18 Obituary

posted Apr 5, 2018, 9:27 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Apr 5, 2018, 9:27 AM ]

Fr Gregory Fernandes, OFM

On Saturday, March 3, 2018, 'Sister Death' embraced our brother, Gregory (Herbie) Fernandes, OFM. Gregory was a professed Franciscan Friar. Fr Gregory was one of eight siblings born to Peter Gregory and Dora in Chuim, eighty-seven years ago. Fr Gregory’s life of dedication, faith, struggle and hope is over. He lived an exemplary life of virtue and dedication. As a young boy, he was disciplined, neat, and always wanting to do the right thing. Apart from studies, music was his first love. He enjoyed playing the violin, and occasionally the guitar and the Cello. As a choirmaster, he led the Church Choir with distinction, and elevated it to a high level of accomplishment.

After graduating from high school, he studied Accountancy, and quickly joined the renowned Rallis India, where he excelled in his work. He worked in this company for several years. He loved his job, but his mind and heart began to wander in a different direction. The commercial world ceased to have an appeal to him. He began to see the world differently. A transformation was gradually overcoming him, and as he peered over the horizon, a spiritual direction was bidding him to change course and devote his life to a greater cause. And this came when he was holidaying in Kurla village. This was a place where the Fernandes family regularly vacationed during the holiday season of May.

At that time, Kurla was a quiet suburb of Bombay. The Holy Cross Church was a magnet which drew Catholics together, and where people lived a peaceful life, mingling their daily chores with an element of spirituality that bonded them together. With a large compound, the parishioners frequented it. The youth played here, and the elderly socialised after church services. During the month of May, a large gathering would converge in the evenings at the grotto to recite the Rosary to our Blessed Mother Mary. It was both a bonding and elevating experience.