I. J. Saldanha Shet
"We live in deeds, not years; In thoughts not breaths; In feelings, not in figures. We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best".- ARISTOTLE.
Mangalore, held a solemn Requiem Mass Friday, December 14, at 4 PM, for a great son-of-the-soil Archbishop Ambrose Madtha (57 yrs) who died in a car collision in the Republic Ivory Coast in West Africa on December 8,2012. He rose to phenomenal heights as a churchman in the Vatican Diplomatic Service and was the dean of the diplomatic Corps in the Republic. The news of his untimely death in a came a a rude shock to Mangaloreans.
His mortal body could not reach t Bajpe Airport aboard a special Presidential flight from the Ivory coast due to a technical snag according to official sources.The mortal remains are expected to reach Mangalore later today. It is accompanied by a large delegation of a cross section of key representatives of the Ivory Coast where the Archbishop was Nuncio - Papal Envoy since 2008. Rt.Rev.Madtha gained high prominence and respect as a promoter and active interlocutor to broker peace in the restful nation which was then on the brink of civil war.
The Requiem Mass was held at Rosario Cathedral Mangalore Friday at 4 PM today,December 14,2012.Pope Benedict XVI and Vatican state secretary Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone have conveyed their condolences to the bereaved family and the faithful in a special message which was read out before the mass by Mgr. Marco Secretary to the Apostolic Nuncio in India , it extolled the high esteem this rare personality was held in by the Vatican in general.
The Solemn Mass was celebrated by Apostolic Nuncio to India Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio with the con celebrants being: Archbishop Bernard Moras of bangalore, Bishop Lewis of Jaipur, Bishop Henry D’Souza of Bellary, Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza of Mangalore and many priests from far and near. The attendance was very high with religious, nuns and laity which included several leaders, and admirers from all walks of life, which speaks of the esteem that the Late Archbishop has earned. In his homily Archbishop Bernard stressed the Gospel values that made clear the uncertainties of life and death and the need that everyone should be ready to be presented before the Creator without notice. It was heared from fellow Priests who were his class mates and so on that Archbishop Ambrose Madtha was a very down to earth person who treated all alike and was known to be very prayer oriented. He was kind and soft spoken ready to discuss and counsel any one that came to him and treated all castes and creeds without bias whatsover. They said it was very difficult to put into words the sadness and feelings into mere words which were inadequate.
Many are expected to attend the Burial obsequies tomorrow at Belthangady, which will be presided over by Apostolic Nuncio to India Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio and will also be joined by Bishops and others who are arriving from Ivory Coast along with the mortal remains. The Bishop of Mangalore said he was disappointed that the Body of the late Archbishop could not arrive in time due to circumstances beyond control and apologised to the many who waited through the day and thanked all concerned for their forbearance.
The honours and Burial are to be performed at the late Archbishop Madtha’s home parish church, Holy Redeemer Church in Belthangady under Mangalore diocese on Saturday December 15, 2012 commencing at 10 AM.