Mangalore: Great Educationist Fr Henry Castelino expired

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By Fr Francis Rodrigues, Raknno
Bellevision Media Network

Mangalore, 11 Jun 2013: Rev. Fr Henry Castelino who is a priest of the Diocese of Mangalore and well known educationist passed away on Tuesday June 11th 2013 at 2.45 p.m. in a private hospital in Mangalore because of old age as well as acute diabetes.  He was 80 years old and a priest for the last 55 years.



Bishop of Mangalore Most Rev. Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza and Msgr Denis Prabhu the Vicar General of the Diocese of Mangalore have condoled his death.  Bishop said that we have lost a great educationist and active priest.


He was born at Bendore  Parish on 23rd of March, 1933 as the son of Michael Castelino and Ignatia D’Souza.  He was the youngest child of 8 children.


After having joined St Joseph’s Seminary, Mangalore on June 30th, 1949 and after the priestly studies, he was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Mangalore on the 1st of March 1958.


He was the substitude vicar of Ajekar parish from 1958 to 1962.  He was a lecturer at St Philomena College, Puttur from 1960 to 1972 and from 1974 to 1981.  He served as the founder Principle of St Mary’s College, Shirva from 1981 to 1991.  He served as the parish priest of Pernal from 1972 to 1974, of Kulur from 1991 to 1996 and of Yermal from 2000 to 2008.  He was the chancellor of the Diocese of  Mangalore from 1996 to 2000.  He has also served as the Episcopal Vicar for Religious and  Public Relations Officer of the Diocesan of Mangalore from 1997 to 2000.  Having retired from active priestly ministry in May 2008 after completion of 75 years, he resided in the Senior Priests’  Home at Jeppu. 

Priest with Educational Eloquence


According to Fr Valerian Menezes, the Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Mangalore and student of Fr Henry Castelino at St Marys College, Shirva Fr Henry is a gentle heart within but with a serious appearance outside.  He looked very serious with black and white beard, black hair and spectacles.  But his external appearance did not correspond with the loving personality within.  He had even shed tears with the students.  He always thought in terms of concern, convenience and welfare of the students.  To site one example the students from Kelmbet-Belman would come to the college in a morning bus which would reach Shirva at 9.35 a.m. Inorder to make them convenient he postponed the classes to 9.45 a.m. But this brought in a difficulty in the evening to delay the classes for 15 minutes because of which  some others would miss the bus.  To do away with the difficulty he started the classes at 9.30 a.m. again and informed the lecturers as well as the concerned students coming from Belman-Kelmbet root that there is no difficulty even if they are bit late to the first hour. 


According to Fr Valerian Menezes, Fr Henry not only excelled in academics but he promoted value education.  He himself taught Moral Science in the College.  On Saturdays he would take up an hour of Catechetical instructions to the students in the Church and arrange for the confession.  Even though he was the principle he himself would take-up some English classes.  He was very proud of his students who have become priests. 


According to Fr Clifford D’Souza, a senior priest who was the seminary companion of Fr Henry Castelino was youngest in the batch.  He was a very clever priest with excellent memory, simplicity, very generous towards the needy especially his students and a successful educationist in the colleges where he served.  He was a talkative priest but very entertaining and would go along with anybody. 


According to Ronald Moras lecturer of St Mary’s College Shirva and a close associate and fan of Fr Henry Castelino many Hindu students say that they were helped in paying the college fees from the salary received by Fr Henry Castelino.  If someone would give him some gifts he would hand over them to others.  He is so excellent in his academics that even with a single word in English he would speak for hours by going into its roots, meanings and socio-linguistic implications.  He loved human beings and he also loved the nature and animals.  He would speak to the flower plants in the garden and fishes in the well.  Ronald Moras remembers that there were two owls in the college campus making the campus dirty.  Once when Fr Henry was not in the station Ronald killed one of owls with an air-gun in-order to keep the college campus clean.  As soon as Fr Henry returned he found one of the owls missing and cried for the missing owl.


According to Lancy Tauro a fan of Fr Henry Castelino, Fr Henry is a great donor, is a lover of the poor and helped many students to continue with their studies. 


Thousands of students have studied under Fr Henry Castelino and have been inspired by his person. Ex Chief Minister of Karnataka  Sadananda Gowda, Kaup MLA Vinaya Kumar Sorake, Veer Chakr Major Gen Nanjappa, A S Bopanna, J R Lobo the present MLA of Mangalore South and former commissioner of Mangalore, Walter Nandalike, V.U. George are some of the few outstanding names among the sea of his students.


His funeral Mass would be celebrated at St Vincent Ferrer Church, Valencia at 10.00 a.m. on Friday 14th of June and the mortal remains would be interred at priests’ cemetery in Valencia.



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Comments on this Article
P Quadras, Shirva Fri, June-14-2013, 12:10
Eternal Rest grant unto him O Lord. May his soul rest in Peace. Fr. Henry was my Principal during my graduation in Shirva - St. Mary s college.
Vincent Praveen Castelino, Pernal (Koraje)/ Mumbai Tue, June-11-2013, 9:42
All parishioners of Shirva and nearby surrounding areas are well-aware of what Fr. Henry was all about for his selfless services at St. Mary s College at Shirva. May his soul rest in peace.
Priya Das, Karkala / Mumbai Tue, June-11-2013, 4:39
Thousands and Lakhs of people, who personally knew Rev. Fr Henry Castelino, will be missing the great personality and humane nature of dear Fr. Henry Castelino. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Alphonse Mendonsa, Pangla/Abu Dhabi Tue, June-11-2013, 12:12
Rev. Fr. Henry was a great visionary and educationist and he brought St. Mary s College Shirva tot he highest standard and is remembered for his dedication to education and deserve the love of every student. May his soul rest in peace.
he was the good fr and as well as pricipal in shirva.may his soul rest in peace.
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