Br. Felix Augustine Ferrao

Br. Felix Augustine Ferrao – A Smiling Brother

What we are is God’s gift to us; what we become is our gift to God.”  These words were always in the heart, mind and on the lips of our Bro. Felix Ferrao as he sort to live these words in his life. His commitment to life was based on this realization that we are God’s gift to one another.  And so he reached out to others with care, concern and generosity.

It was with great disbelief that we the friars of St. Anthony Vice-Province of Goa, received the sad news of Bro. Felix’s passing away on the morning of 28th of July 2009. Bro. Felix had been ailing for quite some time.  In November he was admitted in the hospital for a minor stroke, but came out of it with great cheer and hopefulness.  There after he took meticulous care of himself, dieting and exercising, to keep himself fit. Things seemed to be working quite well for our brother.  Occasionally he would experience sister sickness knock at his door.  In all this he didn’t loose his cheer.  On 10thJuly he celebrated his 61st birthday with great joy in the midst of his friars and relatives.  He spoke cheerfully bringing joy and laughter to those gathered around him. Least did we realize that he would slip into coma a couple of weeks later.  The doctors informed us that his kidneys failed and he suffered a heart attack.  We battled for his life but to no avail.  Exactly after a week in hospital, at 8.30 am on the 28th July 2009 Felix our brother passed from this life to the next. Tears rolled, the heart ached, we stood in silence trying to grapple with the reality of his death.  The funeral service conducted on 31st July in the presence of the Archbishop of Goa, along with the large congregation present to bid farewell, spoke volumes of the gift that Felix was to us.

Bro. Felix was born on the 10th July 1948 at Guirim.  Son of pious parents Mr. Januario Crecino Ferrao and Mrs. Maria Magdalena Ferrao, he was the youngest of four siblings. He studied at St. Anthony’s, Monte de Guirim, where he was inspired to the Franciscan Capuchin way of life. He joined the Order in 1968 and made his first profession on 31st May 1974 and final profession on 22nd May 1977.  On 29th May 1977 he was ordained a priest.

His first posting was at Padre Pio Friary, Navelim, as Director of the aspirants, where he won the hearts of the students as he guided them slowly but firmly in their vocation.  In 1980 his superiors found him worthy to get himself qualified in Rome where he did his licentiate in Catechetics at the Università Salesianum. On his return he was appointed as Guardian at Padre Pio Friary and Director of aspirants.  From there he was transferred to Monte de Guirim as the Boarding Director.  In 1989 he was appointed as parish priest at Revora where he administered to the pastoral needs of the people.  In 1993 he was transferred again to Monte de Guirim where he did his M.A and B.Ed studies, while also performing the duties of the economo of the house.  In 1996 he was elected as definitor of the then united KGM Province. In the same year he was appointed as Guardian of Alverno Friary and Headmaster of St. Anthony’s school, Monte de Guirim. In 1998, when the division of the Province took place, Felix was appointed as the first Vice-Provincial of the newly erected Vice- province of Goa, a post he held for six years. During this time he was also elected as the President of the CCMSI.  In the last years he served at our friary at Cuncolim, for a short time in the General Vice-Province of Arabia and finally at Navelim where he was presently the Director of Aspirancy.

Felix was a simple, joyful and a contented brother who always wore a smile on his face.  He had a special gift of encouraging the brothers.  He was genuinely interested in the well-being of all his brothers. He was a prayerful brother who practiced a profound faith in God and in whom he found his solace several times during the day. An ardent follower of St. Francis of Assisi, he lived his religious life in simplicity and humility. May God reward you as you share eternal life with Him in the company of all the angels and saints.

Adieus Bro. Felix, what you became is God’s gift to us.
May he rest in peace

Br. Godwin Vincente Lobo

Br. Godwin Vincente Lobo – A Jovial Brother

Give your best and God will help you to do the rest.”  These words were always in the heart, mind and on the lips of our Bro. Godwin Lobo as he sort to live these words in his life. His commitment to life was based on this realization that we are God’s gift to one another.  And so he reached out to others with care, concern and generosity.

It was with a heavy that we the friars of St. Anthony Province of Goa, received the sad news of Bro. Godwin’s passing away on the morning of 10th of July 2013. Bro. Godwin had been ailing for quite some time.  In June he was complaining of some pain in the heart he was admitted in the hospital in Mexico for a minor heart attack, the doctors after their check up advised us to go in for an open heart surgery for Fr. Godwin as the valves were blocked. The surgery as per the doctors was a success and he came out of it with great cheer and hopefulness.  But unfortunately he suffered another major heart attack in the hospital itself. The best  of doctors were present and tried their best for 3 hours to save Fr. Godwin, but God missed him more. July 10, 2013 was the day our brotherGodwin passed from this life to the next. Tears rolled, the heart ached, as we stood in silence trying to grapple the news of the reality of his death.  The funeral service conducted on 12th July in Mexico as per his wish, along with the large congregation present to bid farewell, spoke volumes of the gift that Godwin was to us. The people of Mexico loved him and accepted him as their own so much  so they too were very happy that he was laid to rest in Mexico

Bro. Godwin was born on the 30th January 1947 at Candolim.  Son of pious parents Mr. Joaquim Xavier Leslie Lobo and Mrs. Idinha Humiliana Lobo, he was the eldest of three siblings. He passed out from St. Anthony’s, Monte de Guirim, where he was inspired to the Franciscan Capuchin way of life.  He joined the Order in 1963 and made his first profession on 1st May 1966 and final profession on 19th  December 1976.  On December 19,1976 he was ordained a priest.

 

He was a person with multiple responsiblilites. He has served in many friaries in Goa. He was in Alverno Friary – Guirim, Padre Pio Friary – Navelim, St. Lawrence Church  – Sinquerim and Our lady of Victories Church – Revora. He was a teacher in St. Anthony’s High School – Monte de Guirim – Goa as well as performed the responsibilities of the acting Head Master in an efficient way. After his retirement he joyfully accepted to be a missionary in Mexico where he breathed his last serving the people in Mexico. He left for Mexico on 18th March 2008 and it was God’s will that he breathe his last there…. This was in short a flash back on the life of late Fr. Godwin Lobo.

Godwin was a simple, joyful and a contented brother who always wore a smile on his face. All the students who he taught liked his way of teaching and guiding. He had a special gift of encouraging the brothers.  He was a prayerful brother who practiced a profound faith in God and in whom he found his solace several times during the day. An ardent follower of St. Francis of Assisi, he lived his religious life in simplicity and humility. May God reward you as you share eternal life with Him in the company of all the angels and saints.

 

Adieus Bro. Godwin, what you became is God’s gift to us.

May he rest in peace

Br. Theodore Gustav Pereira

Br. Theodore Gustav Pereira – Good and Faithful Servant

Many Goans migrated to Mumbai (Bombay) in the early 60s for better prospects. Many others made frequent visits to the land of opportunities those days. Dominic and Maria from Porvorim were no different. They too had been to Mumbai where they collaborated with God’s plan to welcome in this world their little angel Gustav Pereira on 26th October 1933. God’s gift grew in stature steadily and solidly in Mumbai but his heart was beating for Goa. He got himself enrolled in St. Anthony’s High School, Monte de Guirim in 1948. As a young school lad he was enamored by the brown habit and the long flowing beard of the Monte Capuchins. He was hooked. He went home and told his parents “I want to be a Capuchin”. After finishing his high school he joined the Capuchins. He was sent to Monte Mariano Friary (Farangipet) in Mangalore as a novice where he took his simple vows in 1952 and took the name of Theodore.

His formators finding him fit for studies and for capuchin life sent him for his philosophical studies to St. Anthony’s Friary in Quilon where he stayed till 1956. From there he was promoted for his theological studies to St. Joseph’s Friary in the hill station of Kotagiri (Next to Ooty). Being a serious and dedicated student he passed his seminary training with excellence. He was ordained a priest in 1959 a time when the universal Church was preparing for the historical and memorable Second Vatican Council. Even after ordination he loved to serve the people of Kotagiri with his genius in music for which he is remembered by the local people even today. His contribution to music in Kotagiri will be remembered for a very long time.

The Goemchi xith-koddi invited him to Goa in 1961 where he was placed in his alma mater, St. Anthony’s High School, Monte de Guirim as a school teacher, chaplain and assistant Boarding Director. At that time the boarding had nearly 700 boys and the school was at its pinnacle especially in sports. His heart was divided between Goa and Kotagiri. He was wanted and needed in both the places. This time kotagiri was the winner. He went back there in 1963 as a professor of theology, liturgy and music. After three years of nonstop teaching his superiors decided to send him for higher studies in liturgy and music. In 1966 he marched to the eternal city of Rome. Overcoming the racist attitude of the westerners those days he did his masters in music and liturgy. Br. Theodore came back in 1972 as Doctor Pereira. This time again it was Kotagiri that captured his attention. He went there as a well qualified professor of Liturgy and music.

The one big Capuchin province was now divided. Fr. Theodore was posted in Deena Seva Ashram Bangalore in 1981 as a prefect of formation and Lector. He was a man of prayer and duty which he did extremely well till 1984. He then found himself once again in Goa serving the various capuchin houses in Goa. He has lived most of his life in Alverno Friary Guirim and some years in Navelim and Cuncolim. He served the Arch Diocese of Goa as an Episcopal vicar for the religious for a couple of years. He represented various commissions on liturgy and music both nationally and internationally. He worked very hard in Goa to promote vocations for the Capuchin order. He went about with his camera making slides for his talks, with his violin conducting choirs, with his pen writing books, with saplings planting trees. He had great thirst for learning and for finesse of things. A man well educated who believed in quality of work and purity of thought. His contribution to St. Anthony Capuchin Province of Goa is immense. Thanks to him today Goa is a Province, our documents of various houses in order, many youngsters entered the order.

Last few years Fr. Theodore was not keeping too well. His lifelong enemies were his varicose veins and diabetes. At the end his body became so ‘sweet’ that it had to leave this earth. He is now buried in the new Cemetery of the Province in Alverno Friary.

Adeus Brother! May God give you the reward you deserve!