Mangalore: Fr.Lawrence Fernandes (73) Passes away


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Report by Eugene, Moodubelle
Bellevision Media Network

Mangalore, 24 February 2010: Fr. Lawrence Fernandes (73) passed away at 2 am on Wednesday, 24th February 2010 at Fr. Muller’s Hospital. He was admitted to the hospital on 22nd February 2010 as he was feeling uneasy with chest pain. Besides he had been suffering from extreme form of diabetics.

Born on 6th January 1937 at Shankerpura (Pangala) to late Antony and Mary Fernandes,  after his initial education at Pangala Fr. Lawrence completed SSLC from the Innanje High School and joined St. Joseph’s Seminary, Mangalore. He was ordained a priest in 1962. Thereafter, he served as the assistant parish priest at Bendoor and Belathangady for two years each and at Valencia for few months before proceeding to Rome for doctoral studies. Fr. Lawrence acquired doctorate for his thesis on Moral Theology.

After returning from Rome, Fr. Lawrence worked in the Bishop’s House for some time and was later appointed as the Director of Mangala Jyothi-Diocesan Catechetical, Biblical and Liturgical Centre where he served for nearly 8 years. During this period, under his initiative new books on catechism and collection new hymns were published.

In 1990, Fr. Lawrence was sent to the Rosario cathedral as the Dean. Later, he was appointed as the parish priest and Dean of the Infant Jesus Parish at Modankap (Bantwal). Meanwhile, Fr. Lawrence became a victim of diabetics and went on sick leave in 1995. Later, he was appointed as the parish priest of St. Joseph’s Seminary Church, Jeppu where he served for two years. As the diabetics became too severe, Fr. Lawrence had to suffer the loss of one of his legs which was amputated in 2001.

Fr. Lawrence never allowed his disability to hamper his spiritual or priestly functions. He volunteered to teach in St. Joseph’s Seminary, Jeppu which he did till the last breath of his life. He was a very good teacher of Philosophy and also a spiritual guide and counsellor to many of the seminarians.  Fr. Lawrence was a great orator and his sermons have been appreciated by one and all.

Fr. Lawrence had touched many people who had come in his contact throughout his priestly life. He never manifested his sufferings in any way.  He always kept a smiling face and would always joke about the disease from which he was suffering. He spent most of his time in reading new books on spirituality. When i met him in December 2009, he said that the books give him company and he feels that time is not sufficient as there is much to learn. Pointing to a bundle of Christmas Greeting cards on his table, Fr. Lawrence further said that he believed in personally sending the greeting cards by writing the names and addresses of his relatives, friends and well wishers as at least once a year the bond is renewed. These were indeed noble thoughts of Fr. Lawrence in the age of impersonal internet and SMS greetings.

Helping the needy was the second nature of Fr. Lawrence. In whichever parish he had served, Fr. Lawrence is still remembered with affection and respect. He had endeared to his parishioners by his dedicated service and friendly and helping nature.

Fr. Lawrence is survived by his only sister-Juliana Mathias, nephews-Andrew and Bernard and nieces-Winifred and Lavina and their families.

The funeral of Fr. Lawrence Fernandes will be held tomorrow (25th February 20100 at St. Vincent de Ferrar Church, Valencia.

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Comments on this Article
Victor Castelino, Moodubelle/Dubai Wed, February-24-2010, 8:32
Gem of a person; always approachable and humble. I am really saddened by his death. Good bye my friend.
RTN MICHAEL MATHIAS gurkar pilar lower ward shirva, PILAR SHIRVA Wed, February-24-2010, 6:47
very sad news .may his soul rest in peace
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