By Fr Stephen DSouza, Capuchin
The funeral mass of Fr Clifford Fernandes OFM Cap was held on 21st July 2021 at 10 am at St Fidelis Friary - Monte Mariano friary chapel, presided over by Most Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, the Bishop of Mangalore along with Fr Alwyn Dias, the Provincial Minister of Holy Trinity Capuchin Province Karnataka, Fr Melwyn D'Souza, the Guardian of St Anne’s Friary Mangaluru and many priests, religious brothers , sisters and laity.
Fr Alwyn Dias Provincial Minister, in his introduction said, “Death brings sadness to all, today Karnataka capuchin province is mourning because we have lost a young and energetic preacher of the Word of God.”
Fr Baptist Rodrigues preached a heart touching homily. He said, "Fr Clifford was an itinerant preacher and helped many people to come closer to Christ. Truly, he had an experience of the love of God and he was always enthusiastic to share that experience with the people of God. Today Fr Clifford is enjoying the wonderful eternal rewards that Christ had promised to him."
Fr Joel Assistant Novice master, in his eulogy beautifully narrated the life of Fr Clifford. He described Fr Clifford as a "good shepherd" who preached zealously and engaged himself tirelessly in the pastoral work. By his effective and inspiring sermons he has won the hearts of people and souls to God.
On behalf of the family members, Fr Raymond Fernandes of Karwar Diocese, the cousin of Fr Clifford spoke a few words and mentioned that Fr Clifford always preached and believed that we are citizens of heaven, on earth we are pilgrims. He also expressed his gratitude towards the Provincial and all Capuchin friars who were a part of Fr. Clifford's life journey.
Fr Paul Melwyn, the Vicar Provincial expressed his gratitude to the bishop, priests, friars, religious sisters and the people gathered, for their presence, and everyone who were responsible for the smooth conducting of the funeral ceremony. He also thanked the family members of Fr Clifford for taking care of him during his illness.
Soon after the Eucharistic celebration, with due honour, the funeral rites were conducted by the Provincial Minister Fr Alwayn Dias and thereafter the body was laid to rest in Capuchin cemetery at Monte Mariano Farangipet.