MATUNGA-MUMBAI, JULY 22, 2013: Salesian Priest, Fr. Bosco Pereira (64) was tearfully bid farewell on 20th July, 2013 at the Shrine of Don Bosco Madonna, Matunga. At the Requiem Mass, concelebrated by over seventy Salesian priests, and surrounded by close members of his family, youth and friends, the mortal remains of Fr. Pereira – with a smile still on his face – welcomed one and all for one more final glance or touch. Bosco had heeded the voice of the Master: "Well done my good and faithful servant…welcome to the reward I have prepared for you."
Salesian Provincial, Fr. Michael Fernandes acknowledged in his sermon that Fr. Bosco's life could be summed up as a 'Profile in Courage'. Fr. Tony D'Souza, former Provincial wrote: "Unfortunately, as a young cleric, his exuberance was punctured by a major surgery that left him physically handicapped for the rest of his life. Undaunted by the pain and suffering that might have left others depressed and frustrated, Bosco remained determined to follow the call to Salesian life. His legs could not take him far, but his compassionate heart reached out speedily to the young and inspired them to give meaning to their lives despite their own misfortunes and limitations". He accepted his handicaps, his illnesses and made that passage to a more meaningful life – to live for his boys, to better their lot, to give them a brighter future. Fr. Bosco was a 'Rag picker Priest' – on the streets, building capacities of the marginalized, equipping them with skills and propelling their lives for a worthy and dignified life.
Flowing tributes were made by Fr. Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial Elect and Rector of St. Dominic Savio's Andheri. On behalf of the family, his own brother Nobert Pereira couldn't but thank the Lord for the gift of Bosco - a wonderful brother, priest and friend to the family. Mr. Condrad Saldanha, Principal Advisor Don Bosco Centre for Learning, Kurla, spoke eloquently of Fr. Bosco as a multifaceted 'out-of-the box' Salesian priest who would be deeply missed by one and all.
If there was one thing that Fr. Bosco would have loved to do, I guess it would be this: Be a Master of Ceremonies at his own funeral. He would have added that special 'Bosconian flavour' – a touch that was his very own! Tears would have changed to smiles, and cries would have been replaced by peels of laughter. He would have picked up the baton and led the choir in his own 'balanced style'. His sermon on 'death' would have been 'so fully alive'!
The incessant rains in Mumbai were not a hindrance to those who came to say goodbye to the one who lived his life 'fully alive'. Adieu Fr. Bosco... Rest in Peace.