14 May 2012
Find below the information regarding the funeral of our beloved Fr Rufus Pereira:
Funeral in London, UK
Funeral Mass will be held on15th May at 4pm, St. James, Spanish Place. 22 George Street, London W1U 3QY Prior to this his body is at the Chapel of Rest, 14 Watford Way, Hendon, London NW4 3AD
Funeral in Mumbai, India
Funeral Mass and Burial will be held on 19th May at 4pm, St Andrews Church, Hill Road, Bandra, Mumbai, 400050 India. The procession from his family home, 24 New Kantwadi to St Andrews church will start around 2pm. ICCRS will be represented through its Vice-president, Cyril John (India), who, at the request of His Eminence Card. Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, convey the condolence of the worldwide CCR. We are thankful to those who help us in spread the news on this matter.
We are also pleased to share with you an article written by Cyril John, remembering our beloved Fr Rufus, for Charisindia and that we publish with permission:
WE LOVE YOU, DEAR FR RUFUS!
It was with astonishment and deep sadness that we learnt about the sudden passing away of Fr Rufus Pereira in London on Thursday, 3 May, 2012 morning following a cardiac arrest during sleep. He was on a preaching mission to UK. None of those around him closer to the last days could have an inkling that Fr Rufus was close to the finishing point of his missionary journey on this earth. Sr Patricia Kelly who was with him a few days before his death said he “was delighted, very happy”.
I am sure that all of you join me in remembering and paying tribute to the heroic life and ministry of Fr Rufus in the Universal Church and in a very special way in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) and the ministry of healing, deliverance and exorcism.
Born on 5 May 1933 Fr Rufus would have completed the age of 79 in a couple of days. He was a priest of the Archdiocese of Bombay. He studied Philosophy, Theology and Sacred Scripture in Rome, where he was ordained in 1956. Father did his Doctorate in Biblical Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome. For a number of years he served as Principal/Director of schools in Mumbai. Describing his first contact with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal on Pentecost Sunday, 21 May 1972.
Fr Rufus wrote in The Examiner dated 10 May 1997: “Adjoining St. Andrew’s High School, Bandra, where I was Principal for three years from 1969, is the Holy Family Hospital run by the Medical Mission Sisters. One of them, Sr Bernadine accosted me in St. Andrew’s Church compound after Mass on Pentecost Sunday, 21 May 1972. She seemed to be aglow with the Spirit and invited me to attend the prayer meeting they would be having every Thursday in their convent at St. Leo’s Road. That in short is how I landed at their meeting the following Thursday.”
Although Fr Rufus came in contact with the CCR in mid-1972, he did not commit his life to Jesus until the first Bombay Convention in January 1974. About it he wrote later, “On the last day, there was the altar call when the participants were invited to come forward to make a public commitment to Jesus… I dared not go up in front to be prayed over as I might have been the only priest to do so then. But being in charge of the music ministry, I went behind the piano and knelt almost under the keyboard where nobody would see me and there I committed myself to Jesus. I surrendered my whole life to Him especially my plans and my future and I asked him to fill me with his Spirit that I may live a new life henceforth. I felt then and there an inexplicable peace and power flowing right through me. When I got up from my knees I just knew that I would never again be the same person. In the past, there were times when I felt like giving up the priesthood, because of hurts and frustrations, and rather work for the Lord as a layman. But after my Baptism in the Spirit, I realized that for me there was no greater dignity than the dignity of the priesthood and no greater power than the power of the priesthood.”
From such a humble beginning, Fr Rufus rose to become a renowned international retreat preacher, Bible teacher and minister of healing, deliverance and exorcism. He was released for full time ministry by Cardinal Valerian Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay. Since then he has worked extensively in the Renewal and world evangelism ministries.
On the 25th Anniversary of his initiation into the Renewal, Fr Rufus wrote in his editorial in May-June 1997 issue of Charisindia: “After the grace of Baptism and the grace of the Priesthood, I consider the Renewal as the third breakthrough of God into my life. I thank the Lord for this third grace, this ‘chance’ (to use the very word of Pope Paul VI) and after him the many ‘instruments’ he used: Alan Vincent, whose words first touched my heart; Sr Bernadine, who fasted for me; Terence Fonn, who quietly encouraged me; Cardinal Gracias, who released me for this work; Mgr. Ayres, who made it possible; Fr James, with whom I often teamed; Fr Fio, who opened many doors of ministry; Erika Gibello, who gave me that extra push; not forgetting my mother, who was constantly interceding for me – and many other friends like Fr William of Andhra. These 25 years have been years of great joy and fulfillment in spite of all types of setbacks.”
Fr Rufus was a member of the National Service Team of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal since its inception in May 1977 with short breaks in between.
He was the first Director of the Catholic Charismatic Bible Institute in Mumbai until May, 1997. Under his directorship the Bible Institute conducted 12 residential courses, 8 of them ten months duration and 4 two months duration. Many of the Bible Institute students are engaged in full-time ministry in the Lord’s vineyard.
He had served as the Editor of Charisindia for three and a half years from 1994 to 1997 when the magazine was being published from Mumbai. After I took over as Chairman of the National Service Team in 2001, a decision was taken to shift publication of the magazine to Delhi. We were desperately in search of someone who could take up the editorship of the magazine. When I approached Fr Rufus, he readily agreed to be its Chief Editor. He took over in December, 2002 and continued in that role for more than nine years until the time of his death. During his tenure as Chief Editor, the magazine grew to greater heights in terms of quality of articles, design, layout and circulation. Presently Charisindia is a well-appreciated and sought after journal.
In 1994 Fr Rufus was chosen as the Vice-President of the International Association of Exorcists which was started in 1993. In 1995 Fr Rufus initiated the International Association for the Ministry of Deliverance. He has been the catalyst in bringing many people into the deliverance ministry through several seminars on healing and deliverance conducted by him in different parts of the world.
Father was a member of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS) Council in Vatican from 1997 to 2003 representing Asia region and the healing and deliverance ministries.
He was instrumental in spreading the fire of the Renewal to all parts of India. He also travelled extensively all over the world preaching Life in the Spirit Seminars and initiating the Renewal. However, in the recent times he was more sought after in the area of healing and deliverance.
He has published numerous articles and papers in several journals across the world. His editorials in Charisindia were widely appreciated by the readers.
He was also professor of Sacred Scripture in postgraduate courses in some seminaries.
Fr Emmanuel Tusiime, Chairman of the African Sub-Committee of ICCRS (AFSCI) in Uganda said in his condolence message, “Fr Rufus was very instrumental for the growth of the Renewal in Africa and particularly in Uganda and Tanzania. He will be remembered for the Life in the Spirit Seminar retreats he facilitated for Uganda Episcopal Conference. I recall the last time we were with him preaching the Word of God to all the leaders of the Renewal in Africa in Cameroon. His zeal for the Gospel was always fresh.”
Mr Gerard Francisco, Secretary, ICCRS Sub-Committee for Asia-Oceania (ISAO) said in his obituary, “Fr Rufus has been to Singapore on many occasions and was instrumental for the formation of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal here in Singapore in the early days.”
Adamo Vinicius, his translator in Brazil said, “Fr Rufus was a saint, a tireless preacher of the Gospel, a man in love with Jesus Christ and his mission”.
Father offered the whole of his life as a wonderful witness to Jesus Christ. He devoted his priestly ministry to reach out to as many people as possible, especially those needing healing and deliverance that the Lord never ceases to offer. He always remained available to any invitation, ministry or service he was asked, being at the service of the Universal Church. He was considered an authority on teachings in the sphere of healing, deliverance and exorcism. It would indeed be difficult to fill the vacuum that has been created on account of the unexpected passing away of Fr Rufus.
Ms Beatriz, Secretary General of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Brazil wrote in her condolence message sent to me, “In the likeness of his and our Master and Lord, Jesus Christ, Fr Rufus always showed great compassion for the suffering and through his ministry many were delivered from their chains and bonds to freely exercise their right as children of God…. Let us stay united in love, prayer and thanksgiving. Let Fr. Rufus’ family and close friends and all those in his country know that we are very grateful to them for sharing with us the precious gift of his life, let them all know that we will pray that their hearts shall not be troubled.”
Throughout life he never flagged in zeal, was always aglow with the Spirit serving the Lord (Rom 12:11). He was tireless ministering to the ones who were suffering, in bondage and pain. He would travel in the night and would begin his ministry in a new country straight away without rest and carry on till late night. I loved Fr Rufus for his gentleness, simplicity, humility and compassion towards the suffering. He would not refuse anyone who would approach him for being prayed over. Fr Rufus could join St. Paul in saying “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith… there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness…” (2 Tim 4:7).
There is a new heaven and a new earth for Fr. Rufus now and we rejoice in God’s plan of salvation and eternal life. He, who through his ministry consoled so many people, can now experience God’s consolation himself. Love never dies. Grief is the price we pay for loving. Our love for Fr. Rufus has now been recreated by the Holy Spirit in a new realm.
Fr Rufus had countless number of friends and admirers all over the world. He will continue to live in their hearts. As another mourner, Jude Muscat, an ICCRS Member from Malta said, “The departure of Fr Rufus is surely a sad occasion, but knowing his heart, his total service to God, his one and only love, then it is time for rejoicing”.
The Renewal will miss its charismatic pastor greatly!
Let us pray for the repose of the dear soul of Fr Rufus, asking the Almighty God to grant him everlasting peace. I am sure that the true pastor he was, he will continue to bless and intercede for us and the Renewal and Charisindia, seated at the right hand of the Father. Therefore, we now have a very powerful new advocate in heaven!