Pics: Dayanand Kukkaje / Harshini Brahmavar / Ragravendra Balkur
Daijiworld Media Network – Mangaluru/Udupi (WD/SP)
Mangaluru/Udupi, Sep 14: A Mass was held on Tuesday September 14 at the Mother of Sorrows Church here for the soul of Oscar Fernandes, who passed away on Monday September 13. The mortal remains were then shifted to Mangaluru as well where several leaders and supporters paid their last respects to the deceased leader.
Dakshina Kannada deputy commissioner Dr K V Rajendra and police commissioner N Shashi Kumar were among the dignitaries who paid thier last respects.
Earlier in Udupi, in his message, Bishop Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, said that Oscar, a member of this church, had passed away and the Mass was being offered on behalf of the Udupi diocese for his departed soul. "Mass happens to be a very important factor in one's life, he remarked and wished that the prayers will wash away all his sins and he will get heavenly life.
Apart from the Bishop, the Mass was attended by minister Kota Srinivas Poojary, former ministers Vinay Kumar Sorake and Pramod Madhwaraj, former MLC Ivan D'Souza, district Congress president Ashok Kodavoor and other dignitaries.
District superintendent of police N Vishnuvardhan, chief executive officer of Udupi zilla panchayat Dr Naveen Bhat, and Kota Srinivas Poojary representing the state government, paid their last respects to Oscar.
In his introductory address, Fr Charles Menezes said that the people had come together to bid final adieu to Oscar Fernandes. "We thank God for giving us such a good leader who rendered selfless service for the society. While we extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife and family, we also pray to the Almighty to give them the strength to bear this grief," he said.
Fr Valerian Mendonca, rector of Kallianpur Milagres Cathedral, delivering the homily, said that Oscar, who was born in Udupi with values of Christ, has left for the heavenly abode. "The tragedy of life is not that we die but being alive and seeing a noble person like Oscar who used his talents gifted by the god for healing the people leave us. He never differentiated between rich and the poor, and therefore, was loved by everyone," he stated.
"When coming into the world, our hands are empty. When leaving the world also we have nothing in our hands. But during the journey between these two points, the Lord calls upon us to recognize Him, serve Him, love Him and return to His heavenly abode. Today we celebrate the feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life," and he showed us the way to find happiness in difficulties, to find peace in our sorrows, to find the crown through the cross, and to find life after death. Today, through this, Jesus Christ has become our saviour," he said.
"In line with the example set by Christ, Oscar used God-given talents to the service of the people, and we pray to God to accept him in His heavenly abode. Being a Catholic leader, he was well known among people from all walks of life and he treated everyone equally. He proved that Christianity and politics can go hand in hand. He is an example for all of us. God provided us with a great leader. May God provide him eternal rest and taking his example, may many more leaders like him come forward and serve the people," he stated.
On behalf of the entire Udupi diocese, Bishop Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo conducted the final rites and paid the final respect. In the meanwhile, Fr Charles Menezes, parish priest, Boniface D'Souza, vice president, pastoral council, Udupi, Mary D'Souza, president, Catholic Sabha, diocese of Udupi, paid their last respects.
Vinay Kumar Sorake thanked everyone for the support. Fr Denis D’Sa paid the condolence to the family on behalf of the diocese.
Fr Denis D’Sa compered the ritual ceremony.
From the church, the mortal remains were taken to Oscar's ancestral house at Brahmagiri from where it was brought to the district Congress office. Leaders including KPCC president D K Shivakumar paid their last respects.