On Sunday, 14 July 2019 a Thanksgiving Mass officiated by Most Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, Bishop Emeritus of Mangaluru Diocese was offered at St. Sebastian Church, Bendur.
At the outset of the ceremony,Rev Fr Naveen Pinto, the Notary presented the documents to the Episcopal Delegate Rev Fr Henry Sequeira. Rev Fr John Mendonca, the Promoter of Justice, declared ‘no objection’ in transmitting the documents to the Holy See.Thereafter, the officials connected with the responsibilities of the Board of Inquiry took an oath declaring that they have faithfully fulfilled their tasks. Bishop Saldanha began the oath-taking and was followed by Rev Fr Henry Sequeira, the Episcopal Delegate, Rev Fr John Mendonca, the Promoter of Justice, Rev Fr Naveen Pinto, the Notary, Rev Fr Vincent Saldanha, the Vice Notary, Sr Lillis Kattakayam BS, the Postulator of the Cause, Sr Molly Sharon BS, the copyist, and Sr Hilarita BS, the Language Translator.
Bishop Emeritus Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, then expressed his appreciation for the work done and invoked God’s blessings for the completion of the Roman Phase of the Cause. The Bethany Sisters along with Bendur parishioners paid tribute to the Servant of God through a song.
The Postulator, Sr Lillis Kattakayam BS proposed the vote of thanks. She acknowledged the services of all those who had laboured for the Cause in various capacities whereas Sr Rose Celine BS, the Superior General honoured Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha and Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza for their unique services at the opening and closing of the Diocesan Inquiry. Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha honoured the members of the Board of Inquiry, the Historical Commission Members, Theological Censor, the three Superiors General Sr Jyoti BS, Sr Wilberta BS, and Sr Rose Celine BS who played key roles as the petitioners of the Cause at different times. Rev Fr Vincent Monteiro the Parish Priest of Bendur and his predecessors Rev Fr Antony Shera and Rev Fr Peter Noronha too were thanked for their contribution in the whole process. Sr Lillis BS was appreciated for her eleven years of generous service as the Postulator. Sr Dona Sanctis BS compered the programme.
The Historical Commission members Rev Fr J B Saldanha (Convener), Sr Mariette BS, (Secretary) and Rev Fr Peter Mascarenhas MMS collected a large number of documents connected with the life of the Servant of God visiting 90 archives and libraries from all over India and Rome. All these materials are now sent to Rome for further studies.
The Servant of God Raymond Francis Camillus Mascarenhas was born in a devout Christian family and was a zealous and committed diocesan priest of Mangaluru Diocese. He is the Founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany, Mangaluru. He served the parishes as an assistant priest, parish priest, and Vicar General of the Diocese. His services as a dedicated priest and Vicar General of the Diocese of Mangaluru as well as the Founder of Bethany Congregation andthe Bethany Educational Society are truly meritorious. He was the founding parish priest and the builder of St Sebastian Church, Bendur where his mortal remains lie today.
A large number of priests, Bethany Sisters, Religious brothers and sisters, parishioners, the relatives of the Servant of God RFC Mascarenhas, and the faithful witnessed the Closing Session and prayed that the Servant of God may soon be raised to the honours of the Altar.