A Tribute by Prof. Marina Monteiro

          Mgsr. Chico (popularly known as Padre Chico or Fr. Chico) was "a perfect human being". He showed love and concern to every individual he came in contact with right from servant to colleague. Padre Chico was a very humble man and though he was a Monsignor he never used this title. He had an excellent academic record in the Seminary. He was fond of organizing debates amongst  the youth at "Lar dos Estudantes" Panjim. He was a strict disciplinarian but at the same time extremely popular with the youth. At Lar, his students regarded him as a father, friend and guide and he brought out the best in them. He loved football and trained the football team "Academica" featuring the best talent in Goa. Last December, the Goa Football Association remembered Padre Chico at a function commemorating their "Ruby Anniversary" (honouring all those who contributed to Goan Football).

           Padre Chico was an exemplary priest. He would pray for long hours in the chapel. Whether it was amongst the youth at Lar dos  Estudantes (a hostel for young boys who were pursuing their studies in Panjim) or the aged priests at Casa Urbina he was at everyone's service. He would personally see to the medication of each priest, bathe and clean bedridden priests. In fact, there was a beggar suffering from gangrene who needed to have his leg amputated.Fr Chico refused to allow this to happen .In consultation with his brother late Dr. Gustavo Monteiro,he washed  and dressed the wound twice a day,bought and personally administered the medication till the man was fit.

           He was never attached to material possessions (he didn't have a bank account). He received many valuable gifts from his admirers but he never used them if they were expensive. He would gift them to his family. Fr. Chico never compromised on his principles to the extent that he went through imprisonment in Goa and Patiala(Punjab). He was loved by his fellow prisoners.

           Fr. Chico was short tempered at times. But even if he lost his temper with a servant, he would apologize profusely and buy him a gift a few hours later. He never believed in retaliating if someone hurt him. He used to say,"To be followers of Christ, we need to be good to everyone, regardless if they  are good to us or not."

           On 29 Oct 1990, Fr. Chico began his day as usual, having taken one priest for a blood test and washed the wounds of another, he distributed medications to the sick, came to the dining hall and asked one of the priests to bless him saying he was going to die. And in a matter of minutes Fr. Chico was no more. I consider myself as privileged to have known such a person.

Prof. Marina Monteiro is married to  Dr.Jose Monteiro, Fr Chico’s nephew. A graduate in Microbiology,  she has lectured at St. Xavier's College, Mapusa, Goa since1983. She is presently Head of Department of Microbiology and Vice-Principal of the same college since June 1998.

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