Mangaluru: On the 1st Friday of the month, Our Lord’s day the 4th of December, the Sun as usual rose in the sky but before it could warm the Earth, Our Lord passed by and walked into the “Kenneth Cote” garden of the Vas family , looked around and saw a beautiful flower therien- he culled this beautiful pearly white Rose (Our friend Rose) and winged it to Heaven where he transplanted it in his garden where it would never droop or wilt away, but bloom forever and ever. With heavy hearts we had all gathered in the beautiful house of God – St Sebastian’s Church-Bendore on Monday 7 December to bid Adieu to our late sister Rose, and pray for her soul and console her bereaved family.
Rose was a dedicated wife to her late husband Sebastian Vas of the famous Vas Bakery. Rose was the eldest in the line of 8 children born to Late Henry and Late Cecilia Lobo. To the Children of our late sister Rose – Late Kenneth and Gladys, Lynette and Peter, Brian and Dr Caroline, Lester and Joyce, Mira and Bhujang, Late Norman, Caryl and Neil, Pearl and Late Mohan; to the 15 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren; to her siblings Marie, late Jane, Frank M Lobo, Celine, Cynthia, Gerald and Carmelita; to her relatives and friends, my message is “Grieve not, your mother/grandma/sister/friend has not left you, she has just fallen asleep in the Lord. She will intercede for you from above, her fragrance will surround you and will linger in every nook and corner of your homes, she will still embrace you with her presence and be your guiding star”.
After her Late husband passed away at the age of 66yrs, Rose shouldered the responsibility of the upbringing of her children. She nourished them with the love of God, prayer and devotion and the Rosary had to be recited everyday. With God in the centre of their lives , there was nothing to fear. She nurtured them inculcating in them the values of life and caressed them with her abiding love and warmth. Late Rose was a good Samaritan, very compassionate and caring, charitable and kind, generous and always giving especially to the poor and needy, less fortunate and the downtrodden members of society. She was a humane human person.
This is evident from the fact that Rose was a major donor of the Xavier Educational Trust established in 1984 and the Xavier Industrial Centre at Assaigoli, catering to the needs of rural youth. It is a pride and honour for the Vas family because one of the Projects will be dedicated to the memory of Late Sebastian and Late Rose Vas. It is heartwarming to know that Rose has sponsored candidates for priesthood at St Josephs Seminary and The Carmelite Order to work in the vineyard of the Lord. She was an active member of the Legion of Mary and the Social Service League. She also took active part in the family business after her husband’s demise in addition to contributing to the welfare of her family. She was a good singer and loved to sing hymns and songs.
God called home her two sons Kenneth and Norman at a young age. Tragedy struck again when Pearl’s husband young Mohan succumbed to a massive
heart attack in Malaysia leaving behind him a young wife and two tiny children. Luckily, at this crucial juncture her mother Rose was there having gone for her second confinement. Rose stood strong at the the helm and after a year or so brought them down to Mangaluru, where they resided at Kenneth Cote with Brian and Caroline who were already there. A shattered Pearl stayed on with her mother and kids and with love and hard work they both raised the two children. They were Grandma’s arms when she was feeble and couldn’t walk steadily. All of Rose’s children would visit her every time and spend time with her.
Last Christmas, Rose was with her family members and the home was filled with her children and the aroma of freshly baked cakes, Kuswar, scones, and other goodies but this year God thought it was time to waft her away to grace his table and now she’s around God’s table enjoying the bliss of looking at his face. This Christmas which is just a few days ahead, your Mother is no longer physically with you, but she lives on in spirit through your memories. Treasure those memories. Share them with your family and friends. Recognize that your memories may make you laugh or cry, but in either case, they are a lasting and important part of the relationship you had with your mother.
Life is not measured by the number of years we live but by the quality of life we live and the treasures we accumulate for our onward journey to our Eternal Abode. We thank God for this beautiful gift of Rose for 91 years in our lives. Rose played a fulfilling role on her stage in life and now her late husband and sons are waiting with outstretched arms to lead her through the portals of Heaven to claim her reward. We are all human and bound to err. May our Lord in his benevolent mercy and compassion condone her little shortcomings and failures and lead her into his heavenly realm.
While we had all bid Adieu to our friend Rose, let’s hope to meet her again on the beautiful shores in the city of God. Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her and May her soul rest in peace in the arms of her beloved master. Amen.
Celine Saldanha is a great friend of Rose Vas, and also a very close friend of Vas family, who made frequent visits to “Kenneth Cote” to check on Rose and give her company during her loneliness. As a Ex-Gurkar of Upper Bendore belonging to St Sebastian Church, Celine Saldanha is also the ex-president of Christian Mothers Sodality, Secretary of Ladies Social Service League-Upper Bendore, and a volunteer at many social, community and charitable organizations.