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+Patriarch Raul Nicolau Gonsalves, 95

July 04, 2022

» Continue to this story on Goa Herald

CWN Editor's Note: Patriarch Raul Nicolau Gonsalves, who governed the Archdiocese Goa and Damão (India) from 1978 to 2003, died on July 1 at the age of 95.

Located in southwestern India, Goa (Encyclopaedia Britannica article) was the base of St. Francis Xavier’s missionary activities a Portuguese possession until 1962. Since 1886, the Latin-rite Archbishop of Goa has concurrently held the title of Patriarch of the East Indies. Patriarch Gonsalves, who was born in the Goa archdiocese, was the first non-Portuguese prelate to hold the position.

At a time when religious vocations plummeted throughout the universal Church, Patriarch Gonsalves oversaw a marked increase in the number of men and women religious in his archdiocese, even as the number of diocesan priests declined.

“He was a man of tremendous endurance, fortitude, humility, loyalty to the Church, devotion to duty and ability to absorb, calmly and serenely, various types of shocks and difficult situations,” the Goa Herald reported. “He had the willingness to do what he could and leave in the hands of the Lord what he knew he could not do—qualities which kept him going where a less gifted leader would have perhaps succumbed to serious breakdown, physical drainage of energies, or even despair.”

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