Holy Mass and Prayer Service near Fr. Alfred's tomb at the Holy Family Church in Brahmmavar on Thursday, February 29th, 2024.

-Prof. P. Archibald Furtado

Celebrating the Birth Centenary of Servant of God, Rev. Fr. Alfred Roche OFM Cap

As the centenary of the revered Servant of God, Rev. Fr. Alfred Roche OFM Cap, approaches on April 3rd, 2024, plans are underway to commemorate the occasion with reverence and prayerful reflection. The community has been actively engaged in organizing various events to honor the legacy of this beloved figure, whose life has been an embodiment of faith and service.

Fr. Alfred Roche, born as the fifth child to Isaac Roche and Carmine Monterio of Moodahadu Kudru in the historic Barkur parish, received his baptism from the hands of Msgr. Denis Jerome DSouza, a prominent figure known for his contributions to church building in the Kallianpur Varado. Fr. Roche's early education took place in Pandeshwar and Sastan, culminating in his graduation from Milagres High School, Kallianpur. He then answered the call to priesthood and was ordained on April 11th, 1951, at Kotagiri in the Nilgiri District of present-day Tamil Nadu.

Fr. Roche's ministry was marked by a deep commitment to serving the marginalized and underserved communities. He spent significant periods of his pastoral service in places like Farangipet, Brahmmavar, St. Ann’s Church Binaga, and Kasarkod near Honnavar, where he tirelessly worked to uplift the last, least, and lost. His tenure as the first Capuchin Parish Priest in Brahmmavar, from April 4th, 1956, to July 18th, 1972, endeared him to the hearts of the people, earning him a reputation as a holy and compassionate pastor.

Despite facing physical frailty in his later years, Fr. Roche continued to inspire countless individuals through his steadfast faith and dedication to God's work. After his passing on December 31st, 1996, his tomb at the Brahmmavar Church Cemetery became a site of pilgrimage for those seeking solace and intercession. Numerous accounts of miraculous healings and blessings attributed to his intercession further solidified his reputation as a holy man of God.

The formal recognition of Fr. Alfred Roche as a Servant of God by the Pope, declared on August 15th, 2022, marked a significant milestone in his journey towards potential sainthood. Since then, efforts to gather information and document testimonies of divine favors and miracles have been underway, with prayers being offered at various locations associated with Fr. Roche's life and ministry.

A special invitation is extended to all to participate in the Holy Mass and Prayer Service near Fr. Alfred's tomb at the Holy Family Church in Brahmmavar on Thursday, February 29th, 2024. This monthly gathering serves as an opportunity to reflect on the life and legacy of this esteemed servant of God, whose unwavering faith continues to be a source of hope and inspiration to many.

For those eager to learn more about Fr. Alfred Roche, a comprehensive biography compiled by Prof. P. Archibald Furtado and his team is available online, shedding light on his contributions to faith formation, vocation promotion, ecumenism, inter-religious dialogue, and the construction of houses of worship. Additionally, relics, articles, and books authored by Fr. Roche are preserved at the Brahmmavar Parish Office museum, with plans underway for the construction of a chapel at his birthplace in Moodahadu, further honoring his enduring legacy.

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