Fr. Alfred Roche, O.F.M. Capuchin
Excerpts from the article
Peter Roche (Alfred was a new name given by the Capuchins, so as to 'Renounce the Past and Embrace the Future' Capuchin way of life) was born to Mr. Isaac Roche and Carmine (nee Monteiro) of Moodahadu Kudru Vaado, of Barkur St. Peter's Parish, on 3rd April, 1924, South Kanara, in India. Mr. Isaac Roche was a landlord, holding coconut and rice farms. However, his love for God was so great, that he served the Barkur Parish as a sacristan for 40 years.
He got vested (official commitment to join Franciscan religious order) on 3.2.1944. His first profession took place on 11.4.1945 in Quilon, Kerala, and his perpetual profession on 11.4.1949. He was ordained to priesthood on 11.4.1951 in Kotagiri, Nilgiris, then in Madras State, thus was known as Fr. Alfred Roche OFM Cap. (Order of Friars Minor, Capuchins)
Fr. Alfred was the youngest one among the 5 children: Alphonso, Juliana, Louis, and Cecilia.
Alphonso Roche married to Mary Vas of Mangalore city proper was working for Grindlay's Bank, Bombay, for many years. They lived in Bandra, with children Adolph, Percy, Alwyn, Sheryl and Astrid. Both Alphonso and Mary are expired now.
Juliana Roche married to Dennis Rebello (Anagally,) both are expired. They had three children: Stanley, Phelomena and Hilary. Hilary is expired. The rest of them are settled comfortably. Though Juliana became a widow in her twenties, her life of dedication and commitment to her children and fellow neighbors has been a source of inspiration to many.
Louis Roche married to Angelina D'Almeida. Louis Roche was working for P & T in Bombay, while Angeline was a teacher in Barkur for some time, who opted to stay in Kudru, raising Rita, Jacintha, Jessie, Wilfred, and Sannu (Alfred Robert). Louis Roche expired whereas Angeline (Anjaal bai/Anjaal teacher) lives in Barkur Kudru with her son Wilfred, looking after the ancestral property.
Cecilia Roche married to Rosario Crasta of Kannada Kudru, near Kundapur. Both are in the embrace of the Merciful Father, the Lord God. Rosario was a hard working innovative farmer, raising green/red peppers, brinjaals, melons, sugarcane, besides rice and coconuts in Kannada Kudru. Their children are: Frederick (Freddie), John (Johny), Lucy, Patrick (Pity) ofm cap, Alexander (Alsu), Edward (Eddu), Wilfred (Wilfie), Rudolf (Dolphy) S.V.D, and Godfrey. There are two of them priests, needless to say, influenced by Fr. Alfred, in one form or the other.
As per the old Franciscan custom, Fr. Alfred was ordained at Kotagiri (Nilgiris, Tamil Naadu, then Madras State), and his first Mass was at Barkur. It was a unique event in the history of Barkur Parish. Fr. Charles Nazareth was the parish priest then. On that day Fr. Alfred gave the first Holy Communion to two of his nephews: Patrick Crasta (his sister's son) and Adolph Roche (his brothers' son). Believe it or not both of them are ordained priests today.
His first appointment was at Monte Mariano, Farangipet, near Mangalore, just on the banks of the river Nethravathi, as Vice-Master. In 1956 he came to Brahmavar as the first capuchin parish priest of the Holy Family Church.
After his creative and constructive mission of 16 years at Brahmavar Fr. Alfred went to Binaga, close to Karwar, as the parish priest. Then he came to Lower Kasarkod (Honnavar) in 1975, where he had to take up a greater responsibility as the parish priest of St. Joseph's Church and the coordinator of the five mission stations (Samsi, Kodani, Molkod, Gundibala and Binaga) of the then Belgaum Diocese (presently part of the Karwar Diocese) which were entrusted to the care of the Capuchins.
He served at Lower Kasarkod for 12 years (1975-1981; 1987-1993, in between for six years he was at Farangipet as guardian of the monastery.) and then he returned as a retired friar to Brahmavar in 1994. In short, the mission fields of Fr. Alfred were: Farangipet (11 years), Brahmavar (19 years), Binga (3 years) and Lower Kasarkod (12 years).
The mortal remains of Fr. Alfred were brought in procession from St. Peter's church, Barkur, to Holy Family Church Brahmavar on the funeral day (1.1.1997)
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