The beatification process to declare Fr. Alfred Roche as a Saint commenced at the Holy Family Church, Brahmavar, on Monday with Udupi Diocese Bishop Most Rev. Gerald Isaac Lobo leading a solemn mass.
Soon after the Holy Mass, a committee appointed to formalise the process to elevate Fr. Roche took oath.
Speaking on the occasion, Rev. Lobo said that the Udupi Diocese is blessed as the son of the soil, Fr. Roche, through his devout and exemplary life became a model for all and earned all the qualities to be considered to be elevated as a Saint. The elevation process is a long drawn out process, he said and hoped that it would be completed at the earliest so that the region would have its own Saint.
Vicar General of Udupi Diocese Rev. Msgr. Baptist Menezes, as a representative of the Bishop of the Udupi Diocese, is the Promoter of Justice of the committee and Fr. Sunil Kumar D’Souza is a member of the committee. Fr. Ravi Rajesh Serrao is the Notary and Fr. Steven D’Souza is a member of the Historical Commission, while Fr. Baptist Rodrigues, Fr. Joel Lopez and Fr. Santa Lopez will be supervising the entire process.
The elevation process has to go through the stages of Fr. Roche being declared as Servant of God, which was completed on August 15, and then as, Venerable, Blessed and finally, a Saint. On Monday, documents related to the elevation process, an website and an office were inaugurated to facilitate the elevation process.
Fr. Roche, a Franciscan Capuchin priest born in 1924 and brought up in Barkur in the erstwhile Canara district, served in the State in various capacities. After serving in Brahmavar for 16 years, he passed away in 1996. For his saintly life, selfless service, care for the poor and needy, people from all walks of life hailed him as an epitome of spirituality and emulated his virtues. Now, 25 years after his death, his devotees and well-wishers have demanded that he should be granted Sainthood in the Catholic Church.
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