FR JUDE BOTELHO
Updated: Jul 18, 2019
FR JUDE BOTELHO – (27-05-1944 – 16-07-2019)
As Fr Jude is laid to rest today, many people will remember him for many things. Here are just some of the ways he made an impact on others:
Ordained on October 24, 1970, Fr Jude served the Archdiocese of Bombay for over 48 years. His was a quiet presence and he will be best remembered for his engaging smile and friendly disposition. What not many would know is that he was curious about the various digital gadgets that would be released from time and time, and tried to learn as much as he could about them. He spent time critiquing films, which he then used in his teaching – a carry-over from his days as Director of the National Institute of Social Communications Research and Training, New Delhi (NISCORT), where he served for six years.
In fact, Fr Jude was among the first to promote ‘Communications’ at the Church level by conducting courses for Clergy and Laity. He encouraged people to communicate as Jesus did, through parable and anecdote and his big dream was to bring NISCORT on par with its foreign counterparts. He was perceptive enough to see, very early on, the necessity for education in communication for the Church in India. Fr Jude was also part of UNDA/OCIC (now known as SIGNIS).
Prior to this, he served at the Pastoral Centre, and was involved with the animation of the Youth. He is remembered especially, by those who have now migrated across the globe, for the ‘ABBA’ experience – where the Youth in Mumbai learnt to make God an integral part of their everyday lives and experience His unconditional love. Those who participated in what was an ‘in time’ integrated into daily life experience, still testify that the effect has lasted a lifetime, and has kept their faith strong. It also helped the Youth to find answers to questions regarding their faith and opened up a broader perspective of life within the community.
Closer to the end of his tenure, in 2014, Fr Jude was posted as Parish Priest of Our Lady of Health, Cavel, where his memory is indelibly linked to the repair and restoration of the Church, which required extensive work. With this experience under his belt, Fr Jude took up the even more challenging task of completing the renovation of the Church of Our Lady of Glory, Byculla, on his transfer to this Parish in 2016. The restoration was completed in 2018 and the landmark event, involving this heritage structure, was chronicled in the local Press.
Fr Jude has jointly authored several publications dealing with the digital medium and its impact and usefulness with regard to the Catholic Faith. Titles include: ‘Using the Internet for religion : a study of the possible use of the Internet for religious purposes among the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Mumbai’, ‘Media Education in India : emerging trends and perspectives’. Putting theory into practice, Fr Jude was also a presence in the digital world, where he posted reflections on the Sunday’s readings on his website ‘Net For Life’.
Having just stepped into his retirement - Fr Jude celebrated his 75th Birthday in May 2019 – he opted to remain in residence at Our Lady of Glory, Byculla where he passed away peacefully in his sleep.
Rest in peace, Fr Jude, our prayers go with you.