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Monday 22 July 2019

Farewell dear Fr Carvalho

Dhyan Ashram community came together to celebrate the presence of Fr Carvalho on July 19 Saturday.  Since he left us more than a month ago to recuperate at St Xavier's Infirmary Kolkata, we missed him on three important occasions.  First on June 19 when he celebrated his 90th birthday, for which we were planning a homely celebration, but he couldn't make it.  Then he missed the program we had planned to celebrate his 70 years of religious life, along with the 50th priestly ordination of Fr Pierre, on June 30.  We had to celebrate it in his absence, since he was too ill to make the journey from Kolkata to Dhyan Ashram.  Then came the news of his transfer to the Infirmary.  So we planned a farewell program for him, along with Fr Julian and Br Chotu, our outgoing Rector and Minister.  Fr Carlvalho could not make that either.

And so, when we got him for a couple of days on 18 and 19 of July, we decided to combine all the three celebrations.  We had a community Mass before noon and a festive lunch.  During the mass, Fr Carvalho remembered the early missionaries in Bengal, especially the ones he began his ministry with.  It was a very moving narrative.  The Mass was really special.
During the short felicitation program before lunch, Reegan, one of the novices, shared with us little anecdotes from his experience with Fr Carvalho.  It was funny and at the same time, very moving.  Fr Sunny felicitated Fr Carvalho with a bouquet of flowers, and Fr Pierre presented him with a memento, while the novices and juniors sang songs of congratulations and farewell.
It is difficult to let you go, Fr Carvalho.  Your cheerfulness and ready availability will keep on inspiring us for years to come.  You have conquered many hearts.

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