The Visit of His Excellency the Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Henry D'Souza - to Muscat

A special joyful moment to Barkurians in Oman –

The Visit of His Excellency the Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Henry D’Souza – to Muscat……….


Over the years, since his days as a young priest at Barkur, it is my observation in Bishop Henry D’Souza is that, he always keeps an element of surprise up in his sleeve, which others cannot grasp but which keeps us or his listeners excited and breathless, whether it’s a homily or it is general talk…….! There were days, few of us, High School students in 1976 – 78 attend the second Mass at 9.00 a.m. in the Church, only to listen to his sermons, though as a rule, must attend catechism classes, which we cleverly skipped.


Thereafter I heard him good number of times, at Barkur, in Mangalore, in Mumbai and it was a fiesta to the audience.


When we understood that the MCCP a platform of Mangalore in Muscat while celebrating their 2 decades of fruitful existence here, organized to invite Bishop Henry D’Souza to be the Chief Guest, the very news thrilled us…..we the Barkurians flashed the news here and there to near and dear ones…….Of course it was a hectic busy schedule few of us thought a personal meeting just impossible…….!



On 26th April, 2012, at 7.00 p.m. Bishop celebrated the grand Mass at the main Church of Sts. Peter & Paul Ruwi, in English in the presence of packed faithful. The sermon of the evening so touching to one’s heart……….if I have to write about, that itself consume my allotted two pages….!  Being Thursday, many of the Barkurians attended the Mass and me too expecting a private audience with Bishop not possible, un-aware of the protocol, gone home with few words of the preaching, recollecting……..on my way back.


It was a call by Mr. John F. Gonsalves informing me that Bishop will be available at 10.00 a.m. on Friday, 27th April, 2012 in the Church, took me by surprise…..!


Yes at the appointed time, all Barkurians were assembled in the Church compound and exactly at 10.05 Bishop Henry D’Souza concluded his second High Mass and seen from distance mingling with children and blessing them……



Once he approached closer, it’s a divine experience for us – there is no short of a fraction in the magnanimity of his affection and admiration to Barkurians, calling & recognizing all old timers by name………enquiring their whereabouts…….!!



We were together for more than an hour – same simplicity, jovial mood… and narrated his socio-religious activities in Bellary Diocese, his experience in UAE, natural beauty of Oman hills  and so on………….


He was equally concerned of the parish of Barkur and happy to note the progress it made over the years…..We informed Bishop that this is the Silver Jubilee year of SPA Barkur – Mumbai yet another organization dear to him.


Same evening at 4.00 p.m. there held a public function at Al Falaj Hotel auditorium and Bishop was the main attraction. His words of wisdom gone into the hearts of 900 plus strong gathering with unending round of applause once he concluded his speech lasted for just 12 minutes….His congratulatory and encouraging words to MCCP in particular and the Konkani community in general and the message of unity, brotherhood, sharing and caring for each other in pure Konkani will be cherished for days to come….( full text of report appeared in Daiji world pages)


It’s a proud feeling to note here – a song composed by our host Mr. Kishore Gonsalves,(Kishoo, Barkur) ‘Thun Munnon’ was sung by upcoming star Mr. Kevin Misquith, during the entertainment part of Utsav ………..!


It was just a coincidence 27th April was my Birthday! Normally its my habit in these days rather prefer to forget…. keep it a low key………but this time I was elated to receive Bishops special Blessings….. Bishop told us to remember two dates – one’s Birthday and another day, the day when he / she realized why he / she born!? God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.


All the way from Bellary, he brought rich Cashew nuts and halva  served again and again and I kept few in my pocket to eat later….so its is lovely, when I forget all birthdays, including my own, to find that somebody remembers me…..


Few other points make me to focus, are the Bishop’s advice how to care, encourage our children….they are our future….Material facilities given to them are of less important than the time we allocated for them…..not to dictate but to respect their feelings and opinions……!


Very happy to hear by this year end – a New Diocese  for Udupi District will be formed and a new Bishop will be anointed….who is likely candidate?…..no answer from Bishop but in one word, its divine arrangement….to be made known at appropriate time.


After all it was a great get together for us – its not so important that how long we were to gather, or not how much time Bishop given, not even how many times we met  but it’s  how much one value each other…..


On behalf of Team  Barkur-on-line & Barkurians in Oman,


P. Archibald Furtado, 07/05/2012

P/N: The photographs above were clicked and provided by Mr. Loyson D’Souza , we will remain indebted to him.


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