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By February 28, 2024News
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By Archibald Furtado.

As most of us are aware, this year on April, 3rd 2024, we are going to celebrate Birth Centenary of Amcho Padryab Alfred Roche Blessed Servant of God. As plans and programmes are in place to make the event memorable and prayerful, as a part of this Jubilee, every month a Special Prayer Service is conducted at the tomb of Fr Roche located in Brahmavar Church Cemetery.

In brief, Fr Roche has born as the fifth child of devout Sacristan for 50 long years Isaac Roche and Carmine Monterio of Moodahadu Kudru, of Historical Barkur parish. The child baptised in the holy hands of Msgr Denis Jerome DSouza the man who built various Churches in the then Kallianpur Varado, including the present Cathedral in Kallianpur and the Gothic marvel St Peter Church Barkur.

After his early education in native Pandeshwar, Sastan completed his SSLC in Milagres High School, Kallianpur, joined Capuchins and ordained priest on 11th April, 1951 at Kotagiri in Nilagiri Dist of Present Tamil Nadu.

After serving in Farangipet for 5 years entrusted the then economically poor Brahmmavar Church dedicated to Holy Family as the First Capuchin Parish Priest on 4th April, 1956 to endear himself to all in the town as a holy priest for 16 long years till 18th July 1972.

St Ann’s Church Binaga for three years 1972 to 75 and Kasarkod near Honnavar till 1981 as Vicar served the last, least and lost in these remote and backward places of the time. From 1978 to 1987 again in the Farangipet Seminary was recalled in Lower Kasrcod from 1st June 1987 till 1993 and back to his most loved place Brahmmavar as a resident retired priest in 1994. A fragile and physically tired man of God and His men bid adieus to the earthly life at the wee hours at 5.30 am on 31st December, 1996 and as a very special case his mortal remains were buried in the Brahmmavar Cemetery on 1st January, 1997.

Since then, many who were benefitted, cured and taken care by this holy man were privately visiting the tomb to express their gratitude’s and many lifting their prayers through the intercession of Fr Alfred. There were many instances of miraculous benefits instantly received by the faithful, ailments cured, family complications, misunderstandings resolved and slowly word of mouth spread in the surroundings. There were many who just kept an image of their pastor near their Altar and prayed with faith and trust in God and received favours and blessings.

It’s a great miracle itself, something which was remained a private and personal for a decade now exposed to public and day after day number of devotees visiting Brahmmavar Church increased on a daily basis. The cause was taken up seriously by the Capuchins well supported by the parishioners and Fr Alfred Roche deservedly declared as Servant of God by the Pope and a declaration was made by the Rt Rev Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo the Bishop of Udupi Diocese on 15th August 2022.

The process of collecting and recording information, divine favours, miracles are on and prayers are offered at various places – Barkur his birth place, Farangipet, Casarkot, Binaga especially in Brahmmavar. Every Month end Holy Mass followed by prayer service near the Fr Alfred’s Tomb is an opportunity to know and reflect on servant of God Fr Alfred’s Life and living as he has become a ray of hope of the hopeless and a way to reach God Almighty to poor, downtrodden and less privileged lot.

Many books are available to know more including the Biography compiled by Prof P. Archibald Furtado and his team, which was published by St Peters Association Barkur – Mumbai on 8th July, 2018 is available on line to refer which collectively throw light on  Fr Roche’s faith formation, vocation promotion, ecumenism, inter religious dialogues, construction of houses of God and in away his God Centred life and evagical approach etc.  Brahmmavr Parish Office too preserves relics, articles and books written by Fr Roche himself and others in its museum and foundation stone laid for a Chapel in Moodahadu the birthplace of Fr Alfred Roche.

You are cordially invited tomorrow to join us – Thursday, 29th February, 2024 for the Holy Mass and Prayer near the tomb at Holy Family Church Brahmmavar.

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