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THE COMPASSIONATE PASTOR

DECEMBER 2015

Content

Editorial Board
Managing Editor

1.

Editorial

Sr M Wilberta, BS

2.

Vision of RFC Mascarenhas on Consecrated


Life to Wake Up the World
- Fr Cedric Prakash

3.

Servant of God R F C My memories


- Fr Nobert Fernades

4.

The Mighty has done great deeds in me.


Holy is His Name. Homily on the 55th
Death Anniversary of SD Raymond F C
Mascarenhas
- Fr Joe Tauro, OCD

5.

The Villagers Acclaim the Servant of God


Raymond Mascarenhas
- Sr Daisy Maria Britto

6.

The
Two
Contemporaries:
the
Contemplative and the Active
- Fr Pius James DSouza, OCD

7.

The Eyes of Mercy for our Times


- Sr Surekha Lobo

8.

Favours Received

9.

About the Contributors

Chief Editor
Sr M Lillis, BS

MEMBERS

Rev. Fr Joseph Martis


Mr Ivan Saldanha
Mr Edmund Frank
Sr Miriam, BS
Sr M Jessy Rita, BS
Sr M Virginia, BS
Sr Mary Naulak, BS

EDITORIAL
Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall obtain
Mercy
The cover page of the current issue of The
Compassionate Pastor has put on view the ordination
souvenir of Mgr Raymond Mascarenhas which is an
attractive picture of the merciful Jesus and His quote,
"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."1 This 115 years
old souvenir was found in the prayer book of the Servant of God after his
death. The year 1900, the year of the ordination of Mgr Raymond was
also a Holy Year. The souvenir speaks volumes on the life and activities of
the Servant of God as a priest. Perhaps the picture alludes to the
multiplication of loaves wherein one witnesses the compassionate heart
of Jesus. On the top of the picture, we have the symbol of the heart of
Jesus burning with love. Mgr Raymond very often used to speak about the
loving heart of Jesus and strove to translate this love into action capturing
the daily situations.
"It is my burning desire that during this jubilee the Christian people
may reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. It will be a way
to reawaken our conscience too often dull in the face of poverty. And let
us enter more deeply into the Heart of the Gospel where the poor have a
special experience of God's mercy. "2
The long 86 years of priestly life of Mgr Raymond was one of countless
acts of mercy. He seemed to have such a passion to reach out to the
people in need of unmindful of distances, cultures or religions. Penetrating
into the heart of the Gospel, he brought to the poor, a tangible experience
of God's merciful love. Late Mr Simon Rasquinha, a renowned artist and
entrepreneur of Mangalore wrote: "In spite of his heavy burden of
constructing the new church and running two schools, he had great love
for the poor and helped them. It was he who started the St. Vincent de
Paul Society for the poor in Bendur and I think it was the first in the
diocese. Many of the young boys of my time were helped by him for their
1
2

Mt. Ch.5:7
Pope Francis, Bull of Induction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Misericordiae Vultus, 25
The Compassionate Pastor

education. I am proud to say that I am one of such beneficiaries who got


books and school fees free from him, my great benefactor. The late Bishop
Basil Peris, once told me while he was vicar at Pangala, that but for Mgr.
Mascarenhas he would not have been a priest of God."3
These are just a few examples to spotlight how the life of the Servant
of God exemplified in his life what Pope Francis exhorts us to practice
namely, the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
It is worth noting the great affection the Servant of God had towards,
Mary, the Mother of Mercy. Writing to late Bishop Feuga regarding
starting a convent at Gadenahally village in North Karnataka under the
patronage of Mother of Mercy, he writes: "I am particularly happy that
the choice of the Title and Patron of the work so happily coincides with
the Feast of our Blessed Mother,I was led to the choice by considering
that Our Mother of Mercy was the particular Patron of my own Birthday
saint, Raymond of Pennafort, that she appeared to him, directed him in
the work of the redemption of captives, and that our work at Gadenahally
was one to be of mercy."4 Well, Mother of Mercy was a constant inspiration
and guide in his priestly ministry.
In many of his conferences, Mgr Raymond would speak about the
merciful heart of Jesus and encouraged the hearers to place their full
confidence in His merciful heart even if they had sinned. Thus he writes
to Sr Annunciata who was discouraged about the failures of her life:
"Even sinners though they may be the greatest ones, He does not like
them to be discouraged but He wants them to confide in Him. Has He not
promised, " Sinners will find an ocean of mercy in my Heart. Therefore,
courage my child, begin with great confidence"5 These soothing words
flowing from the lips of our holy priest constitute a message par excellence
for the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

3
4
5

Simon Rasquinha, My Remembrance, 1976


RFC Mascarenhas, to Bishop Rene Feuga, 8 September 1949
RFC Mascrenhas to Sr Annuntiata, BS, 29 September 1931
The Compassionate Pastor

VISION OF RFC MASCARENHAS ON


CONSECRATED LIFE TO WAKE UP
THE WORLD
- Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
On April 11th 2015, Pope Francis announced an extraordinary jubilee,
a Holy Year of Mercy in order to highlight the Catholic Churchs mission
to be a witness of mercy emphatically stating that no one can be excluded
from Gods mercy.
In Misericordiae Vultus (the Face of Mercy) (MV) - the Bull of Indiction
of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy - Pope Francis calls the year as a
special time for the Church, a time when the witness of believers might
go stronger and more effective. This Holy Year will open on 8th
December 2015. Pope Francis states that I will have the joy of opening
the Holy Door on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On that
day, the Holy Door will become a Door of Mercy through which anyone
who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and
instils hope (MV #3) and the Jubilee year will close with the liturgical
Solemnity of Christ the King on 20th November 2016. On that day, as
we seal the Holy Door, we shall be filled, above all, with a sense of gratitude
and thanksgiving to the Most Holy Trinity for having granted us an
extraordinary time of grace (MV #5).
A jubilee year in the Catholic Church is normally proclaimed every
twenty five years. In 1875 when Raymond Francis Camillus Mascarenhas
was born, it was a jubilee year proclaimed by Pope Pius IX but due to the
occupation of Rome by King Vittorio Emmanuele. The Holy Door was not
opened that year. RFC went on to celebrate three other jubilees in 1900,
1925 and the one in 1950 when Pope Pius XII proclaimed the jubilee for
the following intentions: prayer and penance for the sanctification of
souls, unfailing faith in Christ and His Church, action for peace and
protection of the Holy Places, defence of the Church against her enemies,
prayers for faith to be given unbelievers and those in error, promotion of
social justice, and assistance of the poor and needy. In the same Holy
Year, the Pope defined the Assumption of Our Lady as a dogma of the
Catholic Faith.
The Compassionate Pastor

The jubilee year 1950 was also the Golden Jubilee of Fr


Mascarenhass Ordination and the Platinum Jubilee of his life. If one
pays close attention to his initiatives and that of the Congregation in 1950,
one will realise that there was marked activity that year the opening of
quite a few Convents including that of the Mother of Mercy Convent at
Gadenahally, Hassan Dt on May 20th 1950. That year he received a special
Apostolic blessing from Pope Pius XII.
A jubilee year therefore certainly had to be a very special year in his
life of SD Mascarenhas. If he was around today, the Compassionate
Pastor (as he is fondly remembered today) would have not only have
celebrated but would have made every effort to mainstream that boundless
mercy of God not only in the Congregation he founded, but in every person
whom he encountered.
This is stating the obvious because the charism of the Servant of
God Raymond was to be filled with Gods compassionate love and to share
this compassionate love with the poor. We can identify three elements
that characterise S D Raymonds charism and that of the Sisters of the
Little Flower of Bethany founded by him.

i.

to contemplate the God of Compassionate Love

ii.

to become the embodiment of Gods Compassionate Love

iii. to move from Compassionate Divinity to Wounded Humanity * (1)


In MV, Pope Francis reminds us that In this Holy Year, we look forward
to the experience of opening our hearts to those living on the outermost
fringes of society: fringes modern society itself creates. How many
uncertain and painful situations there are in the world today? (#15).
This is exactly what the Compassionate Pastor did when as a parish
priest he visited the poor in their hovel-like homes walking long distances
on the uneven paths and fields or riding a bicycle through the muddy
lanes. He not only listened to them but also helped them in their need in
whatever way he could. *(2)
When Pope Francis says we are called to show mercy because mercy
has first been shown to us (MV #9), he seems to re-echo the sentiments
of SD Raymond who in a letter to Sr M Annuntiata wrote way back on
September 29th 1931 but then do you not know that we have a tender
Father in Jesus who readily forgives us and takes us to His Heart if we
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only tell Him that we are sorry and we shall try to do better for the future.
He well knows the very difficult circumstances in which you were placed
and the many tricks of the devil in trying to deceive you, and therefore He
will be extremely compassionate with you. What did He tell our dear St.
Mary Magdalene? She is forgiven much because she has loved much.
You also love Him much now and the more you remember the past the
more you love Him and have the greatest confidence in His Sacred Heart.
Even sinners, although they may be the greatest ones, He does not like
them to be discouraged but He wants them to confide in Him. Has He not
promised Sinners will find an ocean of mercy in my Sacred Heart. *(3)
So as we enter this Holy Year of Mercy, each one of us could truly
learn from SD Mascarenhas that at the heart of Christian discipleship is
the grace and the gift of mercy. He lived it, he spoke about it and he
wrote about it. That is why he was able to found the Congregation of the
Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany because he truly believed that:
Jesus, seeing the crowds of people who followed him, realised that they
were tired and exhausted, lost and without a guide, and he felt deep
compassion for them (cf Mt 9:36). On the basis of this compassionate
love he healed the sick who were presented to him (cf Mt 14:14), and
with just a few loaves of bread and fish he satisfied the enormous crowd
(cf Mt 15:37). What moved Jesus in all of these situations was nothing
other than mercy, with which he read the hearts of those he encountered
and responded to their deepest need (MV#8). Servant of God Raymond
Francis Camillus Mascarenhas like his Master did likewise!

* 1, 2, & 3 (Quotations are from To You My Daughters: Letters of Mgr RFC Mascarenhas
by Sr. M. Lillis BS & Sr. Miriam BS; ATC Publications, Bangalore)

(* Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ is the Director of PRASHANT, the Ahmedabad-based Jesuit Centre for
Human Rights, Justice and Peace.)
Address: PRASHANT, Hill Nagar, Near Saffron Hotel, Drive-in Road, Ahmedabad - 380052
Phone: (079) 27455913, 66522333 Fax: (079) 27489018
Email: sjprashant@gmail.com
www.humanrightsindia.in
The Compassionate Pastor

SERVANT OF GOD R F C
MY MEMORIES
- Fr Norbert Fernandes
As I was reading The Compassionate Pastor (Vol 7, No 2), I prayed
the prayer to our Servant of God, as I was suffering a severe pain on
account of a partial stroke in my right side. The favour I asked from the
Servant of Gods intercession was the strength for my hand to write
something legible regarding his life from what I heard and felt of his
noble soul.
My main admiration of RFC is his Extraordinary Zeal manifested in
bringing out single-handedly the entire New Testament in Konkani language.
Though it was a translation of the Latin Vulgate it was clear enough to
understand the meaning in Konkani.
The first parish priest of my parish was a Living Saint. He was a
close friend of RFC promoting vocations for Bethany Congregation founded
by him.
The late Fr Maurice Paula told me that RFC was honoured in the
Seminary and when he was asked to mention his greatest achievement
as a pastor of souls, the Servant of God pausing awhile said: Perhaps
my teaching of the First Communion Catechism, to little children is my
greatest work. This is undoubtedly the sign of RFCs burning love for his
Lord Jesus.
The late Fr Gratian DSouza who was an altar boy of RFC was all
praise for RFCs holiness and preaching. As a result Fr Gratian became a
saintly priest admired by all. He lived with me in this house for the
edification of us all. The devil one day through a young lady manifested
this fact kneeling before Fr Gratian and proclaiming him truly holy. I was
a witness to this scene. If by imitation of RFC Fr Gratian became so holy,
RFC, the Compassionate Pastor must have been an exemplary priest.
The personal prayer which he offered to St Francis Xavier, his Patron is a
clear expression of the humility of a pure soul.
RFC is the author of the devotional book: Imitation of Mary. When I
attempted to bring out a Konkani translation of the short and sweet
reflections of a true son of our heavenly Mother, I had no money to print
it. But the intercession of the Servant of God provided for me enough and
more money from donors!
All these facts vouch for the holiness of his life.
The Compassionate Pastor

"THE MIGHTY HAS DONE GREAT DEEDS IN


ME. HOLY IS HIS NAME."
HOMILY ON THE 55TH DEATH
ANNIVERSARY OF SD RAYMOND FC
MASCARENHAS
- Fr Joe Tauro, OCD
Fifty-five years have gone by since Servant of God Mgr Raymond
passed from our side, into Gods eternal repose having heroically
accomplished his life mission. My mind takes me back to my childhood
memories as an altar boy when I beheld his mighty gait and towering
person with awe and wonder. We are now huddled here in the very parish
church he built and served not to congratulate him by enumerating his
human achievements, but to thank God for the marvelous witness of a
holy life of a fervent and true disciple of Jesus. For Holiness is not what
one achieves, but is what happens to you when God meets you.
Today as we move towards celebrating the historical birth of Jesus
the Gospel too offers us the marvellous hymn of Mary the magnificat
wherein Mary is celebrating Gods great deeds in her life. If only one
stops and wonders what were those great deeds Mary ruminates about,
one is confronted with a totally new understanding of the true greatness.
Gods greatness is not in any way connected to the greatness of human
ambition and pride. Peter was told by the Lord 'your thoughts are not as
God thinks, but merely human sympathy.' Isaiah says, "My ways are not
your ways, my thoughts are not yours; they are higher than yours as sky
is higher than the earth (Is 55:8-9).
Mary in the Holy Spirit saw in all that would happen to her for the
next thirty three years of Jesus life as great deeds of God, deeds far from
anything humanly catering to the comforts and popularity. No comforts,
no miracles, no recognitions, no compliments, only an arduous journey of
dark faith. Her fiat was hence not a simple and isolated act but a singular
and perennial mindset of faith - surrender. Her attitude to life rightly throws
its radiance into the life story of Servant of God Raymond.
Often however in our fervour to upgrade a person we esteem, we
tend to overstate a lot of things and that does harm to the cause and
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dishonour to the person concerned. Cut and paste caricaturization to a


person so superficially does a disservice for the authentic life style Servant
of God lived, the uniquely charismatic nuances he radiated, the clear
prophetic insights he pronounced and gospel message he underscored.
No two persons are same. We cannot reproduce a saint by imitating
him or her. We dont have two saints alike in history, nor therell be such
at all in the future either. A saint is the living Gospel of his time and a
prophet that speaks a language that is understood by his contemporaries.
A Saint challenges the surrounding world to a new way of looking at their
life and evaluating the vicissitudes.
Idealizing happens down the time when we focus only on a select
few of the traits we are interested and downplay and overlook other
traits that we feel not worthy of mentioning in public or we have to hide
as they may not be well accepted by pious minds. Such disservice was
done to St Therese by her Sr Pauline when she edited and corrected
unwarranted texts in her story of a soul to make her appear as a over
simplistic child. Today the C manuscript of St Therese served as a strong
basis to present her as a modern saint with strong appeal to our atheistic
society and desperate youth and paved the way for her crowning as the
third Carmelite doctor of spiritual life.
The cause of Fr Raymond is looked from a very narrow perspective
of a pious monk saint, who complies with a regular life and whose
interactions and connections throughout the day are well planned and
sanitized and filtered and whose apostolate is schematized with a strict
time table to fit into an idealized model of a classical saint. Fr Raymond
simply is not that. He does not fit into that straight jacket model. He is a
rebel that shocked his audience as much as Jesus did in his times. He is a
man of many sides. It is precisely that makes him a sweet and sour soup;
a lump in the throat to many people not knowing what to do with him.
The scroll that is bitter to the taste but sweet to the stomach.
If you see in him an indomitable pioneer in paths untrodden and even
avoided by many as dangerous and costly, you are closer to doing justice
to his uniqueness. Fr Raymond was a JCP or a bulldozer of Jesus for his
times. No he is more-a telescope that is always and only focused on
Jesus. His well nurtured infancy at the feet of the caring mother and
The Compassionate Pastor

watchful dad; his youth with a deep spiritual insight to be a priest and
dedicate his life exclusively for the spiritual and social mission of Jesus,
priesthood as a fecund missionary reformer, and his advanced age as
founder of a religious congregation. He went straight without compromises
with the worldliness, and therefore he might sometimes appear to be not
accommodating or imposing his own way.
Indeed the project of God in him is easily completely realized. The
seed that was planted and nurtured grew strong and sturdy, self confident
and lofty like Oak of Lebanon on the luxuriant river bank of Lebanon to
bloom forth and produce the right fruits in plenty for the benefit of the
poorest in whom Jesus wishes to be found and be served. So through and
through, Fr Raymond was a missionary, a committed disciple of Jesus
bitten by the bug of radical fidelity to the mission of Christ; a clear and
loud prophetic voice like that of the powerful Elijah the prophet of Carmel
defending monotheism in Israel, to revitalize the church of his times with
a strong spirituality of Chrsitocentrism lived eminently by St Therese in
his days by affirming the dignity of every human being man or woman, of
the dalit or the tribal alike. Jesus at Bethany was the fixed point of his
spiritual life, where Martha and Mary do the one thing necessary: to love
him and serve him without compromises
He was through and through a simple disciple of Jesus. He just wanted
to love and live for Jesus alone and to spread the taste of spiritual wealth
to wider hungry humanity that thirsts and is hungry for Him. His
extraordinary holiness is simply the result of Gods achievement in him,
the fruit of his radical and unconditional openness to be faithful to Jesus.
He was an instrument and Jesus was his master architect. His being a
founder thus was not the fruit of his great planning or desire, but is the
best gift God gave him which he carefully and painstakingly nurtured, to
make his prophetic voice reecho from every hill and valley where the
economically poor and the tribals struggle to live. Today his dream is
greatly fulfilled with a few thousand Bethany Sisters giving shape to the
charism he received, affirming it as a truly the great work of God. Yes
indeed the mighty has done great things for him and holy is his name.

The Compassionate Pastor

10

THE VILLAGERS ACCLAIM THE SERVANT


OF GOD MGR RAYMOND MASCARENHAS
- Sr Daisy Maria Britto
The people of Gadenahally and surrounding villages of the district of
Hassan, Karnataka, recalled with great joy the great event that happened
65 years ago, namely the arrival of Mgr Raymond Mascarenhas and
Bethany Sisters in a bullock cart to establish a convent, dispensary and
educational institutions. The occasion was the installation of the statue
of Mgr Raymond Mascarenhas in the hospital campus on 26th August 2015.
Another event that marked the day was an interschool Symposium on
Servant of God held in Loyola College auditorium attended by St Mary's
Group of Schools, Arsikere, and Loyola Group of Schools, Gadenahally.
Sr Lilitta, BS, the Provincial Superior unveiled the statue of the Servant
of God and Rev Fr Balraj our parish priest blessed the statue and prayed
for the well-being of the patients who would seek the intercession of the
Servant of God.
Sr Jeevan, the secretary of BES, Fr Shanthraj A., Dean of
Chickmagalur, Mr Thomas, a benefactor and the president of Christian
Association Hassan and the Loyola Group of Schools, Gadenahally, and
also the parents of our students from different villages were present to
pray blessings through the Servant of God
It was in the year 1950 Mgr Raymond Mascarenhas started a Bethany
community and dispensary in this village. His deepest desire to serve the
rural poor through the health centre and educational apostolate. Now
the people experience his holy presence all the more as his statue is
installed at the centre of the Karunamatha Holistic Health Centre campus.
People come in great number to receive his blessings.
After the installation of the statue, the whole group along with the
guests were led to the symposium venue in procession followed by a
tableau depicting Mgr Raymond and the pioneering sisters of the mission
arriving on a bullock cart.
All thanked God and Mother Mary, the Mother of Mercy for turning
the desert land into a place of prosperity, good health and education.
Mgr Raymond had erected the convent under the patronage of Mother
of Mercy. Over the years the village has been gifted with a holistic centre,
vernacular and English medium schools and a junior college. All these
developments attribute to the blessings of the Servant of God Raymond
Mascarenhas and patronage of Mary, Mother of Mercy.
The Compassionate Pastor

11

THE TWO CONTEMPORARIES: THE


CONTEMPLATIVE AND THE ACTIVE
{Homily Delivered by Fr Pius James DSouza, OCD on the
Occasion of the Celebration of the Feast Day of St Therese on
30 September 2015 at Bethany Motherhouse, Mangalore}
Therese was born in 1873 at Lisieux in France. Raymond Mascarenhas
was born two years later, in Mangalore, South India. Geographically these
two hamlets are separated by thousands of miles. Indeed, one can hardly
suspect any rapport between the two. Although Therese was just two
years older to Raymond, she died at the age of 24 while the latter had a
long life of nearly 86 years. Above all, when Therese had died, Raymond
was not even a priest and when Raymond had founded the Bethany
Congregation, Therese was not yet beatified.
Raymonds Contact with Therese
Father Raymond founded the Bethany Congregation (1921) and named
the new Congregation- The Institute of the Sisters of the Little Flower of
Bethany. As stated earlier, Therese was not even beatified until that date.
How could he then entrust his daughters to the patronage of Therese
who had not yet received the honours of the altar?
How did he come to know about the spiritual greatness of the Little
Flower? Was any Carmelite priest his spiritual director? Yes, Fr
Constantine, OCD, a Belgian Carmelite was one of his spiritual advisors;
but that was in the mid-nineteen fifties.
Records show that his early knowledge about the Little Flower came
from at least two sources:
1.

According to Sr Violette, BS, Information about her [ i.e, Little Flowers]


saintly life and holy death filtered into the missionary India through
our Carmelite Sisters in Kankanady.1 (1870)

2.

According to the reminiscences of Sr Theresine and Sr M Esuria, BS,


When he was the parish priest of Bendur from 1914, he
accommodated in his make shift presbytery (in an old soda shop and
other shops) any priest who came to him for shelterHe would

Mary naulak Reminiscng in Tranquility, Sr. Violettes Memories 2014,pg.29


The Compassionate Pastor

12

entertain them with intelligent and interesting conversation. One


day around the year 1917, a missionary priest was his guest. In the
course of the conversation, the missionary spoke of a saintly Carmelite
nun. This was the time when he was contemplating on founding a
Congregation.2
The Little Way of St Therese
Both these accounts show that Fr Raymond Mascarenhas was
impressed by the Little Flower and her spirituality which is known as the
Little Way.
It consists of simplicity of life; prayer from the heart, seeking Gods
will in everyday activities and doing everything for the love of Jesus.
Mgr Mascarenhas was tremendously influenced by this little way of
the Little Flower. Years later, in one of his sermons on the feast day of St
Therese, he addressed his sisters as follows: What great things did
Therese do? No great things as the world estimates greatness, just the
commonplace things that any religious does. But she did them with a love
that was not commonplace. She arose at the first sound of the bell-even
when it was cold. She prayed, took her meals and went to recreation just
as religious do everywhere. Fr Mascarenhas concludes his homily
with an instruction to his daughters. We may well believe that there could
be many more saints of God, many more Little Flowers in our religious
communities if only more of us had the holy ambition and the generous
love that lifted St Therese.
The Name of the New Congregation
Congregation began with four native lady teachers- Marcelline
Menezes, Flora Mathias, Alice Mathias and Gertrude Gonsalves. Responding
Rt Rev Valerian DSouza, the then Bishop of Mangalore on 31st August
1928 Fr. Mascarenhas writes :
The name which I desire this Institute to possess is: The Institute
of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany. My reasons for this title are
that this whole work has been conceived and worked by me under the
protection of the Little Flower, even before her Beatification. From the
very commencement, the Little Flower has been invoked as Patroness
and sought to be particularly imitated by the inmates of Bethany.
2

Sr. Esuria and Sr. Thersine, Reminiscences 2009 pg 24


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13

The official dress of the novices and of the professed sisters is


specified. A small cross will be hung by means of a purple ribbon around
the neck and the medal of the Little Flower pinned over the chest.3 This
shows how much the founder desired that his daughters should imbibe
the Little Way of the Little Flower. He appealed to each one of them:
Take her, my child, as your model, as your patroness and above all as
your sister. Learn from her how to love Jesus, how to suffer pain, hurts,
misunderstanding, humiliations, loneliness and work with hidden charity
and zeal even among your community sisters.
The Special Helpmate
Mgr Raymond experienced Therese as his special helpmate. He
confides this to one of the sisters by name Concilia: I remember well,
when I was busy with the work of the Bethany foundation, I would call her
[ i.e the Little Flower] at any time and she was always there to help me.
Please believe me when I say, you never pray to her in vain. Very quickly
you feel her presence, especially if your prayer is humble, confident and
persevering.4
The founder wanted that his daughters too should regularly seek the
help from the Little Flower. Writing to Sr Concilia, he says: if Therese
Martin of Lisieux was still living today, I would advice all my children of
Bethany, who wish to see a saint to go and see her now and then. Her life
does not belong to ancient history. She is a saint of and for our times.5
Little Flower the Heart of Bethany
Mgr Raymond demonstrated in various ways that Therese is at the
centre of Bethany. Interestingly, whenever a group photo of the sisters
was clicked, they would always place a statue of the Little Flower in the
front row, in front of the seated-founder.
Thereses life and example becomes the way of life for the Bethany
Sisters at least in three spheres:
a) To Please Jesus Alone: In the life of St Therese, her motto was to
please Jesus alone. On February 25, 1960, a couple of days before
he had a stroke that put an end to his letter writing, the Monsignor
wrote to one of the sisters: You have received a great deal from the
3
4
5

RFC's Report on Bethany, 31 August 1928 to Bishop Valerian D' Souza.


Letter of Founder to Sr. Concilia
Letter of Founder to Sr. Concilia
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14

Lord and now you have to show your gratitude by living a very saintly
religious life. Like the Little Flower, try to do everything to please God
alone.
b) Zeal for the Souls: It is said that for the sake of souls he imitated
the virtues and dispositions of his model, the Little Flower.
c)

A Bouquet of Virtues: In his message on the feast of the Little


Flower, he succinctly presents what he expects from every Bethany
Sister: It is true of course, that not all of us are called to be Little
Flowers similar to Therese. But that does not imply as some of us
would seem to think that we are not all called to be saints. Let us not
be deceived. In the garden of religious life all of us are destined to
blossom as flowers of holiness varying indeed in beauty according to
Gods transforming grace but still all flowers of genuine sanctity. Not
all flowers are roses; there are daisies and violets too.6

Bethany is Placed in the Hands of the Little Flower


Right from the inception of the Congregation till his death he had
entrusted all the sisters to the intercession of the Little Flower. However,
towards the end of his life he was a little anxious about the future of the
Congregation for various reasons. In fact, the decade prior to his death
(1960) is generally termed as the frightening fifties.
In these dark and dusty moments Mgr Mascarenhas had continuous
recourse to Therese and he felt that the future of the Congregation was
the task of Therese. Let us listen to his touching experience: When I was
about to enter into eternal life, and at time when I felt anxious about
Bethany and my children, Therese was often beside me to console me;
and one day she said to me in a soothing and reassuring tone: Raymond,
do not worry about Bethany and your Bethany daughters. They may be
your children; but they are also my sisters and very dear to me. From the
time you confided them to me and to my care by making me their patroness.
I have adopted them all, and never ceased to love them as my sisters.
all of them, yes everyone of them is precious to me. I will do all I can to
help them to become saints like me.7
May each Bethany sister experience Therese as her special helpmate
as Mgr Raymond did.
6
7

Founder's message to Bethany Congregation on the Feast of Little Flower


Founder's Letter to Sr. Concilia
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15

THE EYES OF MERCY FOR OUR TIMES


- Sr M Surekha Lobo BS
Introduction
Jesus must always be at the centre. Intimacy with him is the heart
of all we do and are; the heart into which we wish to welcome others.
Our inspiration and the treasure we long to share is the joy of the Gospel
of Jesus Christ. We do not look to sociology, philosophy or any political
ideology to explain why we must be a poor church for the poor. We look
to Christ who reveals to us the face of God the Father of mercies.1
This is an excerpt to the foreword by Cardinal Vincent Nichols,
Archbishop of Westminster to a new book edited by Giuliano Vigini, Pope
Francis, The Church of Mercy.2 With the approach of the Extraordinary
Jubilee of Mercy, offers us a kairos for new precision and clarity. Indeed,
it is our Pontiffs wish that the Jubilee be a living experience of the closeness
of the Father, whose tenderness is almost tangible, so that the faith of
every believer may be strengthened and thus testimony to it be ever
more effective. In his apostolic letter proclaiming the Jubilee (Misericordiae
Vultus), Pope Francis invites all to gaze more attentively on mercy so
that we may become more effective sign of the Fathers action in our
lives (# 3).
Jesus is the embodiment of divine mercy and having been touched by
Jesus mercy and chosen by him we are sent out, sinners that we are, to
be heralds, missionary disciples, of divine mercy.
Taking delight in the kairos moment, I as a member of a religious
Congregation of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany, whose charism
is deeply incarnational, rooted in the humanity of Jesus, this seems so
obvious, that there is nothing more important than venturing into a deeper
understanding of the mercy of God. Hence, Basing on the same reflections
I desire to present a few insights culled from the life of S D (Servus Dei 1

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, Foreword (ed.) Giuliano Vigini, Pope
Francis, The Church of Mercy: A Message of Hope for all People, (Bangalore, India: Asian Trading
Corporation), xii. In The Church of Mercy, readers get a first-hand look at Pope Franciss vision of
the good news of Christian hope and mercy.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, Foreword (ed.) Giuliano Vigini, Pope
Francis, The Church of Mercy: A Message of Hope for all People, (Bangalore, India: Asian Trading
Corporation), xii.
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16

Servant of God) Mgr Raymond Francis Camillus Mascarenhas in order to


help us to be live memories of the eyes mercy of God in Jesus Before we
discuss about mercy and compassion from the life of Servant of God
Msgr. RFC Mascarenhas proper, it would be essential that we get a
theological understanding of mercy and compassion which is firmly rooted
in the Scripture and in Theology.
1.

Theological and Biblical Understanding of Mercy

Mercy is a concept integral to an understanding of Gods dealings


with humankind. From a theological perspective the characteristic of mercy
is rooted in God and experienced in relation to God, from whom it may be
acquired as a Christian virtue and exercised in relation to fellow human
beings.3 In the Bible a variety of Hebrew and Greek words are used which
fall within the general semantic range of the English word mercy. They
include such terms as loving-kindness (Hebrew = hesed), to be

merciful (Hebrew = hnan), to have compassion (Hebrew = riham),


and grace (Greek =.charis).
In the OT, mercy (in the sense of loving-kindness) is a central theme;
the very existence of the covenant between God and Israel was an example
of mercy, being granted to Israel freely and without prior obligation on
the part of God (Ps. 79:8-9; Isa. 63:7).4 With the new covenant the mercy
of God is seen in the death of Jesus Christ; the sacrificial death is in itself
a merciful act, demonstrating the divine compassion and making possible
the forgiveness of sins. From this fundamental gospel, there follows the
requirement for all Christians, who are by definition the recipients of
mercy, to exercise mercy and compassion toward fellow human beings
(Matt. 5:7; James 2:13).5 In the New Testament grace is intimately bound
up compassion and with what God has done for people through the life,
death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here grace (hesed) is an expression
of Gods mercy, love and kindenss toward all, without the least thought of
merit on the part of individuals. Grace is Gods free and unmerited way of
dealing with sinful people.
In the light of the foregoing discussion, we may conclude thata cursory
glance at the biblical words translated as mercy and compassion could
3

4
5

Colin Brown, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, (Grand Rapids,
Mich: Zondervan Pub. House, 1975), 2:593-601.
Ibid.
W. L. Reed, Journal of Biblical Literature, (Chico, Calif.: Scholars Press, 1881), 23:35-41.
The Compassionate Pastor

17

be summarized under three basic truths: a) Mercy springs from the heart
of God6 b) that mercy manifests itself in Gods steadfast love and in the
incarnation of Jesus Christ and in his suffering together with us and for
our salvation, c) that mercy is to be the hallmark of Gods people.
Throughout Christian history the awareness of the continuing human need
for divine mercy has remained as a central part of Christian faith.
2.

The Eyes of Mercy for our Times

A Christian is embedded in Christ through baptism, empowered to


fight for Christ through confirmation, and called upon to act in the world
sharing the kingly, prophetic and priestly role of Christ, and so, like Christ,
to be merciful to fellow humans, loving each and every one around him/
her and indeed all humanity whose fundamental identity is enshrined in
Jesus the perfect Imago Dei. I have been personally disturbed many times
as well by the gradual erosion of human thoughtfulness toward fellowhumans in terms of social inequality that does not accord dignity to all.
The basic question one might ask at this juncture is, If there is a God,
why should He or She allow this to happen? We have examples of many
men and women who have responded to the basic questions like: Where
is God when bad things happen? Mgr Raymond Francis Camillus
Mascarenhas Servant of God is one such heroic sons of our Mother India.
With single-minded commitment he responded to the basic question of
his time. In the context of writing this article and having somewhat
acquainted myself with the God and God experience of Mgr RFC
Mascarenhas, however, I am enabled to put the question in a slightly
different way: How would God in Jesus deal with it? How would God and
Mgr RFC Mascarenhas deal with it? How would, God, Mgr RFC Mascarenhas
and Bethany today deal with it? The human experience of the mystery of
God is paradoxically ever so unfathomable and ever so real. As no
theological discourse or philosophical treatise can adequately capture the
entirety of the reality of God, Gods Self-revelation still remains the most
authentic representation of a God-experience.

When God first describes himself to humans, he says, The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate
and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness (Ex 34:6 NIV). Without Gods
intervention, the world would not know compassion.
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18

2.1. Context
Taking a few cues from the responses to EG7 from persons in different
walks of life,I make an attempt to enumerate a few of the problems and
other related issues in this study. But, in view of mentioning the crises of
communal commitment I am trying to group various problem issues under
four significant headings: a) The dichotomy of our time b) Alienation from
others c) Spread of throwaway Culture d) An era Bereft of Godconsciousness. I hope this will help our endeavour to understand the
challenges of todays milieu and our responsibility to discern the movement
of Gods continuing mercy.
2.1.1. The Dichotomy of Our Time
The apostolic Exhortation starts with noting the great divide of our
time. At this point in history, it states, one section of humanity is benefitting
from a rapid advancement in technology and globalization. The lucky few
enjoy marked advances in healthcare, communications and technology,
while a large part of humanity struggles for basic dignity. Often, of these
two segments of humanity one is wallowing in abundance, the other is
fighting for sustenance. New power bases are emerging that bring greater
control to some, while exploiting and excluding others. As a result, an
economic system operating for its own benefit combined with an ethos of
indifferent relativism makes it impossible for society to truly work toward
the common good. This divide poses a great challenge to the Church as it
seeks to affirm the equal dignity of all persons. It further observes that
one portion of the human race is included in progress and prosperity,
while another is left behind in a crucible of growing violence where human
dignity is threatened every day.
2.1.2. Alienation from Others
The concept of alienation or estrangement is often used today to
articulate the nature of a religious problem. It is a sort of alienation from
ones fellows, since estrangement is a social or group relation that fails to
7

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium - The Joy of the Gospel, published on 24 November 2013 to
mark the conclusion of the Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI. Mercy is the
key or the starting point guiding the Popes pastoral proposal. Behind that perspective is surely his
own personal experience. His Episcopal motto is based on the text of Matthews calling (Mt 9:9),
mentioned by the Venerable Bede, who in referring to this call says, He looked at him with mercy
and chose him. Henceforth the paragraphs of the exhortation Evangelii Gaudium will be cited in
parentheses.
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19

acknowledge the humanity of people.8 The isolation has not started with
the Internet. It is functional in the market society. With more isolation,
more products are purchased, and togetherness itself can become
commoditized. We inhabit today a world where we dont know our
neighbors, where faceto-face meetings are often appropriated by the
media, where the media frighten us by exaggerating criminality and chaos
so that people are suspicious outside of protected or formal venues. But
the need to stay connected is so strong that even a digital connection is
acceptable. The public profile which defines our digital world persona in
specified terms doesnt allow the subtle shades of our personality to be
recognized and appreciated. In a world so interconnected, we might expect
empathy and compassion to be increasing. But no! The me generation
of today is actually more self-centred and competitive than previous
generations, and less empathetic.9
2.1.3. Spread of Throwaway Culture
As a result of a globalization of indifference, human beings in general
have become incapable of feeling compassion: thrilled if the market
offers something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives
stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move
us. Almost without being aware of it, end up being incapable of feeling
compassion at the cry of the poor, of weeping for other peoples pain, and
feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone elses
responsibility and not our own (#54).On the one hand a fraction of the
population acquires for themselves comfort and material security, and
opportunities to make them efficient and self-confident, and to live in a
well-planned city and under organized social structures. But on the other
hand, the masses are not able to find even the minimum of clothing and
shelter; nor are they able to get even one square meal a day. These poor
are doomed to poverty and death. Hence the papal insistence on this
dimension, among others, of the need for the missionary to go forth
and of the understanding of the periphery as places of destiny. For God
continues to enter into the brokenness of our existence, to make the
divine home there so as help us to enter into anothers brokenness.
8

Robert Cummings Neville, God the Creator: On the Transcendence and Presence of God (Albany,
New York: SUNY Press, 1992), 282.

Ivo Quartiroli, The Digitally Divided Self: Relinquishing Our Awareness to the Internet (USA:
SIlens-Global Book Publishing, 2011)
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2.1.4. An Era Bereft of God - Consciousness


Continuing the same flow of thought, we see that living in an era of
comfort and fast paced development in technology, economy, culture
morality etc. often saps the human person of his/her spiritual strength.
But for the modern man and woman the material world and worldly realities
seem to be more attractive than God and divine realities. Therefore the
modern and post-modern advancement in science and technology together
with a materialistic and utilitarian attitude towards life remain as a great
challenge for Christian praxis.
2.2. Mercy and Compassion: the Hallmark of God in Jesus
In Jesus, Gods compassion became visible and tangible to us. Jesus
not only said, Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate, but
he also was the concrete embodiment of this divine compassion in our
world by entering into our world and becoming one of us, Jesus accepted
humankinds weakness and revealed to us Gods ineffable love. Thus He
became an insider, God-with-us (Immanuel) in our lives, and committed
Himself to be with us always. He has assured us that He will walk along
with us on lifes journey in full solidarity and with all human-divine
completeness till the end of time. The mystery of the Incarnation empowers
us and teaches us the virtues that generate life and compassionate love.10
In Jesus God becomes God-with-us, God finds nothing human alien in us
and lives in solidarity with us. Jesus response to all those who came to
him with their suffering-the hungry, the blind, the widows, the public sinners,
and those afflicted by leprosy- was to reveal the divine compassion that
led God to enter our humanity. Jesus is the embodiment of divine
compassion in the world.11 We need to pay close attention to Jesus words
and actions if we are to gain insight into the mystery of this divine
compassion.12"Jesus identification with the poor, and his confrontation
with the religiously and politically powerful of His time, led Him inevitably
to the conflict that culminated on the cross.13 Thus Jesus solidarity with
the poor found its final and ultimate expression on the Cross.14
10

11
12
13
14

All religions speak of the greatness and absoluteness of God, also of His omniscience and limitless
love. But in Jesus and in His message, what is unique is His Self-emptying love or self-giving
love. (Phil 2:5-11). Cf. Joseph Prasad Pinto, OFM Cap, Journey To Wholeness: Reflections for
Life in Abundance (Bombay: St. Pauls, 2006), 186.
Stephen J. Binz, Being Disciples of Jesus, 38.
Henri Nouwen, Show Me the Way, Daily Lenten Readings, (New York: Crossroad Classic1992),104
Mohan Doss, ed., Led By the Spirit: Mission, Spirituality and Formation (DWS/ISPCK, 2008), 100.
Mohan Doss, Christ in the Spirit: Contemporary Spirit Christologies (Delhi: ISPCK, 2005), 167.
The Compassionate Pastor

21

The compassion that Jesus experienced is the compassion of God in


human form. Jesus is Gods perfect revelation of self. He comes to help
us know that God walks with us through lifes ups and downs. We are
never completely alone.15 In the words of Tony de Mello, a compassionate
person has the capacity to recognize the butterfly in a caterpillar, the
eagle in an egg; the saint in a selfish human being.16.
3 Secret Sources of Mgr RFC Mascarenhas Eyes of Mercy
Mercy and compassion were the hallmarks of Mgr RFC Mascarenhas
too. The core of his dream is making a choice in life. It is Ignatian: choosing
the standard of Christ and negating the standard of Satan.
3.1. Eyes of Vision
One evening, just as Raymond returned from school, he overheard a
lady visitor remarking to his mother: This son of yours can be an
instrument either for a great deal of good or a great deal of evil. Raymond
is said to have declared his firm resolution, Why should I be an instrument
of evil? I would rather go about doing good.The best decision is to take
the path that will benefit you most in the end after its all said and done
and that is the road less travelled by.
Secret Sources of his eyes of mercy
3.2. Eyes of Insight
His ordination souvenir has a picture of Jesus breaking and giving the
bread to a little boy is but another secret source of his choice in life. On it
is the printed verse, Blessed are the merciful Mgr RFC Mascarenhas
who had a deeper insight into the mystery of incarnation, the great
revelation of Gods mercy, left no stone unturned to exemplify in his day
to day life the mercy of God. Sr Bartholomew, a Bethany Sister who was
entrusted with the development of the compound at Rosa Mystica,
Kinnikambla in Dhakshina Kannada, in the late thirties records: I had to
spend the night at the sugar-cane press, situated at some distance from
our Convent home. The Founder Mgr RFC Mascarenhas happened to halt
for that night in his cottage in the campus. When he came to know of my
15

16

To be compassionate means to come down to the painful situation of the other, to enter into the
skin of the other and feel with him/her. It is said that the compassionate Ramakrishna Paramahansa
used to feel excruciating pain within him while listening to someone in pain. That was his capacity
to enter into the pain of the other and remain with the sufferers pain. Cf. Pinto, Journey to
Wholeness, 180-181.
Pinto, Journey to Wholeness, 186.
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22

night-watch at the said sugar cane press, immediately he sent his car to
the spot with a message: Let the Sister rest in the car during the night.17
3.3. Eyes of Contemplation
Mgr Raymonds heart ached for this sector of his parish. As he turned
to God in prayer, soon it became clear to him that he must meet the
challenge in whatever way that might be open to him. Ultimately, he
conceived the idea of founding a Congregation with the double aim of
making religious life possible for many young girls and, to prepare apostles
to carry the Good News of Christs Kingdom to the poor and neglected in
various parts of the country.
3.4. Eyes of Mission
In his report to The Right Rev Dr Valerian J D Souza, the then Bishop
of Mangalore, Mgr Raymond himself writes, I have been greatly moved
by the great good which an Institute of this kind was calculated to do
among our people by giving an opportunity of religious life to many among
our girls who, on account of the circumstances of their education, means
and conditions in life, would have no facility for joining any of the Religious
Congregations existing in the Diocese, but nevertheless could be received
and prove suitable for an institute of this kind. As a matter of fact, the
circumstances of most of those that I have got together are such that
either they could not have the privilege of a religious life at all or would
have had to go outside the Diocese to find it.18
3.5. Eyes of Prayer
Noticing the Godly nature and spirit of prayer in Mgr Raymond, late
Mr V J P Saldanha commented, The very appearance of Monsignor was
God-inspiringHe was a man of prayer and a source of inspiration to
others.193 Having read and heard of his Godliness, the late Mrs Louella
Prabhu wrote, Not one, but many admirers mention how often he was to
be seen, reading his breviary on a pile of stones, near the Church, or
kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament with both arms raised aloft in
17
18

19

Bertha BS, From the Lips of the Founder, Mangalore, 1996, 305.
Rev Fr RFC Mascarenhas, A Report on Bethany to The Right Rev Dr Valerian J DSouza, Bishop
of Mangalore. (31 August 1928).
V J P Saldanha, An Interview with Mr. V J P Saldanha, on the occasion of the Platinum Jubilee
of Bethany(1996). Mr. Saldanha was a literary stalwart; he had a distinguished career as a writer,
speaker, dramatist and poet. He was a parishioner of Bendur where Msgr Raymond was the parish
priest for long 17 years.
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23

prayer. 20
3.6. Eyes of Refuge
While recalling the compassionate heart of Mgr Raymond, a sister
wrote: Once I met a girl in our parlour who was found sad, disappointed
and helpless. She told me that she was denied the admission into one of
the Congregations in Mangalore and was told that only the Sisters of the
Little Flower of Bethany accept the candidates with minimum education. I
took her to our Founder, who not only treated her with kindness but also
accorded a warm welcome to Bethany21
4. Vision Perspectives
Exploring the pages of the Gospel, will help us understand, for
example, why Jesus would weep over Jerusalem, or why his cleaning of
the temple was such a striking event both for those who witnesses his
powerful religious convictions and for himself as well. The New testament
clearly portrays how Jesus by his words and deeds reveals the mercy of
God. Getting in touch with Jesus roots is a way of getting in touch with
him. 22Referring to the first Angelus message of Pope Francis, Andrea
Tornielli, the biographer of the Pope writes: To a world that finds it so
difficult to believe, the new Pope wanted to shout the same proclamation
as two thousand years ago, that this mercy is not a sentiment but a
person. His very striking way of recalling Incarnation-was a maternal
gesture: he held his arms in front of him and moved as though, rocking a
baby and said, Our Lady held in her arms the Mercy of God made
23
man.
From what has been Explored we may summarize the eyes of mercy
of Msgr Mascarenhas thus: Captured by the compassionate love of God
manifested in Jesus, he was deeply disturbed and pained to see the choices
people made between the values of the kingdom and of the world and
allowed himself to be challenged and respond to the opportunities and
threats of his times. He was a man who treasured values, maintained
20

21
22

23

L. LOBO, Footprints on the Sands of Time - A Biography of Rev. Mgr. R.F.C. Mascarenhas,
Special Centenary Souvenir issue dedicated to the memory of Msgr. R. F. C. Mascarenhas
(Mangalore: Organ of the Catholic Association, 1975), 4.
M Paupera (Sr), Memories on Msgr Raymond, (28.06.2002).
Thomas Zanzig, Jesus of History, Christ of Faith, (Winona, Minnesota: Saint Marys Press, 1999),
51.
Andrea Tornielli, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, FRANCIS Pope of a New World.
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24

high ethical standards, drew inspiration in spirituality, and was driven by


values of kindness and compassion, honesty and integrity. He dared to
take the unbeaten path, to take risks, risks on behalf of the people of his
time.There is no doubt that mercy is the sum and substance of Christian
faith.
The second Paragraph of Pope Franciss letter beautifully summarizes
the traits of Christian understanding of mercy. One can rightly say that
those are the characteristics practiced by Mgr Mascarenhas. It is a
wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy:
the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy: the
ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy: the
fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks
sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life.
Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the
hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.24
Conclusion
Compassion as a response to the grief and anguish is a primordial
spiritual dynamism that binds us to one another and to the whole of
creation. As followers of Jesus, we cannot ignore what moved him to
send out the first of His disciples, what moves Him still to send us out
today: mercy and compassion. Davis Ruis calls the Biblical compassion a
uniquely Christian virtue.25 Hence, it is primarily an attitude, an outlook,
a way of viewing the world. It is an outlook motivated by the quest for the
common good; an outlook that is realistic, hard-edged, and unromantic; an
outlook which engages directly with injustice and wrong-doing, seeing it
for what it is and actively opposing it.Moreover, we as the daughters of
Msgr Mascarenhas cannot ignore his heart which ached for the sector of
his then parish, his gaze which turned to God in prayer, the hours that he
spent before the Blessed Sacrament knocking heavens door to open, and
the fire that still kindles in the heart of Bethany and every Bethanites to
carry forward the light he has lit.
Indeed, mercy and compassion as I understand is Gods way of being,
24

Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus , Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy ,
(apostolic Letter).This document, issued by Pope Francis, given in Rome, at Saint Peters, on
11 April, the Vigil of the Second Sunday of Easter, or the Sunday of Divine Mercy, in the year
of our Lord 2015, the third of my Pontificate. It formally announces the Extraordinary Jubilee
of Mercy, which is to run from 8 December 2015 to 20 November 2016.
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25

his way of looking at the world and dealing with people. In other words,
we are invited to contemplate the altar everywhere, on the street and in
the open square. The compassion that is at the root of all the prophetic
action of Jesus is but an expression of his passion for a merciful God,
who demands justice for all his sons and daughters. When one is
compassionate, one does not decide, but rather surrenders control to
another, and is sucked into the situation. One becomes so present to the
moment that one is both chosen and choosing. This is Mercy. Human life
in modern times with all its brokenness calls for a response coupled with
a principle of compassionate mission for the Church today, a Church that
would reach out and open the hearts to those living on the outermost
fringes of society.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
PRIMARY SOURCES
Francis, Pope. Evangelii Gaudium : Apostolic Exhortation, on the
Proclamation of the Gospel in Todays World (24 November 2013),
Trivendrum, Kerala: Carmel International Publishing House, 2013.
Francis, Pope. Misericordiae Vultus, Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary
Jubilee of Mercy , (apostolic Letter).This document, issued by Pope Francis,
given in Rome, at Saint Peters, on 11 April, the Vigil of the Second Sunday
of Easter, or the Sunday of Divine Mercy, in the year of our Lord 2015, the
third of my Pontificate. It formally announces the Extraordinary Jubilee of
Mercy, which is to run from 8 December 2015 to 20 November 2016.
John Paul II, Davis in Misericordia: Rich in Mercy, November 30,1980.
Available from http://www.papalencyclicals.net/; internet.
__________. Sollicitudo Rei Socialis: Social Concerns. Sherbooke,
December 30, 1987. QC: Paulines, 1988.
__________. Redemptoris Missio: The Mission of Christ the Redeemer
December 7, 1990. Available from http://www.papalencyclicals.net/;
internet.
The Constitutions of the Congregation of the Sisters of Little Flower of
Bethany, Mangalore. 2005.
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26

Dictionary, Nashville, Tennessee: B&H Publishing Group, 2003.


Bertha BS, From the Lips of the Founder, Mangalore, 1996, 305.
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the good news of Christian hope and mercy.
Doss, Mohan. Christ in the Spirit: Contemporary Spirit Christologies Delhi:
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__________. Led By the Spirit: Mission, Spirituality and Formation DWS/
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Francis, Pope. Evangelii Gaudium - The Joy of the Gospel, published on
24 November 2013 to mark the conclusion of the Year of Faith proclaimed
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Mascarenhas, RFC , Fr. A Report on Bethany to The Right Rev Dr Valerian
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Neville, Robert Cummings. God the Creator: On the Transcendence and
Presence of God Albany, New York: SUNY Press, 1992.
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Nouwen, Henri. Show Me the Way, Daily Lenten Readings, New York:
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Paupera M (Sr). Memories on Msgr Raymond, (28.06.2002).
Pinto, Joseph Prasad OFM Cap, Journey To Wholeness: Reflections for
Life in Abundance Bombay: St. Pauls, 2006.
Quartiroli, Ivo. The Digitally Divided Self: Relinquishing Our Awareness to
the Internet USA: SIlens-Global Book Publishing, 2011.
Reed, W. L. Journal of Biblical Literature, Chico, Calif.: Scholars Press,
1881, 23:35-41.
Ruis, David The Justice God Is Seeking: Responding to the Heart of God
Through Compassionate Worship Ventura, California: Regal Books: 2006.
Saldanha, V J P. An Interview with Mr. V J P Saldanha, on the occasion of
the Platinum Jubileeof Bethany (1996).
Tornielli, Andrea. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, FRANCIS Pope of a New World.
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Zanzig, Thomas. Jesus of History, Christ of Faith, Winona, Minnesota:


Saint Marys Press, 1999, 51.
ii. Articles
Mariette B.S. Dr. Relevance of Servant of God Raymond F. C. Mascarenhas
Charism in Todays Context, (ed.) Lillis B.S. Sr. The Compassionate Pastor,
No.5 (Dec. 2010):40-48.
Surekha Lobo B.S. In the Making of a Pioneer, Joskiran Journal of Religion
and Thought, 10/1 (2013) 139-154.
________. Vision in Mission(ed.) Lillis B.S. Sr. The Compassionate Pastor,
no.10. (July 2013):30-36.
________. Prophetic Leadership Asian Journal of Religious Studies,
(AJRS) Vol 60/4 (July 2015): 5-14.
_______.Compassion as Commitment to Christian Life: A Theological
Response to the Challenges of Evangelii Gaudium, Asian Journal of Religious
Studies, (AJRS) Vol 61/4 (Jan 2016): 14-22.
iii. Unpublished Material.
Surekha M. BS,(Flossy Molly Lobo)The Role of Vision in the Transformative
Mission , MPM Thesis Guided by PT Joseph SJ.(Pune: JDV,
2013).Unpublished Material.
iv. Internet sources
Mercy Bakers Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology (accessed on
September 12, 2014), available from http://www.biblestudytools.com/
dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/mercy.html; Internet.
Kratz, Matthew. Putting on the New Person, Sermon shared in Jan, 2014;
(accessed on 12.1.2015), available from http://www.sermoncentral.com/
sermons/putting-on-the-new-person-matthew-kratz-sermon-on-newnature-181817.asp?Page=7-8; internet.

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FAVOURS RECEIVED
Healed of Imbalance
I am Benjamin Betgeri, a retired police officer. I reside in Bombay .I
am 79 years old. I was under treatment in St Georges Hospital for one
month. I could not stand and had imbalance due to lack of blood circulation
to the brain. My speech used to be very unclear. I could not stand up by
myself and could not walk.
One day my nephew came from Sirsi, Karnataka to see me. He gave
me the prayer card of the Servant of God Raymond Francis Camillus
Mascarenhas and asked me to pray that prayer. Both of us prayed for
fifteen minutes together. I kept the prayer card containing the picture of
the Servant of God under my pillow before sleeping? In the early morning
of the next day I heard a voice saying, Get up, why are you sleeping. Go
and take bath. I felt someone was near me. Suddenly I opened my eyes.
With sleepy eyes, I got up without anybodys help and took bath. I was
alright all of a sudden. The doctors told me that I was cured and I was
discharged within a few days. Now I can walk without the help of any
body. My speech also has become very clear.
Mr Benjamin Betgeri, Mumbai 400001

Nephew Returned Home


My nephew who had left home twenty-two years ago has returned
after I started praying continuously to Mgr Raymond. He who was addicted
to bad habits and was gone away from the family has given up all his bad
habits and has started a new life. He has now begun a new business. I
thank Mgr Raymond for listening to my prayers and granting my hearts
desire. May he be given at the earliest the honours of the altar.
Sr Walburga BS, Germany

Better Health
Since 2002 onwards I was suffering from dryness of the tongue,
mouth, lips and nose. I went to so many doctors. But I experienced no
improvement. Finally I prayed to God through the intercession of our
founder, the Servant of God R F C Mascarenhas. Now I am completely
healed of this sickness. Praise be the name of God.
Sr Benita Gratia, Mother of Mercy Convent, Gadenahally.

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A Sudden Healing
I am writing this letter to testify a favour that I received after I
interceded through Mgr Raymond Mascarenhas. I had gone to Bangalore
on November 26, 2015 as I had to write an exam the next day. But soon
after I finished the exam, I got food poisoning. As I didnt know anyone in
Bangalore, I felt trapped and helpless. I was told by the pharmacist that
my food poisoning was severe and it would take 2-3 days to recover. But
I could not manage to stay there; I had to board the bus to Mangalore at
8:00 p.m. I started praying through the intercession of Mgr RFC
Mascarenhas at 6:00 p.m. and I was healed. I could board the bus. The
8 hour journey went smoothly without any trouble. I consider it a miracle.
Debora Lewis, Kadri Kambla Road, Mangalore

THE COMPASSIONATE PASTOR


Published twice a year, in July and December. No subscription.
Donations will be gratefully accepted to meet the expenses
of printing, mailing and the process of Canonization. Donations
and offerings may be sent to the address given below.
Cheques/drafts may be made in favour of: Cause of Msgr
Raymond FC Mascarenhas. We invite you to share your
experiences for possible inclusion in this bulletin.
The Vice- Postulator
Cause of the Servant of God Raymond Mascarenhas
Bethany Convent, Kankanady Post
Mangalore 575002
Karnataka, India.
Managing Editor
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CONTRIBUTORS
FR CEDRIC PRAKASH
Fr Cedric Prakash belongs to the Gujarat Jesuit
Province. He is the great grand nephew of SD
Raymond Mascarenhas and currently he is the
Director of PRASHANT, the Ahmadabad based Jesuit
Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace. Being
the great grand nephew of Mgr Raymond, one can
find in him the traits of Mgr Raymond specially mercy, compassion,
justice and fortitude. He has to his credit numerous national and
international awards. In the middle of January 2016 he will be leaving
for Lebanon to render service at the Jesuit Refugee Service Centre as
per the request of his Superior General. This had been a long cherished
dream of his.
FR NOBERT FERNADES
A professional writer is an amateur who doesn't
quit. Fr Norbert Fernandes is one such person who
never gave up his talent for writing even in his
disability to writing. He was ordained in December
1968. He has served as parish priest in several
parishes of Mangalore Diocese until 1989. He has
rendered his service as a chaplain at Rosa Mystica
for sometime.
Fr Norbert considered his talent for writing as a vocation to draw
people to God and wrote several articles in Konkani and English which
were published regularly in weeklies and monthly magazines. His depth
of spirituality and knowledge in the truths of life enabled him to share
a part of his soul to the world in writing. Having been inspired by the
Servant of God RFC Mascarenhas, and his zeal to serve the poorest of
the poor energised him to inspire others through this article. He is a
great devotee of Mother Mary. At present he resides at Vianney Home,
Kankanady and continues to share the word of God.
REV FR JOE TAURO, OCD
Rev Fr Joe Tauro, OCD was born in Bendore on
20th November, 1953, a Carmelite religious since
19th March, 1971, a priest since 23rd December,
1978.
From 1999 - 2005 he was the Provincial
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Superior of the Carmelite western (Karnataka - Goa) province in India


for two terms. Fr Joe was the Director of Dhyanavana the Carmelite
Institute of Formation for young women religious in Mysore, where
each year some 100 religious and priests come for long term (diploma)
and short term (Certificate) programmes in spiritual renewal. He was
also involved in guiding retreats to various sectors of Christian
community especially to priests and religious.
Writing/ editing books and articles on spiritual matters keeps Fr
Joe occupied. He has rewritten the constitutions of 6 congregations,
and partially helped many others in this work. Besides, he is interested
and involved in spiritual counseling and helping ministry; inter-faith
dialogue themes and human development schemes.
Presently Fr Joe is the Rector of St Joseph Monastery, Kulshekar.
SR DAISY MARIA BRITTO
Sr Daisy Maria Britto is a Bethany Sister serving as
a nurse at Karunamatha Holistic Centre,
Gadenahally, in North Karnataka. She renders
outstanding service at the hospital and reaches out
to the patients in the families. Curative and
preventive health care is her special interest.
SR SUREKHA LOBO
Surekha Lobo is a religious and a member of the
congregation of the Sisters of the Little Flower of
Bethany, Mangalore. She holds a Masters Degree
in Management and Pastoral Theology from JnanaDeepa Vidyapeeth, Pune. She is actively involved in
the ministry of formation as well as educational
ministry. She has served as general coordinator for
vocation promotion for 3 years. She has an
experience of three years of teaching in Morning Star Regional
Seminary, Barrackpore, West Bengal. Currently she is pursuing her
doctoral studies in Systematic Theology at Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth
the Pontifical Institute of Philosophy and Religion, Pune, India.

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