Vicar General of Udupi Diocese Msgr Baptist Menezes Passes Away
Udupi: The former Vicar General of Udupi Diocese, Msgr Baptist Menezes, passed away on August 23. He was 75.
Msgr Baptist Menezes was born on July 28, 1948, in Shirva, and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Mangalore on 25 October 1974. He has a Doctorate in Moral Theology from the Lateran University, Rome.
After being an assistant Parish priest at the Most Holy Redeemer Church at Agrar and Assistant Director at St Antony’s Charitable Institutions at Jeppu, Mangalore, he was deputed for higher studies in Moral Theology to Rome in 1977. On the completion of his doctoral studies in 1982, he joined the staff of St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary in Bangalore, where he served till 1994.
He was appointed Administrator of St Joseph’s Inter-diocesan Seminary at Jeppu, Mangalore, in 1995 and Director of Father Muller Charitable Institutions in 1997, the post he held till 2007. He was appointed Episcopal Vicar of the District of Udupi by the Bishop of Mangalore on 6 July 2007, an office he shouldered till Udupi was canonically erected into a new Diocese on 15 October 2012.
He was appointed the first Vicar General of the new Diocese of Udupi on 14 December 2012. He took charge on that day in the presence of the Bishop of Udupi at Mother of Sorrows Church, Udupi. From day one, Msgr Baptist Menezes served as the Vicar General with utmost zeal, commitment and dedication, and spent himself in the service of the Diocese. A Vicar General is called to work ad nutumepiscopiin a diocese. Accordingly, being faithful to the canonical role and responsibilities of the Vicar General, he worked as a humble servant and faithful collaborator of the Bishop for the good of the diocese for the last ten and a half years. There was never an occasion for a clash or conflict of ideas as there was a harmonious blending of the two minds in unison. He was always available to the Bishop, priests and the faithful of the Diocese.
His untiring service and cooperation in the preparation of the Pastoral Plan Mission 2025 for the Diocese and its efficient implementation, mobilizing resources for the diocesan projects, guiding the pastoral work of the parish pastoral councils and parish finance councils in the Diocese, courageous, creative and innovative suggestions during the meetings of various participatory structures in the Diocese, a listening and understanding ear to whoever came to his office, editing the Diocesan monthly news bulletin for four years, serving as the defender of Bond and the Promoter of Justice in the Diocesan Ecclesiastical Tribunal, meticulously recording the history of the diocese, attending to the Diocesan Curial work could be highlighted only as a tip of the iceberg of the enormous services he rendered to the diocese and the Church.
Being a man of deep faith and convictions, he never refused to offer his mite whenever the call of duty came on his way. He always remained obedient to his superiors throughout his tenure. Thus, despite his health-related difficulties, like a burning candle he spent himself totally in the service of the Diocese. His services as the first Vicar General of the Udupi Diocese will always be cherished in the annals of the history of the Diocese.
May his sweet soul rest in peace.