250 educational institutions, apart from social and health care centres. About 1500 sisters who have made life-time commitment for the service of the lowly through the vow of chastity, poverty and obedience and leading community life, take the light lit by the Founder all over the Indian land and beyond the Konkan coast, to the continents of Europe and Africa.

As visionary and social reformer: Economic self sufficiency of the rural masses, especially of the women was god’s servant’s dream and St. Martha’s Industrial School which he started at Bendur in 1942 provided for tailoring and embroidery learning. Weaving looms for self employment were installed at many institutions and when the Swadeshi movement of Mahatma Gandhiji was gathering momentum in the country, he brought Rosa Mystica Teacher Training Institution that he established at Kinnikambla under the pattern of Basic Education, to facilitate the self employment skills in the trainees.

The translation of the New Testament of the Bible into Konkani was the pioneering venture of the Servant of God RFC Mascarenhas. The translation of the popular hymns and other writings manifested the literary talent in him coupled with zeal for God and his people.

He wielded great influence as the director of Mangalore R C Pioneer Fund (1914-1931), as the member of District Educational Council of South Kanara (1921-1927), as Municipal Councillor (1923-1929) and as the Vicar General of the Diocese of Mangalore (1931-1941) and through the posts that he held he aimed at realizing his vision to bring about transformation in the society, in the educational, economic, social and literary domains.

Having run the race of life to the full, this spiritual giant and social reformer left for his eternal abode on Jan 23, 1960 at the age of 85. But his vision for our world lives on in the Congregation that he founded and through all his magnanimous initiatives for the poor and helpless of our world.

Sr M Wilberta B S, Superior General of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany, Bendur, Sr Lillis B S, the Postulator for the Cause of Founder’s beatification and canonization, as well as the programme convener among others were present.

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Comment on this article

  • Ronald Mathias, Mangalore / Bahrain

    Sat, Dec 18 2010

    Msgr. RFC Mascarenhas was the founder and the First Vicar of the St.Sebastian Church, Bendur-Mangalore. I am very Glad to see that our loving sisters of the Bethany Convent celebrated his 50th death anniversary.
    But same time very sad that the Parish Counsil or the Parishioners of the Bendur Church did not arranged or organised any progarmme to remmeber the Great person Msgr. RFC Mascarenhas.

    Congradulations to the Superior and the all sisters of Bethany Convent for you noble good work always.

    Ronald Mathias
    CAL President 1991-1993
    St. Sebastian Church
    Bendur - Mangalore

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  • Philip Neri Serrao, Bendur / Abu Dhabi

    Sat, Dec 18 2010

    Congratulations to the Bethany Sisters Congregration for organising celebrations on the 50th Death Anniversary of their founder.

    If I am not mistaken, Msgr RFC was first the founder of Bendur Parish. Its a shame on the Parish priests, the Parish council, and other organisations of Bendur that you did not remember the sacrifices of the late Msgr RFC. You people were busy conducting meetings to collect funds to organise a grand celebration for the so called jubilee of the present Parish Priest who should have left this Parish by now, ......more the extension, more the money.

    Good luck to you once again B.S Congregration, may your founder always guide you in your service to the humanity, good luck.

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  • vinod prabhu, bendur,mangalore

    Fri, Dec 17 2010

    Msgr Raymond Mascarenhas may your soul rest in peace...and hope for the good news that u will b anounced saint from rome through our pope..u r example to us catholics and especially to bethany sisters as well as parishners of bendur..but sorry to say this we parishners wer not aware of this since we are not being reminded of ur work and our church leaders don no to respect u they r just for name sake and they busy make money by reminding ppl how to donate money to make the jubilee of our parish priest when he already finished his term and extended his stay in our church..after all he was just given a power to look the church and never to fill his treasure frm the ppl before he leaves the church ch

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  • Fr.George Olivera, Mysore

    Fri, Dec 17 2010

    Local holiness is the gift of God to the local church. To celebrate the 50 years golden memory of the servant of God Msgr Raymond Mascarenhas, the local pastor address a pastoral letter to the people of God on Holiness in the Local church. Many are the anonymous saints of our local church since the Christian captivities of Tippu's era. Many holy people from the ranks of priests, religious and the christian faithful have gone before us without being noticed, venerated and interceded. A pastoral letter to exhort the faithful to cultivate the vibrant memories of holy people, visiting their place of rest, praying to their intercessions, from the early times - worth doing. If it is done, we would have many more servants of God, blessed in tomorrow's local church. Bethany Sisters have shown us the way. Congratulations to them for giving us an example of christian holiness in the local church in the person of Monsignor Raymong Mascarenhas

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  • Felix F.,, India/Ksa

    Fri, Dec 17 2010

    Remembering the good work done by Msgr Raymond and continuing is good work is certainly a good thing, but to honour him with his photo after his death has no meaning, since death is the end of a human existence.

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  • joegonsalves, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 16 2010

    It is a matter of pride and delight to all Mangaloreans to have one of their one chosen to be named as a SERVANT OF GOD by The Holy See. Here is a Holy Man who indeed had dedicated his life for OTHERS. Monsignor Raymond Mascarenahs hailed from the illustrious MASCARENHAS clan of Falnir. As a very talented young man he could have chosen any career and made a name for himself. However he dedicated his life for others. It is said that he was a very lovable man and any one could approach him with any kind of a problem and he had time or he made time for every one needing any sort of help. His greatest contribution to Mangalore was the formation of The Bethany order. The seed that was sown several decades ago has now sprung and grown into a mighty tree. A handful of dedicated sisters who formed the order have rendered great service to people in different ways and more particularly in the form of EDUCATION. THE CONGREGATION has spread not only all over India but also in different parts of the world.

    It is good to see the galaxy of Bishops and Priests assembles at Bendur Church to honour Monsignor Raymond

    Irene and I had the great privilege of having Monsignor Raymond bless our nuptials at Milagris Church way back in 1950.

    We all now look forward to see our beloved Monsignor Raymond to be counted as a Saint by The Holy See.

    Humbly submitted by:

    Irene and Joe Gonsalves

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  • bethanycarmel community, Belgium

    Thu, Dec 16 2010

    Congratulations! We were extremely delighted to see how the 50th death anniversary of our Fr Founder was celebrated meaningfully. This brief report which is well presented reflects the past, present and future of Bethany. We were present in spirit in celebrating this great event. We are proud of Bethany.

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  • sr jyothi fernandes,UFS, mangalore/mysore

    Thu, Dec 16 2010

    Hearty congratulations to the superior general Sr Wilberta and all the Bethany sisters as you celebrate the 50th death anniversary of your founder, the servant of God Fr F.C. Mascarenhas.May you continue to realize the vision and dreams of your founder.

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