Tribute to Fr Chico

by Edgar Silveira

The passing away of Fr. Chico Monteiro marks an end of an era.  An era of joy, an era of sportsmanship, an era of love and an era of dedication.  From his seminary days at Rachol, his tenure as Assistant Parish Priest of Panjim, right through his term as guiding light of Lar dos Estudantes and finally as the pillar of strength to the inmates of Clergy Home, he brought a new meaning to the word "service".  His was a life of giving without thought of reward or recompense.

As the founding father of Lar dos Estudantes, he built the institution with love  and devotion.  A whole generation of Laristas testimony to his exacting moral standards.
To them he was a father, counselor, an educated teacher and a spirited coach.  Whether in soccer, table tennis or volleyball he was always there to give them training and encouragement that goes toward forming a winning combination.  Goa's soccer supremacy today has a few of its roots in Fr Chico's team 'Academica'.

Not satisfied to spend his later years in unproductive retirement he made the Clergy Home in Porvorim what it is today a haven of peace, tranquility and comfort.  No job was too menial for him whether rushing to Mapusa or Panjim to see to the needs of the inmates, bathing a bedridden priest or traveling daily to Candolim to celebrate mass with his fellow villagers.

I don't envy the old priests at Porvorim, for there is a void difficult to fill.  I don't envy the villagers of Candolim, for they will always miss his advice.  I don't envy the sportsmen in Goa, for they have lost a great source of inspiration.  But I do envy God, he will always have Fr.Chico for company.

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