14 Obituary

posted Jan 30, 2019, 9:22 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jan 30, 2019, 9:22 AM ]

Decorated War Hero Passes on to Eternal Reward

Lt. General Francis T. Dias, PVSM, AVSM, VRC (Retd.), a much decorated war hero of the Indian army for his erstwhile services to his country during war and peacetime, passed away to his eternal reward on January 26, 2019 in Mumbai. He was the brother of Cardinal Ivan Dias of revered memory (Archbishop of Bombay and Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples at the Vatican), beloved husband of Selda, devoted father of Sharon and Fiona and dedicated and fondly remembered grandfather of his several grand-children.

Preceding the funeral rites and mass held at the Church of St Anne's, Pali Hill, Bandra, the current parish of his family home, there were majestic military funeral honours accorded to Lt. General Francis T Dias with a gun salute. High-ranking military officers placed floral wreaths around the casket that carried his mortal remains. They represented the battalions he had either served actively in during military operations in Arunachal Pradesh on the Indo-Chinese border and during the operation against Pakistan in the Eastern Sector, while commanding the 11 Gorkha Rifles.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias who presided at the concelebrated funeral Mass for Lt. Gen. Dias, in his homily cum panegyric, aptly summed up the multi-faceted life and mission of the war veteran. Quoting St Paul, he said," I have fought the good fight, I have run the race, I have remained faithful to the end." Francis, at end of his earthly journey, could confidently give an account of himself before God with these words. The Almighty has a plan for each, and being a man of faith, Francis considered his talents, his spiritual values, his interests, circumstances and the situation of history. In life, he discovered his mission and call in life to serve God, humanity, family, society and the nation.