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Solemn Thanksgiving Service by SPA Commemorates Fr. Alfred Roche's Birth Centenary at Bengaluru

Bangalore, April 7, 2024: A poignant Thanksgiving Service reverberated through the halls of Sachchidananda, the Provincialate of the Capuchins at Rajaji Nagar, Bangalore, as St. Peter's Association (Barkur) Bangalore, orchestrated a heartfelt tribute to mark the birth centenary of the revered Fr. Alfred Roche. The event witnessed the devout presence of around 45 Barkurians, who gathered to honor the legacy of this exemplary figure.

Mr. Felix Menezes, President of the congregation, extended a warm welcome to the attendees, setting the tone for a ceremony steeped in reverence and gratitude. Rev. Fr. Patrick Crasta OFM (Cap) presided over the Mass, delivering a moving homily that illuminated the significance of reciting the Divine Mercy Chaplet and undertaking a nine-day novena, especially poignant as April 7th coincided with Divine Mercy Sunday. Fr. Crasta eloquently recounted Fr. Alfred's altruistic endeavors and his unwavering commitment to uplifting the faithful, sharing poignant testimonials that underscored the profound impact of his ministry. The ethereal strains of the choir, led by Michelle Pinto and Adeline Pinto, accompanied by melodious music performed by a Capuchin Brother, added a celestial dimension to the proceedings.

The culmination of the Mass was marked by a stirring hymn dedicated to Fr. Alfred, 'Khalthobholobaap Alfred Roche amcho,' resonating with a sense of reverence and admiration for the venerable figure.

Post-Mass, Fr. Patrick enlightened the congregation about the latest developments in Fr. Alfred's ongoing pastoral endeavors, particularly highlighting the generous donation of land by the people of Kudru Vado to erect a chapel, a gesture emblematic of their enduring reverence for Fr. Alfred's memory. He expressed gratitude to all those involved in organizing the Thanksgiving Service, emphasizing its pivotal role in garnering support for the noble cause, with the ultimate aspiration of advancing Fr. Alfred's journey towards Beatification.

The proceedings drew to a close with a heartfelt vote of thanks delivered by Mrs. Monica Pinto, Secretary of the association, acknowledging the collective efforts that had made the event possible. The gathering then adjourned for a sumptuous lunch, fostering camaraderie and fellowship among all present.

The Thanksgiving Service stood as a poignant testament to the enduring legacy of Fr. Alfred Roche, inspiring all those in attendance to emulate his profound dedication to serving humanity and fostering spiritual enlightenment. As the echoes of the hymns faded into the ether, the spirit of Fr. Alfred continued to illuminate the hearts and minds of all those touched by his benevolent presence.

Honoring the Life and Legacy of Rev. Fr. Alfred Roche: A Profound Tribute in Barkur:
In a heartfelt display of reverence and devotion, a Holy Mass and Prayer service were conducted near the tomb of the revered Servant of God, Rev. Fr. Alfred Roche, at Holy Family Church Brahmmavar on Thursday, February 29, 2024. The event, graced by the presence of many faithful admirers of Fr. Roche from Brahmavar and Barkur Parish, was presided over by Rev. Fr. Santa Lopez OFM, who led the congregation in honoring the memory of this esteemed figure.

Fr. Alfred Roche, affectionately known as "Amcho Padryab," was remembered ahead of his upcoming Birth Centenary on April 3, 2024. Born as the fifth child to devout parents Isaac Roche and Carmine Monterio of Moodahadu Kudru, within the historical Barkur parish, his life journey was marked by profound spirituality and unwavering dedication to his calling.

About Fr Roche: Having received his early education in Pandeshwar and Sastan, Fr. Roche continued his academic pursuits at Milagres High School, Kallianpur, before answering the call to priesthood within the Capuchin order. Ordained on April 11, 1951, in Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu, Fr. Roche embarked on a lifelong mission of service and compassion.

His ministry took him to various corners of the region, where he selflessly tended to the spiritual needs of the faithful. Notably, he served as the first Capuchin Parish Priest of the economically disadvantaged Brahmmavar Church, endearing himself to the community for 16 years. His subsequent postings included St. Ann’s Church Binaga and Kasarkod near Honnavar, where he continued to exemplify humility and grace.

Fr. Roche's tenure was marked by countless acts of kindness and miraculous interventions, earning him a reputation as a source of hope for the marginalized and downtrodden. Following his passing on December 31, 1996, his final resting place at the Brahmmavar Cemetery became a site of pilgrimage for those seeking solace and divine intervention.

In addition to the spiritual solace offered by Fr. Roche's legacy, efforts to preserve and disseminate his teachings are underway. The compilation of biographical works, such as the one authored by Prof P. Archibald Furtado and his team, serves as a valuable resource for those seeking to delve deeper into Fr. Roche's life and ministry. Furthermore, the establishment of a museum at the Brahmmavar Parish Office, housing relics, articles, and writings associated with Fr. Roche, ensures that his memory endures for future generations.

As preparations for the Birth Centenary Jubilee gather momentum, the faithful are invited to participate in upcoming events and initiatives aimed at honoring Fr. Alfred Roche's enduring legacy. Through prayer, reflection, and acts of service, believers can pay homage to this exemplary servant of God, whose life epitomized selflessness, compassion, and unwavering faith.

In honoring the extraordinary life of Rev. Fr. Alfred Roche, the community not only celebrates a beloved figure but also finds renewed inspiration to emulate his virtues in their own lives. As the countdown to the Birth Centenary Jubilee continues, the spirit of Fr. Roche lives on, a timeless symbol of love, mercy, and hope for all.