Fr Felix Moras of St Joseph
A Pioneer Missionary on his Final Journey

Comforted with the Sacraments, the silent longstanding struggle of Rev. Fr. Felix Moras (1948-2021) with his illness came to an abrupt end. Fr. Felix surrendered to God’s will and left us for Our Father's abode on Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 8-20 am, in Fr Muller’s Hospital, Mangalore. For a more participative adieu for him, the funeral rites were scheduled for Saturday.

Accordingly, the funeral mass took place on February 13, 2021 at the Infant Jesus Shrine, Carmel Hill, Mangalore, with a very robust presence of our friars from near and far, numbering around 60, along with a dozen of diocesan priests, a few religious sisters. It was attended by at least 200 lay people, while maintaining the basic protocol requirements, already in place for COVID-19 epidemic.

The bier with the mortal remains of Fr Felix arrived at the Shrine at 9-00 am and was received by very many of our friars and his close relations, who had been waiting. The body was laid in state at the centre for homage by the friars and relatives. Soon thereafter all the friars present, huddled together for prayer in the shrine, and the Provincial, Fr Pius James D’Souza conducted the rite of blessing the body of departed Fr. Felix. There was a grim silence all around.

Then the Divine Office for the Dead was solemnly chanted by the friars, with the intoning, in Gregorian chant, the traditional Latin sequence 'Libera me Domine' at the end. It resounded in the silent shrine, giving a well merited colour and climax to the last salute and farewell to a liturgical expert.

At 10-00 am the funeral mass commenced, presided over by Most Rev. Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangalore, immediately surrounded by Fr. Provincial, Fr. Victor his nephew, Fr. George and Fr. Charles. All the priests: Carmelite, Capuchin and diocesan joined in the concelebration. Fr George Santhumayor preached the homily highlighting our essential belongingness to God and our natural dwelling place is heaven; here to start with, and then beyond.

After the H. Mass Fr Joe Tauro on behalf of the Province highlighted the life of Fr Felix through a eulogy, thanking him for his decades of missionary enthusiasm and priestly generosity and bid him adieu with a fraternal touch of sentiment. Fr Charles Serrao, Superior of St Joseph’s Monastery in turn vivified the last days of Fr Felix Moras, highlighting his undaunted courage and his discipline to come to community acts and collaborate in shrine ministry even just a couple of days before his demise. He thanked profusely the medical and nursing staff who served him; as well as our seminarians and friars who prayed for him, served him and gave him support round the clock.

On behalf of Tanzanian Mission, a wreath was placed on Fr Felix by Fr. Walter Lobo, the first missionary of Tanzania and Fr. Francis Bartholomio who was a missionary in Africa and took care of Fr Felix during his last days. Later another wreath was placed by the Parish Priest of Kirem and the Parish Council member of Kirem, the native parish of Fr Felix.

Fr Victor D’Souza, parish priest of Kemman and the nephew of Fr Felix acknowledged the care given by the friars and expressed words of gratitude to the Carmelites on behalf of the family. Fr Provincial officiated the final rite in the Shrine. Fr Archibald Gonsalves as the master of ceremony, animated the audience prayerfully all through the funeral rites.

The funeral cortege left the Church in a procession to the adjacent cemetery of the friars, to the accompaniment of choice hymns. Fr Victor D’Souza conducted the final prayer service and commendation of the soul at the Cemetery. Then as they departed, all the participants were served light refreshments.

Fr Felix Moras a pioneer of Tanzanian mission suffered much due to colon cancer for the past six years. In spite of the inconvenience, perennial pain and stress of illness he was jovial and cheerful in the community. He loved to be in the community. In his demise the K.G. Province has lost a true missionary and a friar who worked for the poor and the least. We pray that the Risen Lord may grant him Eternal rest in His Heavenly abode. May the missionary spirit of Fr Felix penetrate and permeate deep in all of us as we journey here on earth. May he rest Peace!



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