Twin Jubilees of the Servant of God Mgr RFC Mascarenhas Inaugurated
Mangaluru, January 23: The Twin Jubilee of the Servant of God, Mgr RFC Mascharenhas, was inaugurated at St Sebastian Church Bendur on January 23, 2024. Besides his 150th birth anniversary, his 125th anniversary of Priestly ordination (March 4th) is also being anticipated.
Recognizing the multiple roles played by the Servant of God, his great-grand nephew, Rev. Fr Cedric Prakash, SJ, has spelled out the meaning of RFC as Revolutionary, Fearless and Committed. Fr Raymond created a revolution in society by touching the lives of the poor and giving dignity and scope to thousands, especially the girl children of the 19th century. He walked the unbeaten path fearlessly, propelling the band of Bethany sisters to walk fearlesslyinto the mission lands. Camillus had a dream. He had heard the call and seen the star. He had sensed the spurring of the Spirit in the hearts of not a few to dedicate themselves fully to the Lord. He was committed to the mandate of Jesus as a Pastor, Founder, Educationist and Scriptural man. Committed to the Cause of Justice and Truth, he stood head and shoulders high above his contemporaries be they in the secular field or on religious avenues. He was known as the ‘Father of the Poor.’
On this auspicious day, to the ticking of 5.00 p.m., the ordained ministers of God, 18 in number, made their solemn entry in procession to the Altar of God for the Eucharistic celebration to the tune of a melodious entrance hymn. Most Rev. Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, the bishop Emeritus of Mangalore Diocese, concelebrated the Jubilee Mass along with Most Rev. Dr William D’Souza, the Archbishop Emeritus of Patna Archdiocese, and other priest brothers.
Sr Lisa BS gave an introduction to the celebration, highlighting the important milestones of the Servant of God.
Breaking the Word of God from Jer. 1:4–9, Heb. 5:1–10, and Lk. 4:16–22, Rev. Fr J.B. Saldanha preached an inspiring homily. Referring to Tony D’Mello’s Prayer of the Frog, he spoke about the Servant of God’s unassuming life of simplicity and holiness, which he translated into action, uplifting the lower strata of people, especially girl children. He promoted devotions to the Bl. Sacrament, the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the Little Flower of Jesus, and her missionary zeal. During the first Diocesan Eucharistic Congress, he preached on the greatness of the Blessed Sacrament, which is remembered even today. He had special devotion and affection for the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom he called Queen and Mother. Mgr RFC was convinced of his ministerial role and practiced it conscientiously, spreading God’s compassionate love to all.
During the offertory procession, as a mark of thanksgiving, 150 kg of rice was offered in memory of the 150 fruitful years of the life of the Servant of God.
Sr Leera Maria proposed a vote of thanks and offered guidelines for the participants to follow after the Eucharistic celebration. The choir elevated the souls and minds of the faithful with their melodious hymns during the celebration.
After Mass, all moved towards the tomb of the Servant of God. Ten wreaths were placed on the tomb by different people representing various sections of society. A short documentary film on the Servant of God was displayed, and prayers for his beatification were recited. The Most Rev. Dr William D’Souza, the Archbishop Emeritus of Patna, released calendars for the Servant of God, Mgr Raymond FC Mascarenhas, to mark the occasion.
A concluding Thanksgiving hymn was sung by the choir. The curtain was drawn to the joyous and meaningful celebration by the distribution of snacks to one and all.