In a Span of 30 hours SIX Catholic Priests Serving in Gujarat Died due to Covid-19
Mangaluru: In a communication received from Fr Cedric Prakash SJ serving in the Ahmedabad Diocese, where he said, “In just about thirty hours since last evening (16th April to 18th April) we lost SIX CATHOLIC PRIESTS serving in Gujarat: Three JESUITS ( Fr Jerry Sequeira SJ, Fr Jesuraj Arputham SJ and Fr Erwin Lazarado SJ); Fr Rayappan SVD; Fr John Fischer CMI; and Diocese Priest Fr Paulraj Nepoleon of the Baroda Diocese. May they rest in peace and intercede for us from above!
Fr JERRY SEQUEIRA SJ
“Fr. Jerry Sequeira SJ -the Superior of our (my) Jesuit Community and the Parish Priest of St. Ignatius Loyola Church, Ahmedabad, expired in the early hours of Sunday, 18 April 2021) in Sola Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad. He was tested positive for Corona and was undergoing treatment. Fr Jerry Sequeira SJ (aged 73 years) was 54 years in the Society of Jesus, 42 years as a priest, and went to his eternal abode at 12:10 am (18th April 2021). May he enjoy the eternal happiness to which he has been called to and intercedes for us from above.
Fr Jerry was also a former Provincial of the Gujarat Jesuit Province. Fr Jerry was from Sacred Heart Church, Madanthyar. Fr Jerry’s sister Sr Susheela is the Superior General of the Ursuline Sisters in Mangaluru. Join us in THANKING GOD for the GIFT of Fr Jerry to the Church and people of Gujarat. Do remember in prayer his bereaved family and other near and dear ones – for the Lord’s strength to bear this great loss! Goodbye, dear Jerry! We will miss you! It is difficult to believe that you are no more on earth! Our faith however tells us that you are now in that better place with the eternal reward you richly deserve!”- Fr Cedric Prakash SJ
FR JESURAJ ARPUTHAM SJ
“We are sad to inform you that Fr Jesuraj Arputham SJ, 60 years old, 39 years in the Society of Jesus has gone to his eternal abode at 5:25 pm on 16th April 2021 in the Hospital at Dindigul. He died of COVID. May Fr Jesuraj rest in peace”- Fr Cedric SJ
FR ERWIN LAZARADO SJ
“We are sad to inform you that Fr Erwin Lazarado SJ (Gujarat) 58 years of age, 37 years in the Society of Jesus, 25 years as a priest, has gone to his eternal abode at 2:15 am (17th April 2021), in New Life Para Medical Premium Hospital, Vadodara. Since 2013 he had suffered from Cancer (Multiple myeloma). A couple of days ago he was diagnosed with Pneumonia and tested positive for COVID. Fr Erwin, of Mangaluru origin, was born and brought up in Mumbai. His three sisters and one brother and their families are abroad and one brother is in Mumbai. May the soul of Fr Erwin rest in peace!”
Dear Erwin, It is difficult to believe that you are no more in this world! When you went home to your eternal reward in the early hours of this morning – I felt that it was just a ‘bad dream’. But it is for real – since the Lord knows best! May HIS WILL be done! Words do not flow at this moment to pay tribute to you! Just a BIG THANKYOU for being a loving brother, a great companion, a fantastic friend. Enjoy the eternal happiness to which you have been called and intercede for us from above. AAVJO dear Erwin – till we meet in the NEXT!”- Fr Cedric
FR JOHN FISHER CMI
“I am very sad to inform you about the demise of our beloved Fr John Fisher CMI. He was in Christ Hospital for Covid treatment and was getting better. On 16th April, he had two heart attacks at noon and evening which he survived. At 9:08 pm he had the third attack and he breathed his last. The funeral will be conducted considering the Covid protocol. Please pray for the departed soul. May God grant him eternal rest and may his soul rest in peace”.
Fr. RAYYAPPAN SVD
“With deep sorrow, I would like to inform you that Fr Rayyappan of the SVD Congregation expired this morning at St Francis hospital. I shall let you know about the funeral. Only 20 people can participate in the funeral. So kindly pray for his departed soul from your own places that his soul may rest in peace. He served more than 25 years in Dahod school and parish”.
FR PAULRAJ NEPOLEON
“We are sad to inform you that Fr Paulraj Nepoleon the priest of Baroda Diocese passed away today (17 April) morning at 8:00 am. He was 38 years old and 5 years of priestly ministry. He was tested Covid-19 positive and admitted at Kasturba Hospital, Valsad. After all the formalities he will be buried in Valsad parish cemetery”- Fr John Raju, the Bishop’s secretary.
Fr Cedric also mentioned that “A couple of days ago I received a call from an acquaintance requesting for prayers for some of her family members who were affected by COVID-19; she also asked me to send her, if possible, a prayer. I sent her the prayer I had composed about a year ago and a video presentation of it. Very spontaneously I then began sending both to several of my other contacts/ groups. Many responded, at least twenty told me that one or more of their family members were affected; Some were also in grief after the loss of a loved one.
I then also decided to revise the prayer I composed last year – which I have incorporated here in this article. It is a particularly sad time for us in the Church of Gujarat, where we have lost FIVE priests in less than a day – including two of my Jesuit companions. Several others have also died because of the pandemic.
May they rest in peace and intercede for us from above. Let us continue to pray for all those who are affected: for their speedy and complete recovery. May God bless us all and keep us safe!
We come to you today
Dear Heavenly and loving Father
as your children, as one family:
with deep faith and total surrender to your will
at a time when our world is gripped with the pandemic COVID-19
It is more than a year now: we are tired, afraid and uncertain
Thousands(including our loved ones) have died everywhere and many more are affected
trusting in your loving providence
fully assured that you care for all of us
and that you will protect us from every danger
imploring that you heal all those who are affected in any way
that you comfort all those who have lost a loved one
and give the much-needed hope to the faint of heart
praying that you bless all the scientists, caregivers and the support staff
those in authority, those entrusted with our well-being
and all who are giving of their best to address this serious reality
pleading for the humility to be cautious and prudent
to be responsible citizens and not gamble with the lives of others
to be able to discern the truth from the false and not be spreaders of fake news or the virus
asking for your mercy on the poor, the vulnerable and the excluded
the daily wage earners, the migrants, the unemployed, the hungry
those who are lonely, aged, infirm and who are unable to cope with this pandemic
thanking you for your blessings and seeking your strength
that in spite of all our fears and the difficulties we face
we may only see and accept your hand at work today
Mary our Mother, Health of the Sick
intercede for us, to Jesus your loving Son!