Funeral rite was held at the Cathedral, Sector 8, Gandhinagar on 2nd January, 2014 at 4pm.
Of your charity, please pray for the repose of his soul.
Our beloved Fr. Rocky D’Silva, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Gandhinagar is no more!
He died in a car crash on 30th of December, 2013 at 4.30 p.m. He was in his Maruti WagonR car and was driving back to the Pastoral Centre, Pethapur after having bought some medicines from Sector-11. A Truck from the opposite direction while overtaking another vehicle, lost control and rammed into him. He died on the spot. It was unexpected of him to die in a road accident as he was a very ‘safe’ and ‘steady’ driver.
We met on the 26th of December, 2013 for the Archdiocesan Christmas Gathering of priests and religious at Himmatnagar and I gave him a BIG HUG not knowing that that would be the LAST HUG!
The cassock he is wearing today is probably a borrowed one. He didn’t wear a cassock but people saw ‘priestly qualities’ in him that drew them to him in seeking guidance, counsel, spiritual comfort, solace, love and care. He touched people’s lives and helped them grow. The huge crowd gathered here from all walks of life to bid him farewell is a testimony to the life he lived.
Who said that ‘Community Life’ is the prerogative of the Religious? Here lies the man who principally believed and lived a community life. I came late from school for lunch and he was there sitting at table waiting for me to come. From that day onwards I made it a point to come early for lunch and supper because I knew SOMEONE was WAITING for me.
Like a child asking the mother to coax his father to allow him to go for a picnic with his friends, I too used to go to Fr. Rocky and ask him to coax Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes to grant approvals. The most recent was the plan to build the School Extension and it was duly granted!
He was a ‘gentle giant’. A person who always gave a patient listening to anyone who called upon him. He was simple, humble and a kind soul. He always endeared to people and was well loved by many who came in touch with him. He allowed people who worked under him to work with freedom and never felt threatened. He was a very good preacher who preached with the conviction of heart and was also a much sought after retreat preacher.
I found him a very understanding and brotherly figure with whom I could pour my heart out. I had the privilege of living with him at three different places namely in Nadiad, Gomtipur and then in Himmatnagar parish. He commanded respect through his genuine simplicity, encouraging attitude, nobility of heart, availability and above all a very flexible and accommodating personality. He was generous towards me and he did give me money from the share he received from his parental property to buy a mobile phone.
Like the ‘Disciples’ on the Road to Emmaus as in Luke Chapter 24:21 “And we had hoped that he would be the one who was going to set Israel free!”; we too had hoped that he would be the NEXT BISHOP of Gandhinagar. But God thought it otherwise and we only submit to His Divine Plan!
In the solitude of my room I have been trying to grapple with God during the last couple of days. Just another 30 seconds more and he would have been ‘home’ in Pastoral Centre, Pethapur where he was residing. Why had God to take away this ‘gentle soul’ in such a gruesome way? If at all He had to take him, couldn’t it have been in a mild way? My Doubts: God, Are you in control of the world below? Are you All Powerful? And the answer I got from the Passion Narrative in Mathew 27:46 “At about three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud shout, “Eli Eli lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why did you abandon me?” If Christ who was sinless had to ‘walk the way of the cross’, so too we!
I will long cherish the memory of this beloved soul, the true ‘Foot-soldier’ of God! May his soul rest in peace. Bye Fr. Rocky D’Silva till we meet again at our TRUE HOME! R.I.P.!
Fr. Teles Fernandes
Photographs from the Funeral Rites are below.