P. Archibald Furtado
Rev Fr Benjamin DSouza, a devout priest served in Barkur as Vicar of St Peter Church for above seven years – 30-05-1994 to 05-06-2001, breathed his last during wee hours this morning at 5.45 am in the Fr Millers Hospital Kankanady, Mangalore.
He was leading his retired life in St Joseph Vaz home for aged in Mangalore since few years. Interestingly, it was on the Patron’s Titular feast day on 29th June, 2022, about a 40 days ago, though very fragile, he paid a visit to his onetime favourite Church and people and spent some time with the parishioners.
Among others, Rev Fr Benjamin fondly remembered for few distinct contributions over here.
Being the then Diocesan convenor of the Small Christian Communities, he formed and popularised five in a group units in Barkur and personally visited their meetings to make them cohesive and mutually supporting both to pray together and live in harmony.
Secondly it is during Fr Benjamin’s tenure the Stree Sangahtan of the parish took its birth on 16th October, 1999, and remained as an integral part of the parish family with lot many programmes to their credit.
Another significant development in the parish was the conceiving the idea and successfully publishing of Pedruchi Chavi a church bulletin. This giant step by a historically well known but by a small parish located in a rural background, way back in the year 2000 was really challenging.
Since then the magazine seen its publication, twice, thrice, even four times in a year commemorating – Easter, in April, Titular feast in June, Monthi Feast in September and Christmas during December every till 2018. For the last 2 -3 odd years we might have missed them for obvious reasons, but hopeful to see that published at least in December, 2022, including a fitting obituary to its founder as a part it.
It was Fr Benjamin DSouza always used to recognise the SPA (St Peters Association Barkur – Mumbai) as one additional ward of the parish and one of the main contributors for its material need in the hometown, especially to Maryknoll Primary School.
While praying to Almighty Lord for the repose of the departed soul of Fr Benjamin in heaven we sincerely remember him and his services in our Barkur. A man of prayer and devotion to Mother Mary was a simple and humble pastor. A priest for 58 years, served in various parishes of present Udupi and Mangalore diocese like Anjelore, Arva, Venur, Ferar, Tallur etc and even in distant Bidar Mission station in Gulbarga Diocesefor 5 long years……
Final rites and burial will be held on Wednesday, 10th August, at Kayyar Christ King, Church at 10.30 am.
For and on behalf of Team barkuronline.com
P. Archibald Furtado.