16 Obituary

posted Nov 30, 2017, 9:27 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 30, 2017, 9:27 PM ]

Msgr George Chhagan of Zaroli Mission

I first met Fr George Chhagan when he came to Dediapada to preach a couple of mission-retreats in two villages of that young mission. That was around 1971-72, when he was still young and enthusiastic, and with his native tribal dialect, he was able to open the minds and hearts of those tribal listeners to Jesus. After that, I had little direct contact with him, but would hear much appreciation about the priest, his work and his love, and commitment to his people. His youthfulness and love for Jesus and his people would always remain alive in him.

Fr George Chhagan was born on April 23, 1920 in a humble family of village Nagwas, close to the recently opened mission at Zaroli in the far south of Gujarat. He had his early education in the mission school started by the Franciscan Brothers. For High School studies, he was sent to Anand (Ahmedabad Mission). He received Baptism at an early age. During his schooling, inspired by the missionaries Fr Serrano, sj and Fr Peter Gomes, he showed a great desire to be a priest. He was sent to Bombay to learn English, and then joined the Seminary at Parel. His going to Bombay to the Seminary was met with a strong opposition, especially from his father, who was a bhagat.

Archbishop Emeritus Stanislaus Fernandes, sj
Apostolic Administrator of Baroda

Death to Life: Rev. Fr Sebastian Serrao

Rev. Fr Sebastian Serrao was born to late Diago and late Montina Serrao, on November 2, 1923. It was a modest, humble and simple East Indian family of Wadala West of the time. He died in September 2017, at the ripe old age of 94. He was ordained a priest—the first priest from Wadala—on December 5, 1953. He served as a priest in the Vineyard of the Lord for 64 long years.

Fr Sebastian Serrao exercised his priestly ministry as Parish Priest and Assistant in 16 parishes of the Archdiocese of Bombay. Besides fulfilling his priestly duties and responsibilities in the above parishes, he substituted priests in 20 parishes, whenever the priest was absent due to sickness or leave. The various parishes he did the substitution work as a minister and priest extend from Thakurli and Kurla in the East to Manori and Madh in the West, and as far as Dahanu in the north to Korlai in the south. His placements and transfers were mainly along the coastal belt, since he was able to manage Marathi well. Fr Serrao reached out pastorally with great zeal and zest to many parishes of the Archdiocese, whether as Parish Priest, Assistant or Substitute. He was so willing, generous and available to take the place of other priests in need, that some priests have remarked about him: "Fr Serrao has created an institution of substitution."

Fr Dr Nelson Falcao, SDB