REQUIEM MASS FOR IVAN CARDINAL DIAS, CATHEDRAL OF THE HOLY NAME
“One life – but he had such a tremendous influence on thousands of lives.”
The Bishops, Priests and Religious, together with the lay faithful of the Archdiocese, attended the Requiem Mass celebrated by His Eminence, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, for the repose of the soul of the late Ivan Cardinal Dias, Archbishop Emeritus, Archdiocese of Bombay and Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples.
Welcoming all those present, Cardinal Gracias’ brief introductory speech encapsulated the final moments of the late Cardinal Dias, as also the funeral rites at which the Holy Father had officiated. His Eminence prefaced the celebration of the Eucharist by thanking God for the gift of Cardinal Dias to the Archdiocese and the Church Universal, and praying for the repose of his soul.
In his homily, His Eminence cited the examples of St. Irenaeus (Memorial of the Saint) and echoed St. Paul’s words in the first reading, recalling how Cardinal Dias embodied all the crucial qualities that made him the ideal martyr – both for God and the Church. Cardinal Gracias recounted incidents that he experienced firsthand of the late Cardinal’s commitment and devotion to his ministry – re-establishing the Church in Albania right after a self-declared atheistic government came into power, renovating the Clergy Home because of his concern for the clergy and his many works as Prefect of the Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples.
Cardinal Dias spent himself completely for the Church, and this was depicted through not just his works, but also in his family background and personal spiritual growth. He was always regarded by those who knew him personally as an “uoma santo” (a holy man). Cardinal Gracias concluded by reminding the congregation that while we deeply mourn Cardinal Dias’ loss here on earth, we can take comfort in the fact that heaven has gained a saint and we, an intercessor.
Following the Communion Prayer, Cardinal Dias’ niece sang ‘Ave Maria’, a fitting choice, given the late Cardinal’s great devotion to Our Lady. His brother, Lieutenant-General Francis Dias then gave a brief eulogy, presenting a new side of him in stories of his home visits and time spent with the family.
Prior to the final blessing, His Eminence thanked the congregation – the clergy, religious and laity – for being a part of the Eucharistic Celebration, the Cathedral Choir for supporting the liturgy with joyful praise, and expressed his condolences to the family of the late Ivan Cardinal Dias.