Tuesday, January 27, 2009



( 20-07-1953 to 17-05-2004 )

The mortal remains of Fr. Freddy J. Da Costa, Editor and Publisher of
GULAB roman script konkani magazine who died in a tragic road accident
in the early hours of 17^th May 2004 were laid to rest at the Our Lady
of Gloria Church, Varca Salcette this evening (19-04-2004). Thousands of
people from different walk of life paid a tearful last farewell to Fr.
Freddy Da Costa. People from across the land and parishioners from
various parishes across Goa where Fr. Freddy was associated either as a
Chaplain or a Parish priest traveled to this far flung village in the
South to have a last glimpse of this priest who had touched their lives
in different ways. Children, youth the young and the old from different
communities they were all there to bid a final adieu to Fr. Freddy J Da
Costa whom they not only adored but revered for more than two and a half

Earlier in the day, the coffin containing the mortal remains of Fr.
Freddy were brought to the Siridao Rosary Church and a Eucharistic
celebration was conducted at 10.00A.M.. Thereafter the body was briefly
taken to the New Age Printers printing press at Verna. In the evening,
the funeral service began from Fr. Freddy’s residence at 15.35 hrs. Rev
Fr. Francis Fernandes Asst. Parish Priest of Our Lady of Gloria church
conducted the service at the residence and led the funeral cortege to
the church. As though as a sign of respect and tribute to the departed
soul, nature too shed tears of grief. To the mourners present at the
residence, this seemed to be very rare gesture. My mind even went back
to the funeral procession of Mother Teresa when the white dove from the
sky came and sat along the route near to the carriage. As the coffin was
being brought out the residence suddenly a rain cloud hovered above the
house for well over five minutes and there was a light shower.
Thereafter, though the skies were overcast, there was not a drop of rain
and the entire funeral service progressed smoothly.

The eucharistic service began at 16.15 hours with the hymn "Jivitachea
Jivita Tum" led by Fr. Peter Cardozo’s choir from Pilar. The mass with
more than 300 priest was concelebrated with the main celebrant being
Archbishop Patriarch Filipe Neri Ferrao, flanked by other 2 Prelates
namely; Archbishop Emeritus Henry D’Souza from Kolkatta and Bishop
Cypriano Moniz from Assansol. Fr. Cristovao Caldeira the parish priest
of St. Lawrence church Agacaim and former Rector of Rachol Seminary
preached the homily. The church was packed to capacity and the mourners
were overflowing out in the church compound.

The Eucharistic service was well conducted and orderly despite the large
presence of mourners present. Fr. Soccorro Mendes, Director of the
Family Service Centre, Panjim was the commentator at the solemn requiem
mass. Around twenty priests were seen distributing the Holy Communion to
the faithful in different locations in and outside the church. At the
offertory procession the nephews and nieces of Fr. Freddy placed single
dressed white roses on the body. A symbolic red rose (GULAB) was offered
by his young niece Safira while a copy of GULAB magazine, GOENCHO AVAZ
and other literary works of Fr. Freddy were placed in the hands of the
Archbishop Patriarch Filipe Neri Ferrao by his younger brother Fausto Da
Costa, Editor and Publisher of The Goan Review, Mumbai.

In his touching Homily, Fr. Cristovao Caldeira dwelled on the umpteen
qualities of the head and the heart of this dynamic priest who was
blessed with immense talents and great love for the mother tongue
Konkani, for which he worked relentlessly all through his life and
finally sacrificed it at a young age living the symphony of life
incomplete. He recalled his ways of functioning as a parish priest and
the way he guided his flock. He said Fr. Freddy always wanted to work
collectively with his flock and collaborators. He also highlighted
certain facets of the Synodal documents, and said Fr. Freddy in his
wisdom and foresight had much earlier already implemented many of its
guidelines. In his death he said a shining star from the Goan skies has
been snuffed out.

Eulogizing the life of Fr. Freddy Da Costa, the Archbishop Patriarch
Filipe Neri Ferrao recalled the day they both entered the Seminary of
Our Lady Saligao, 42 years ago as little young budding seminarians. He
also expressed that a few days before this tragic accident Fr. Freddy
had met him for a few moments and opened up his cherished plans and
ideas he had in mind for the betterment of the Archdiocese. It was most
shocking for the Archbishop Patriarch to hear of this tragic accident,
for just a few hours earlier on Sunday evening at 6.00 PM Fr. Freddy had
concelebrated a Eucharist mass at Stela Maris Chapel , Miramar together
with the Patriarch and other Prelates. In his death the Archdioceses of
Goa has been rendered poor and Konkani has lost one of its staunch
pillars the Patriarch added further. He consoled the grief stricken
mother of Fr. Freddy, his brothers, sisters and their respective
families. The Patriarch also remembered the other victims of the
accident viz., Felicio Cardozo and Frank Pires.

Archbishop Emeritus Henry D’Souza, also paying glowing tributes to Fr.
Freddy said he was closely associated with the Worldwide Apostolate of
Our Lady of Fatima and always helped the Apostolate in many ways.

The last rite were also performed by the Archbishop Patriarch before the
body was taken in a procession to the cemetery led by the Archbishop to
its final resting place. The thousands of mourners who were present at
the final rites waited patiently lined on either side of the road
leading to the cemetery waiting their turn to put a handful of mud for
their friend and beloved pastor. The atmosphere was very gloomy and the
mourners were seen silently shedding tears and reflecting on the tragic
accident that extinguished this glowing lamp from the soil of our
beloved Goa.

Prominent among those present at the funeral were also nuns,
seminarians, ex Chief Ministers of Goa, politicians, writers, doctors,
tiatrists, journalists, etc. A special supplement of GOENCHO AVAZ was
brought out as a mark of respect to the late Editor and Publisher and
copies of the same were being distributed outside the cemetery by the
grief stricken staff of Fr. Freddy’s Printing Press.

Daniel F. De Souza

Vasco da Gama

19^th May 2004. /11.45 PM

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