Mangaluru, Dec 23, 2015:Mangaluru’s indigenous Bethany congregation and it’s associates, solemnly marked the 55th death anniversary of their Founder Mgr.Raymond F C Mascarenhas at Bendur Mangalore on December 22, 2015, (actual date Dec 23,1960); Bendur Church that the Mgr R F C built, he was the first parish priest of this parish that came into being in 1914.
Now declared a ‘Servant of God’ Mgr.Raymond, is the only Mangalurean to have attained this stuatus in the Church to date and all Catholics of Mangaluru pray that he will soon be declared a saint. Born in 1875 died December 23,1960. At the solemn concelebrated mass Bishop of Mangaluru Rev Aloysius Paul D’Souza presided and several priests were present. Rev Sr. Wilberta BS the Superior General, Sr.Lillis BS the Asst Sup. General and Postulator of the cause with a large gathering were present.
Servant of God Msgr.Raymond laboured tirelessly for the uplift of the marginalized, women and specially the backward classes through education irrespective of class, caste or creed. For this purpose in 1921 he founded the indigenous nunnery of ‘Bethany Sisters’ at Mangalore, who are today serving all over the Nation and in a few places abroad, with hundreds of institutions and over 1500 sisters of Bethany.
Msgr.Raymond is reputed to be a saintly worker for the people as a priest, social activist and reformer in times past. His service as a member of the Mangalore municipality and local bodies is a record, he insured the rights of local residents in difficult times. He also is reputed to have upheld the thinking of Gandhi in those times with the setting up of hand loom training centers for girls through the Bethany institutions. He is also known as an ‘Apostle of Print Media’ in view of his publications and translations in times when such material was scarce. Msgr.Raymond is credited to have developed Bendur – a ‘barren place’ between 1914-31 to great heights; he served as the Vicar General of Mangalore from 1931-41.
The solemn concelebrated mass at the Bendur Church where Msgr.Mascarenhas remains are interred with special prayers and laying of wrethes. In the memorial homily Rev Joe Tauro OCD in the back drop of the "Magnificat" said the entire life of Mgr RFC was to magnify God and holiness is the reception of God into the human as it is proved in the case of the life of this ’Servant of God" R F C Mascarenhas.
The work of the Saint to be R F C Mascarenhas was thus recalled in brief : "Your magnum opus is the establishment of the Congregation of Bethany Sisters in 1921……..But, above all you have, through the Bethany Sisters, carried out humanitarian work by establishing an Industrial School and three orphanages for girls with more than a 100 orphans with a weaving establishment…… You have been contributing towards solution of rural upliftment……You have united in yourself qualities rarely found in combination. You have been a good administrator, a learned Canonist, a lucid writer and powerful speaker both in English and Konkani. Your part in the revival of Konkani language deserves mention.
You wrote the Poilen Pustak which is used in the diocese for teaching Konkani to children. You also composed and published in Konkani, the Lan Opees of our Blessed Lady with many hymns original and translated, which are popularly used in churches and houses. You have been an out standing figure among the clergy of this diocese, setting a great example by your piety, devotion and dedicated work.”