The process to start the procedure to enable Fr Alfred Roche to be raised to the status of a saint of the Roman Catholic Church at the diocesan level was initiated at the Holy family Church, Brahmavar with solemn mass concelebrated by Dr Gerald Lobo on Monday, 27 December 2021.
After the holy mass, the committee appointed to formalize the procedure to raise Fr Alfred Roche to sainthood was sworn in.
Speaking on the occasion, Bishop Gerald Lobo said that the Udupi Diocese is blessed because the son of the soil, Fr. Alfred Roche through his devout and exemplary life has become a model for all and earned all the qualities to be considered to be raised to the status of a saint. This is a historic event. The procedure of raising Fr Alfred Roche to the position of a saint is a long drawn process, it is hoped that it will be completed as early as possible and we will have our own saint.
Msgr Baptist Menezes Vicar General of Udupi Diocese as the representative of the Bishop of the Udupi Diocese and Fr Sunil Kumar D’Souza is the Promoter of Justice. Fr Ravi Rajesh Serrao is the Notary, Fr Steven D’Souza, Fr Baptist Rodrigues and Fr Joel Lopez arw the members of the Historical Commission, and Fr Santa Lopez will be supervising the entire process.
The process of raising Fr Alfred Roche to the status of a saint is a long one, which has to go through the stages of being referred to as ‘Servant of God’, ‘Venerable’ ‘Blessed’ and ‘Saint’.
On this occasion, to facilitate the process of raising Fr Alfred Roche to the status of a saint, the documents related to the process, and website, as well as an office, were inaugurated.
Fr Alwyn Dias-Provincial of the Capuchin Karnataka Province, Vice Provincial-Fr Paul Melwyn D’Souza, Vicar General of Udupi Diocese-Rev. Msgr. Baptist Menezes, Parish priest of the Holy Family Church-Fr Victor Fernandes as well as several priests belonging to the Capuchin Congregation and the Diocesan Priests were present.
Fr Chetan Lobo-PRO of Udupi Diocese compeered the programme.
About Rev Father Alfred Roche
Rev Father Alfred Roche, a Franciscan Capuchin priest born in 1924 and brought up in Barkur, Brahmavar Taluk of Udupi Diocese and served in Karnataka in various capacities. Having served in Brahmavar for 16 years he expired in 1996. For his saintly life, selfless service, care for the poor and needy, people from all walks of life hailed him as the epitome of spirituality and emulated his virtues. Now, 25 years after his death, his devotees and well-wishers have demanded that he should be granted ‘Sainthood’ in the Catholic Church.
Having heard of the saintly life of Reverend Father Alfred Roche, the Vatican Department for Beatification and Canonization has given a green signal to initiate the process of raising Reverend Father Alfred Roche to the saintly height. Beatification and Canonization are the intensely complex and lengthy processes in the Church which at times take decades and centuries. This process will be done according to the rules and regulations laid down by the Catholic Church. At the end of the process, the Pope will pronounce Reverend Father Alfred Roche ‘Beatified’ and then at the end of another process he will be pronounced ‘a Saint’.