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GENERAL 04th Jul 2022

ARCHBISHOP EMERITUS RAUL NICOLAU GONSALVES LAID TO REST AT SE CATHEDRAL

Archbishop Emeritus Raul Nicolau Gonsalves was laid to rest today. The funeral service was held at Se Cathedral in Old Goa. Cardinal Elect Filipe Neri Ferrao, Archbishop of Goa and Daman presided over the service. Bishop Emeritus Aleixo Dias performed the last rites. Bishops, Priests, Nuns, Politicians, Bureaucrats and lay faithful from across India attended the service in large numbers to pay a tearful tribute to their pastor. Gonsalves was the first Catholic Goan to be Archbishop of Goa and Patriarch of East Indies. His mortal remains were taken via a procession from Archbihops Palace at Altinho to Se Cathedral in Old Goa. He was buried in the Cathedral at Old Goa instead of a cemetery as per the honour received by an Archbishop.

 

In His Homily Cardinal Elect Filipe Neri Ferrao said that "we as humans want to live long, be happy, to be great. The question is how should we fulfill these desires? It should be done by following the will of God and not by following our own will.When two of Jesus' disciples were seeking high positions in His Kingdom, Jesus instructs them that whoever amongst you wants to be first has to humble himself and whoever wants to be great has to be a servant.

 Speaking on Archbbishop Raul Gonsalves, Cardinal Elect Filipe Neri expressed that Bishop Raul tried to live this style of Servant Leadership in His Life. "He was a man of God, rooted in Christ with a filial devotion to Our Lady. He had taken charge in uncertain times , on the other hand he also had a challenge to put into practice the new orientation of the Church which came with the Second Vatican  Council. He faced all challenges with courage and established various councils and bodies of the church for its renewal and stability.
 
He was a Loving and a Courageous person, ever willing to Carry the Cross of Christ."
 
At the end of the eucharist various condolence messages were read, to name a few, Message from the Dicastry of evangelisation, Rome, Apostolic Nuncio to India and Nepal, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, CBCI President.
 
Some of the speakers who gave their condolence messages were, Archbishop of Delhi and Secretary General of CCBI, Most Rev. Anil Couto, Fr. Alfred Vas, on behalf of Priests,Sr. Mussella, on behalf of the Religious, Mrs Debbie, on behalf of the Laity, Brother of Archbishop Raul, Gamberto Gonsalves thanked the Archbishop, organisers and everyone for praying for his brother and for organising the service well.
 
Finally Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao expressed his condolences and solidarity to the family members of Archbishop Raul and thanked them for the precious gift of Archbishop Raul to the Archdiocese. He thanked Archbishop Anil couto, Bishop emeritus, Alex Dias, Bishop of Belgaum and Apostolic administrator of Karwar, Most Rev. Derrick Fernandes, Auxilliary Bishop of Ranchi, Most Rev. Theodore Mascarenhas, Sindudhurg Bishop Alwyn Barretto, Monseignor Simon Teles, Fr. Neil Santos, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Bombay , who represented Cardinal Oswald Gracias, president of CBCI.
 
He thanked all those who accompanied the Archbishop in his last days.he thanked the ASI, Civil authorities, police, various committees and everybody who helped in the smooth functioning of the funeral service. 
 
After the Eucharist, the Mortal remains were carried to the tomb dedicated to Bishops in the Se Catedral itself, and laid to rest there. We may be aware of such tombs in different old Churches of Goa, But Se cathedral is especially marked for the Archbishop of Goa and Daman as it is the Seat of the Archbishop of Goa and the Mother Church of the Archdiocese. 

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