Golden Jubilee Greetings to our honoured pastor – Rev. Fr. George Andrade, Barkur


Prof P. Archibald Furtado
Kemmannu News Network, 23-05-2024 06:40:05


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Golden Jubilee Greetings to our honoured pastor – Rev. Fr. George Andrade, Barkur

It is about 50 years ago, on Tuesday, 21st May, 1974 the St Peter Church in Barkur, for that matter the entire Compound was extra ordinarily decorated to welcome Bishop of Mangalore Rt Rev. Dr Basil S. DSouza and for the first time two of its proud sons Br George Andrade and Br Wilfred Gonsalves to be ordained as priests of Jesus for life time. Elderly Vicar ‘Aab Padryab’ Rev Fr Joseph DSouza has given a free hand to his Assistant Rev Fr Stany Tauro to oversee the arrangements – we were too young (was in 7th Standard passed in May 1974) to understand the related significance of Choir, liturgy, litany etc… for the day, but curiosity at its peak to partake from distant in the special ceremonies / rituals.

Two tall and handsome young men entered the Church in a procession, holding the vestments’ and we were thrilled to witness the Ordination from close for the first time, that too of two priests. It was great scene to watch these young priests Fr George Andrade and Fr Wilfred Gonsalves either side of Bishop to celebrate the Thanksgiving High Mass.

The sermon by the Bishop Basil was so apt to the historical occasion and an encouragement to many to think of vocation as a priest….!

The life and living of these two great now reached a milestone of 50 long years in the vineyard of Christ. It’s an opportunity to thank Almighty Lord for these wonderful gifts that served Him and His people and spread the fragrance of Barkur too...Your Golden Jubilee is a time to rejoice and celebrate, looking back on your 50 years of faithful service. Well deserved Congratulations to both of you Rev Fr George Andrade & Rev Fr Wilfred Gonsalves, along with a prayer for God’s continued Blessings….!!

I will utilise, rather restrict this page to write few lines about the Jubilarean Fr George Andrade (and sometime later focus on Rev Fr Wilfred Gonsalves).

Brief about the family and early days in Barkur:

As a school boy I watched youthful George walking towards the High School in 60’s. His voice was so loud and manly and distinctly heard in the group. Then he joined our neighbouring Chickmagalore Diocese, where Rt Rev Dr. Alphonse Mathias was the young Bishop of newly erected Diocese on 16th November, 1963, separating it from vast and erstwhile Mysore Diocese. A dynamic personality originally from Pangla / Shankerapura perhaps has persuaded young George to choose Chickmagalore over Mangalore…!

Born on 31st May, 1947 as the youngest son of Late Santan Andrade and Nathalia Menezes, a devout family of Six Children – three boys Lawrence, Alphonse and George & three daughters Celine DSouza, Lenny Menezes and Mary DSilva - engaged in agriculture, as farmers in Nagermutt, a location far away from the Church by 2.5 KM and to reach home has to cross the Tributary Sita – Sankadi Saal.

After his early studies in Maryknoll Higher Primary School till Grade V and SSLC from the prestigious National High School Barkur, decided to join St Josephs Inter Diocesan Seminary in Jeppu – Mangalore.

A devout and compassionate Priest for lifetime:

As I mentioned above 21st May 1974, he was ordained priest at his home town Barkur, in the blessed hands of Bishop of Mangalore. He has rendered 48 precious years of service to the Diocese in various capacities and responsible positions. First he was in the Cathedral in Chickmagalore city for just a year and in Sagara parish for 8 months….it’s appropriate to mention over here that the Vicar over here was not keeping good health and has to say goodbye to earthly life and the vacant post of Parish priest was entrusted to Fr George, both to respect the sentiments of parishioners and capabilities Fr Andrarde witnessed by the superiors. He served here in Sagara for almost seven long years – a unique record he holds as ‘youngest Vicar of Sagar at just 28 years…. ‘ and thereafter looking at his abilities, deservedly Bishop promoted him to be the parish priest of Maria Nagar.

Then shifted to Jyothi Nagar (Shetty Halli – the famed Church submerged in water, after the construction of Hemavathi river dam). Fr Andrade also served in other large parishes of then Chickmagalore Diocese – such as Moodigere, Gonibeedu and Hassan.  While retiring he was the parish Priest of Hirebail St Joseph’s Church which had famed two substations – St Saturnine Chapel Kelaguru and Hemmakki... His seven years in Hirebail St Joseph’s Church, widely remembered by the faithful as most memorable both in their spiritual and material life.

We will not elaborate on the great physical constructions, buildings, Schools etc in almost all churches mentioned above but the spiritual transformation he brought, awareness he spread and care and concern for his parishioners always remembered with gratefulness and respect for lifetime.

Priest known for Dyanakoota’s – Jeevan Jyothi and Retreats across the Diocese and in Karnataka:

While shouldering the responsibilities as the parish priest, Fr Andrade had a cohesive team of preachers who were specialists in organising retreats in Kannada and Konkani language.

It was a wonderful occasion, one such Dyana koota was arranged in his hometown Barkur while Rev Fr Sylvester DSouza was our parish priest in 2000. There were devotees gathered from neighbouring towns – Brahmmavar, Sastan, Kallianpur etc which were a divine experience to come close to God and getting healed and cured.

Fr Andrade as an excellent preacher and consulter:

Lot many people including the undersigned heard his thunderous sermons – as Fr George Andrade was known for homilies. He was at ease in many languages - Kannada, Konkani and English. He understands Tulu too. He was a patient listener and kind towards the disappointed and depressed.

He has worked for the poor, downtrodden, homeless and also has helped many to raise them to a one day meal from no meal. He has also helped many to get educated and his contribution which is unknown to most of us: he has been a Godlike to the Godless in his mission field in many ways. He hasn’t lived a luxurious life but simple to the level of the marginalized in the places where ever he was posted. He has constructed some churches and an also some a face lift.

Whatever he earned or got from his family or from the donors or the people of goodwill, and through his ministry he has utilised for the welfare of the people and not for his own welfare or for the family.

In preaching the word of God and building the faith and raising them to meet Jesus and make their hearts like Jesus, he has done a great service and he could be called a voice of God to those in need this in every field be it economic, spiritual, social, educational he has left no stone unturned.

He deserves a big applauds as he has shown the path of Jesus to many being a simple hard working missionary, a spiritual guru to those in need, a man of prayer who also taught others to pray and much more his devout life drawing strength from the Holy Eucharist was his armour to face all hurdles and difficulties of life.

One can in general say, his contribution to the diocese of Chikmagalur and church of God is remarkable and praise worthy. His fifty years are though look half century, his age is swimming in the ocean of senior citizens his energy is marvellous for God.

Congratulations on your Golden Jubilee of Priestly Ordination:

Happy 50th Anniversary of your Ordination, as we thank you for your holy devotion to the Lord and his Church and pray to Him bless you with a jubilant heart on your Jubilee Anniversary. May you be blessed with good health and peace of mind and enjoy your retired life and continue to inspire all who are close to you. No doubt you attracted what you expected and liked most and reflected what you desired and now probably a contented man with respect from all whom you reached and touched and a mirror of righteousness we all admire…!

Such a shining star born, grown, and gave his life for the service of God in totality is a Mike stone for those who imbibe his legacy as a man all rounder who was like St Paul all things to all people. It’s not how long you live are important but how effective your life has been to others on service is!

We the native Barkurians, as well as others bow our head before the good Lord for the gift of Fr George as our parishioner and we say hats off to him and convey our thanks and congratulations as he celebrate his Glorious 77TH Birthday on 31st May, 2024 and Golden Jubilee, ‘50 Years of Sacerdotal Life on 21st May, 2024’ in Bangalore with family and friends….!!

May his life be an everlasting treasure in all of us, his admirers, the Diocese of Chikmagalur and the people of all faiths at large, as you grow through what you go through-out the last 50 great years.

With jubilee and Birthday best wishes

For and on behalf of Team Kemmannu.com,
P. Archibald Furtado, Mobile: 98457 42750, archibarkur@gmail.com

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