Fr. Thomas d’Aquinas Sequeira passes away
A promoter of interfaith faith dialogue at all fronts.
Fr. Thomas d’Aquino Sequeira, a Scripture scholar and Church historian who advocated interfaith dialogue at grassroots, died of cancer early today in the United States. He was 60.
Fr. Sequeira had served as the Deputy Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) for six years until May 31, 2012. He then left to the United States for his doctoral studies while helping in St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, Tracy, California.
A press note from the CBCI headquarters in New Delhi that the Goan priest was diagnosed with colon cancer in advanced stage two months ago. He then underwent surgery and chemotherapy. The end came at 1:20 pm Monday local time (1:50 pm on Tuesday in India), said the press note issued by Fr. Sequeira’s successor Fr. Joseph Chinnayan.
The note said the Indian Church received the news with deep sorrow. “The CBCI Centre community deeply mourns the sudden demise of Fr. Thomas d’Aquino Sequeira, whose fond memories, this community cherishes with love and gratitude,” it added.
The priest was a promoter of interfaith faith dialogue at all fronts, especially at parish level. He considered it as a blessing to be a minority in India and used various forums to urged Indian Christians to shed their minority complex.
According to him, the minority status was an invitation to join the majority community for nation building.
The Church, he used to assert, had to engage all its pastoral structures to form human communities where people of all religions work together for common good.
He disapproved limiting interfaith dialogue to occasional meetings of religious leaders, and encouraged such dialogue at village councils where people come together to resolve common problems.
Fr. Sequeira was concerned about increasing attacks on Christians in India, but often told Church groups instead of getting discouraged they should try to remove general misconception about the community.
Fr Thomas was the former Rector of the nearly four hundred year old Rachol Seminary in Goa and held a doctorate in Sacred Scriptures. He has been on the team which translated the Holy Bible into Konkani in Roman script.
Fr. Sequeira’s mother died on August 18 at the age of 92.
The funeral details are yet to be finalized as the body is to be flown from the US to Goa in coming days.
Source: Matters India