Fr. Patrick de Melo passed away peacefully on 14 August at the Province infirmary in Porvorim, just in time to celebrate the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady in heaven. Fr Pat served the province in various capacities: Provincial, Novice Master, Rector, Spiritual Director, Counsellor, Teacher etc. His departure has created a void which no one else can replace. He entered the Society of Jesus on 06 October 1959, in Soutelo, Portugal, and was ordained on 25th March, 1972.
As a Provincial, he laid great emphasis on ‘cura personalis’ which enabled him to build a good relationship with the Jesuit brethren and the Lord. His great strength was spirituality, retreat direction and counselling. He offered these strengths in accompanying novices, seminarians, diocesan clergy, lay people and religious This was his unique Ignatian contribution that he alone could make. What he offered individuals was the unfailing love of God. He assured them that God in his everlasting love cares for us and gives us the required graces. His life too proclaimed the same message. He was not particularly anxious about his health and wellbeing. He believed that God would always provide him with the required strength and graces to continue his ministries as long as God wanted to. This harmony between his life and his message, was picked up by all who had the fortune and the blessing to come in touch with him.
Pat had to endure a lot of pain and suffering during the past few months moving in and out of hospitals. He endured all his suffering with serenity and silence. May the Merciful Lord who sustained him during his life here on earth receive Pat into his glorious Kingdom, where there is no more pain and suffering.
- Agnelo Mascarenhas, SJ