Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Servant of God, Rev. Fr. Alfred Roche

-News n Pics : Louis DSouza, Sasthan

In a poignant display of reverence and devotion, a Holy Mass and Prayer service were conducted near the tomb of the revered Servant of God, Rev. Fr. Alfred Roche, at Holy Family Church Brahmmavar on Thursday, 29th February, 2024. The event, graced by the presence of many faithful admirers of Fr. Roche from Brahmavar and Barkur Parish, was presided over by Rev. Fr. Santa Lopez OFM, who led the congregation in honoring the memory of this esteemed figure.

Fr. Alfred Roche, known affectionately as "Amcho Padryab," was commemorated ahead of his upcoming Birth Centenary on April 3rd, 2024. Born as the fifth child to devout parents Isaac Roche and Carmine Monterio of Moodahadu Kudru, within the historical Barkur parish, his life journey was marked by profound spirituality and unwavering dedication to his calling.

Having received his early education in Pandeshwar and Sastan, Fr. Roche continued his academic pursuits at Milagres High School, Kallianpur, before answering the call to priesthood within the Capuchin order. Ordained on 11th April, 1951, in Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu, Fr. Roche embarked on a lifelong mission of service and compassion.

His ministry took him to various corners of the region, where he selflessly tended to the spiritual needs of the faithful. Notably, he served as the first Capuchin Parish Priest of the economically disadvantaged Brahmmavar Church, endearing himself to the community for 16 years. His subsequent postings included St. Ann’s Church Binaga and Kasarkod near Honnavar, where he continued to exemplify humility and grace.

Fr. Roche's tenure was marked by countless acts of kindness and miraculous interventions, earning him a reputation as a beacon of hope for the marginalized and downtrodden. Following his passing on 31st December, 1996, his final resting place at the Brahmmavar Cemetery became a site of pilgrimage for those seeking solace and divine intervention.

The recent gathering near Fr. Alfred Roche's tomb stands as a testament to the enduring impact of his life and teachings. Attendees, hailing from diverse backgrounds and generations, united in their reverence for this holy figure, reflecting the profound influence he continues to exert on the community.

In addition to the spiritual solace offered by Fr. Roche's legacy, efforts to preserve and disseminate his teachings are underway. The compilation of biographical works, such as the one authored by Prof P. Archibald Furtado and his team, serves as a valuable resource for those seeking to delve deeper into Fr. Roche's life and ministry. Furthermore, the establishment of a museum at the Brahmmavar Parish Office, housing relics, articles, and writings associated with Fr. Roche, ensures that his memory endures for future generations.

As preparations for the Birth Centenary Jubilee gather momentum, the faithful are invited to participate in upcoming events and initiatives aimed at honoring Fr. Alfred Roche's enduring legacy. Through prayer, reflection, and acts of service, believers can pay homage to this exemplary servant of God, whose life epitomized selflessness, compassion, and unwavering faith.

In commemorating the extraordinary life of Rev. Fr. Alfred Roche, the community not only celebrates a beloved figure but also finds renewed inspiration to emulate his virtues in their own lives. As the countdown to the Birth Centenary Jubilee continues, the spirit of Fr. Roche lives on, a timeless beacon of love, mercy, and hope for all.

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