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Sad Demise of Father Reginald Gracias SDB

By Father Joaquim Fernandes sdb
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Mumbai, Jun. 10. The Salesian Province of Mumbai, deeply mourns the passing away of Father Reginald Gracias SDB on 10 June 2019 from the community of St. Dominic Savio's Boys Home, Andheri, Mumbai. The Funeral Mass will be held at 10.00 am on 11 June 2019 at the Shrine of Don Bosco's Madonna, Matunga followed by burial at the Sewri Christian Cemetery, Mumbai.
It was in the quaint costal village of Uttan that Reginald Gracias was born on 10th March 1953 to Juze and Luzmary. Like most families in those days, theirs was a large family with eight children, Reggie being the youngest. Reggie has many happy memories of his childhood days, playing with his siblings on the seashore, watching the boats come in with their catch of fish, and enjoying the many adventures that life in a village makes possible.

In 1975, Father Eliseo Bianchi visited 'Our Lady of the Sea' parish at Uttan and met Father John Rumao the parish priest to inquire if there were any youngsters who wanted to join the priesthood. And so began Reggie's tryst with the Salesian congregation. On 24th May 1988 - Don Bosco's death centenary year - Reggie made his first religious profession at the Salesian Training Institute, Nashik. Reggie said that it was a very emotional moment for him. ''My dream of becoming a Salesian was fulfilled, it was an extremely moving experience''. After spending five happy and fruitful years in 'practical training', Reggie then proceeded to Bangalore for his theological studies at Kristu Jyoti College. The day that will always remain etched in Reggie's mind is his Ordination day. As the day drew near, his joy and fervour were palpable. ''For so many years I was looking forward to this day'' says Reggie, ''and as my ordination approached I was filled with a happiness that is difficult to express in words.'' After a long journey that had its share of ups and downs, Reggie was finally ordained a priest on 21st December 1998. He served with dedication in the Salesian Province of Mumbai at various levels:
1999 - 2001: Don Bosco, Savedi, Ahmednagar , Asst Parish Priest
2001 - 2003: St Anne's Church, Ahmednagar , Parish Priest
2003 - 2007: Our Lady of Dolours, Wadala West, Mumbai, Assistant Parish Priest and Administrator
2007 - 2009: St Dominic Savio, Church, Wadala East, Mumbai, Assistant Parish Priest
2009 - 2011: Jyoti, Virar, Assistant Parish Priest
2011 - 2012: St Dominic Savio, Church, Wadala East, Mumbai, Assistant Parish Priest and Administrator
2012 - 2013: St Dominic Savio, Church, Wadala East, Mumbai, Assistant Parish Priest
2013 - 2014: Jyoti, Virar, Assistant Parish Priest
2014 - 2019: St Dominic Savio Boys' Home, Andheri, Mumbai, Medical Rest and Catechist

Our deepest condolences from the Salesian Province of Mumbai to the bereaved family members. May his soul rest in peace.
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