Book on the Life Sketch of the ‘Servant of God’ Mgr Raymond FC Mascarenhas written by Prof Edmund JB Frank (Deasn, PGDBM), St Aloysius College, Mangaluru Released on 4 March 2022 at St Aloysius Institution, Mangaluru, where Raymond Mascarenhas had done his Classes 1 – Matriculation (SSLC) at St Aloysius School/High School in 1880-1890
Mangaluru: This book on the ‘Life Sketch of the ‘Servant of God’ Raymond FC Mascarenhas’is from a Eminent Aloysian (Prof Edmund Frank) to an Eminent Aloysian (Mgr Raymond FC Mascarenhas)-a person whose life story is a shining example of everything ons should cherish and aspire for in life. And what a blessed triple coincidence it is that this Book is being released on the “One Hundred and Twenty Second Anniversary of the ordination of Mgr Mascarenhas”in the same classroom at st Aloysius High School, Mangaluru where he matriculated and that this book on an eminent Aloysian is authored by another Eminent Aloysian Awardee Prof Edmund JB Frank.
This book takes the reader through the life and times of the first ever Servant of God from Mangalore Mgr. Raymond Mascarenhas. It unfolds his days at St Aloysius College High School, his 17 epoch making years as the pioneer parish priest of Bendur, him founding the Bethany Sisters Congregation, him being conferred the honour of Domestic Prelate, from Pope Pius XII and his Cause for Beatification and Canonization being pursued at the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The Bethany Congregation founded by Mgr Raymond Mascarenhas today runs 278 Schools and Colleges, orphanages, hospitals, homes for the destitutes and senior citizens.
The Servant of God Raymond FC Mascarenhas has left an indelible mark as a simple and brilliant student during his studies at St Aloysius College High School, Mangaluru during the years 1887-1890, securing the ONLY FIRST CLASS with distinction in the Matriculation examination bath under the Madras Presidency. Prior to his high school studies here, he had done his earlier schooling at St Aloysius School from 1880-1887. Raymond Mascarenhas had an equally brilliant record as a seminarian at st Joseph’s Inter Diocesan Seminary Mangalore, from 1891 to the year he was ordained on 4 March 1900 by Bishop Paul Perini SJ, his mentor and guide, at the Rosario Cathedral, Pandeshwar, Mangaluru.
Mgr Raymond Mascarenhas was the pioneer parish priest of the St Sebastian Parish, Bendore, Mangaluru (1914-1931) and also built the St Sebastian Church, Mangaluru, where his mortal remains are enshrined in a specially designed tomb. The crowning glory of Fr Raymond Mascarenhas is the founding of the indegeneos “Congregation of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany”which is today a global Congregation with its presence across Indian states and most of the continents of the world. Bethany Congregation has just completed a hundred glorious years (1921-2021). Having completed the Diocesan phase as the Servant of God, Raymond’s Cause for Beatification and Canonization is being currently pursued in the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Vatican, Rome.
THE AUTHOR- Edmund JB Frank
Regarding the author of the Book, Prof Edmund JB Frank, is serving in his Alma Mater as a Dean at the job/entrepreneurship -oriented PGDBM programme of St aloysius College since the last 25 years. He is also the Chairman of the Board of studies and Board of Examiners, PGDBM and a member of the College Academic Council. Recently he was conferred with the Eminent Aloysian Award 2022 by the College and SACAA. He has donned various managerial positions for some of the top-notch business organizations. He lives the true vision and mission of the College, being a person for and with others involved in several philanthropic and charity ventures. As an Aloysian he has never left a stone unturned to demonstrate to the world the core values that his alma mater stands for, commitment, competence, conscience and compassion. He has them all in abundant measure. He is consistently involved in philanthropic activities reaching the unreached in society. This is his eight book authored by him and the FIRST one to be published by the newly established Aloysian Prakashana Publications.
Prior to the formal book releasing programme held at LCRI Hall of St Aloysius College on Friday, 5 March, the book was symbolically released in the classroom of St Aloysius High school where Mgr Raymond Mascarenhas did his matriculation-following which everyone walked in a procession to the LCRI hall. The welcome dance was performed by students of St Theresa School, and an invocation hymn by the Bethany Congregation Sisters. The introduction and welcome address was delivered by Rev Dr Praveen Martis Sj, the Principal of St Aloysius College, where he applauded the contribution of Prof Edmund Frank to the College and Society.
Sr Lillis BS-the former Assistant Superior General-Postulator for the Cause of RFC Mascarenhas spoke a few words about the Book ‘Life Sketch of the ‘Servant of God’ Raymond FC Mascarenhas’. (Her full speech details are incorporated at the end). The main part of the programme, the release of the Book was done by Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese Rt Rev Peter Paul Saldanha, joined by Fr Melwin Pinto SJ-the Rector of st Aloysius Institutions; Fr Praveen Martis SJ-Principal of st Aloysius College; Dr Alwyn D’Sa-the Registrar of the college; Sr Rose Celine BS -Superior General-Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany; Sr Shanthi Priya BS- Assistant Superior General; Sr Mariette BS- II General nCouncillor; Sr Lillis BS, and Dr Vidya D’Souza-Director of Aloysian Prakashana Publications
Sr Rose Celine in her speech appreciated the contribution done by Prof Edmund Frank to the Bethany Sisters congregation and to the society, and on behalf of their Congregation felicitated Prof Edmund Frank. Fr Melwin Pinto SJ addressing the audience spoke on the process of Canonization, and said that the news of Mgr Raymond Masacrenhas canonization to be a Saint is not only good news to the Bethany Sisters whose Founder is going to be saint, but also to the Jesuit priests of st Aloysius Institutions where Mgr Raymond was their High School student in 1887.
Bishop Peter Paul Saldanha also spoke and narrated the procedure of canonization (His entire speech can be heard in the video below). The Bethany Congregation Generals and Councillors were also felicitated on the occasion. Sr Lillis, Sr Jessy Rita, Sr Miriam were also felicitated for helping the author of the book. Felicitation was also done to Praveen Patrao, the proprietor of Prasad Printers, Kulshekar, Mangaluru for printing the Book. The vote of thanks was delivered by Dr Vidya D’souza, and the programme was meticulously compered by Manoj Fernandes, faculty of St Aloysius College.
FOLLOWING IS THE BRIEFING OF THE BOOK ‘THE LIFE SKETCH OF THE SERVANT OF GOD RAYMOND FC MASCARENHAS’ by Sr Lillis BS- former Assistant Superior General-Postulator, Bethany Congregation. Sr Lillis was also a great help to the author in bringing out the book.
I have the great pleasure of introducing the book ‘Life sketch of the Servant of God Raymond FC Mascarenhas authored by Professor Edmund Frank. The main specialty of this book is that in addition to unfolding the life story of the Servant of God , the book reflects the times in which Mgr Mascarechas lived , and the numerous historical events that shaped the personality and spirituality of the Servant of God specially in Ch.1. To mention a few, the origin of Mangalorean Roman Catholics, Portuguese invasion of Goa, migration from Goa to South Canara, the captivity of Mangalorean Christians, history of Francis Mascarenhas, the grand uncle of Raymond Mascarenhas, the arrival of the Jesuits in Mangalore, the shifting of the family of the Servant of God from Shimoga and other such events mentioned have notable links with the life of Mgr Raymond. Chapters two and three illuminate Shimoga, the birthplace of the Servant of God , the narration of the family atmosphere especially the influence of Joanna, the mother of Mgr Raymond speaks of the vital contribution a family and society make in shaping the future of a child.
As a professor in St Aloysius College Professor Edmund seems to have found a closer connection with the Servant of God who too was a product of Jesuits in Milagris primary school as well as at St Aloysius. The tireless research of Professor Edmund has unearthed many hidden facts of the early life of the Servant of God which are valuable in connection with the Cause of beatification of the Servant of God. The simple facts such as the Servant of God as the only student who secured a first class in the matriculation examination in that particular year of his passing out, and the documents connected with it in the book, and the photos of the certificates of honours that the Servant of God procured speak volumes about the dictum of excellence that the Servant of God upheld whether in studies,spirituality or apostolic activities.
Chapters 6-9 depict the rare achievements of the Servant of God as the Founder of Bethany Congregation, a parish priest, vicar general of the diocese, his post retirement achievements in the missions, contribution towards education of the poor. The author paints well the joyful and painful events of the life of the Servant of God such as conflicts with the ecclesiastical authorities, his agonizing days as well as joyful events of jubilees, receiving the honour of domestic Prelate from Rome.
I was fascinated to come across a simple fact about the Servant of God in the book that was unknown to me. The author writes that Raymond had joined a government aided commercial course while in the high school which was intended for pursuing higher studies which Raymond didn’t. Some of the subjects were accounting, bookkeeping etc . Later we see that while as the Founder of Bethany Congregation and that of Bendue parish Mgr Raymond successfully introduced various self-reliance programmes for the poor and also for poor Bethany .
The narration of the memories of the Servant of God on his seminary formation under the Jesuits underscores how diligent and motivated he was in his religious studies , and the zest and zeal the Servant of God had from the beginning of his priestly ministry. In Chapter 10 of the book referring to the Servant of God as one of the noted social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy and some other luminaries the author underscores the concern of the Servant of God to the underprivileged of the society. The notable contributions made by Mgr Raymond in the diocese of Mangalore in various parishes as well as Vicar General are well captured. .
In the Having visited most of the mission areas wherein Bethany serves Pro Edmund illustrates vividly the burning apostolic zeal of the Servant of God in founding Bethany convents and institutions in the remotest part of Karnataka and Kerala to bring the compassionate love of Jesus to the poor and the flowering of the vision of Mgr Raymond through Bethany Sisters all over India and abroad.
The biography consisting of 14 Chapters brings alive a luminary of Mangalore, a spiritual force , whose life and writings have powerful messages to the people of all categories. It is creditable that Professor Edmund has well narrated the process of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God which only a very few lay people would be interested in. Having this programme in an unusual manner outside Bethany campus is an indication that the luminary Mgr Raymond belongs to all and the Servant of God , an alumni of St Aloysius has a special message for the youth.
The fact that Most Rev Peter Paul Saldanha , the Bishop of Mangalore has not only encouraged and guided Edmunds’s initiative but has given imprimatur for the book is a matter for the author to be really proud about. It is indeed a great tribute to the Servant of God. I would like to acknowledge the great contribution of Professor Edmund to Bethany and to the Cause of beatification and Canonisation of the Servant of God Raymond FC Mascarenhas. My salute to the diocese of Mangalore and specially to the Jesuits who shaped a great holy priest to walk closely on the footsteps of Jesus. Christ and to be a light to the world.