Renowned Catholic Priest & Former Professor Fr John Fernnades No More at Age 85
Mangaluru: Renowned Catholic Priest and Former Professor and Head of Chair of Christianity -Mangalore University Fr John Fernandes, passed away on Saturday 3 July 2021, at the age of 85.
He was a Catholic priest who was very passionate about the environment; Who loved and adored Indian Culture; Who strictly practiced what he preached; Who created awareness and fought for the rights of the villagers; Who fought for the rights of the workers of Jeppu Workshop and agitated outside the Mangaluru Bishop’s House; Who launched a Forum of like-minded Catholic priests; Who created a controversy in the year 2001, when he sat on the dais along with RSS chief Sudarshan at an RSS Rally in Udupi; Who strongly believed in the teachings of Jesus Christ on ensuring Human Dignity, Justice, Fraternity, and Liberty; Who cared for the poor and the downtrodden; Who was a Trustee of ‘Susheg Charitable Trust’, an NGO established to help enrich life in all living beings- Humans, Plants and Animals, and planned to build a 25-bedded assisted living facility for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s/Dementia.
Born in Udyavar near Udupi on 7-3-1936 to Late Jerome and Angeline Fernandes, Fr John Fernandes studied Philosophy and Theology in Pune, Innsbruck (Austria) and Trier (Germany), did his Doctorate in Theology (University of Trier, Germany); and Licentiate in Philosophy (Pune). He was ordained in Trier-Germany in the year 1963, and later served as the Director of the Diocesan Biblical Liturgical Catechetical Centre-Mangaluru; Parish priest at Holy Cross Church in Hosabettu near Moodbidri (1976-1984), St Vincent De Paul (1984-1986), and at St Joseph’s Church- Belman from 1986-1994; Professor of Theology in St Joseph’s Seminary-Mangalore; Professor and Head of Chair in Christianity-Mangaluru University.
His service to society was his involvement at the grassroots level in the fields of social justice, inter-religious cooperation and environment. He was also the founder president of the ‘Catholic Priests’ conference of India (CPCI). He retired in 2011 and enjoyed his retired life at the Senior Priests’ Home- St Anthony’s Institutions, Jeppu, Mangaluru. Fr Fernandes has published various books on Doctoral Thesis and was the editor of many Journals in Mangaluru. He has written many Theological articles, and also articles in Magazines and Newspapers in Konkani and Kannada. He was a recipient of the Herbert Haag-Preis Fur Award in Luzern, Germany in 2007; CPCI Award for Excellence, Mumbai in 2008; and Talent Research Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mangaluru in 2011. Fr Fernandes had written a comprehensive autobiography ‘Unbeaten Path’, which was released on 22 September 2016 on his 80th birthday.
Funeral rites will take place on Sunday, July 4 at 10 am at St Joseph the Worker Church, Vamanjoor, Mangaluru. Covid Restrictions will be strictly followed.