I will speak mainly from my heart and do it of a man who had a big heart. My experience of Edwin is mainly of the years when he was Provincial of Bombay and I was his Socius. During our years together we got to know each other intimately and I learned to admire and love him much; and also fear him a little.
Edwin was a ‘pukka’ Jesuit, from head to toe; his heart belonged to the Society. The eighties were a tough time for the Society, and I lived that time very close to my Provincial. Those were years of initiatives and experiments, some of them risky; also years of joy and pain; at times much pain. The relationships in Rome between the Church and the Society had become strained, even stormy. Fr. Rasquinha was caught in a double fidelity. God alone knows how much he suffered. That was a time when many of us learned a fantastic lesson of how the Society of Jesus has to move forward, under Holy Mother the hierarchical Church, under and with the Roman Pontiff.
When working with Edwin there was never an idle moment. I recall his honesty, mainly his honesty, his trust in persons and his demands too, his deep humility and also the occasional manifestations of the harshness of his character. All in all, he was a man consistent to the very end. When he entered the twilight of his life, his good qualities became more visible, especially his tenderness. After his term as Provincial our meetings were sincere as always and our friendship increased. His time in the infirmary has been an example of a genuine Jesuit, even to those who did not experience those years when he was ‘A lion of Judah.’ In his face to face encounter with the Lord today I’m sure Jesus has embraced him saying: “I was waiting for you, Edwin. The Society of Jesus, my Society, has always been the passion of your life.” I can imagine Fr. Rasquinha agreeing and, just before entering heaven, signing the final document of his identity: Edwin Rasquinha, SJ
- J.M. Feliu, SJ