Herald: Honouring Padre Chico Monteiro’s legacy
Herald News

Honouring Padre Chico Monteiro’s legacy

21 Jan 2018 05:31am IST
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21 Jan 2018 05:31am IST
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In view of the finale of Padre Chico Monteiro’s Birth Centenary Celebrations, KARSTEN miraNda takes a look at the efforts and work undertaken by Padre Chico Memorial Trust that continues to honour and keep the legacy and vision of Padre Chico alive

There is a great significance to event held every year to honour the memory of Fr Francisco Monteiro (1918-90), popularly known as Padre Chico.

Youth development was one of the areas that Padre Chico gave of himself to wholeheartedly. “Lar dos Estudantes” at Altinho, Panjim, the ‘home’ that he created in late 1950’s, housed about 100 inmates, popularly known as ‘Laristas’. They formed a family of souls under his watchful eye, be it in discipline, academics, personal growth, in health and in sickness.

After his death, Laristas, students of yesteryears and well wishers, from among the many whose lives Padre Chico had touched, got together and formed ‘Pe. Chico Monteiro Foundation’ to collect funds which would be transferred to a Trust to be formed at a later date.

The Foundation installed a commemorative plaque at the entrance of Lar dos Estudantes on February 1, 1992. The members of the Foundation worked towards the creation of a Trust which was named as the Pe. Chico Monteiro Memorial Trust with the objective of propagating the deeds and moral legacy of Padre Chico Monteiro. It came into existence on February 1, 1993.

Initially, the main activity of the Trust was to collect funds, including a reasonable amount from his disciples, admirers, relatives and well-wishers and to carry out charitable activities in furtherance to the objectives of the Trust.

Every year, the Trust organises a Mass followed by a function at Lar dos Estudantes where Padre Chico is remembered and scholarships are disbursed to the poor and deserving students. 

Scholarships for poor and deserving students were instituted and the Trust started disbursing the same after three years of its existence. Over the past two and a half decades, the Trust disbursed scholarships to more than 500 students from various schools, higher secondary schools and colleges from Goa. Scholarships for candidates to the priesthood were disbursed every year, namely, to Pilar seminary.

The Trust has also promoted awards of excellence in many fields such as in medicine, music, social service and sports. A few of the incumbents include a lady doctor, gynaecologist, who performed a Caesarian operation on a kitchen table, under emergency conditions; a 12-year-old piano prodigy earning many accolades; the head of an institution run by nuns taking care of terminally ill patients; and another taking care of poor and destitute; and two prominent footballers of yesteryears who kept their mark in the game.

February 1, 2017 to February 1, 2018 marks the centenary year of Padre Chico Monteiro. Accordingly, Padre Chico Monteiro Memorial Trust decided to organise various events to mark the centennial. These included an elocution competition for colleges in Goa, on the topic “Alternatives to Tuitions and Remedies to enhance the quality of Education in Goa” .A lightning U-17 football tournament was held at Dr Gustavo Monteiro Ground at Candolim. Lynessa Linette Linson of St Xavier’s College secured the first place for the elocution competition whereas St Theresa’s High School, Candolim, emerged the winners in the tournament.

The year-long centenary celebrations will culminate on February 1, 2018 with the Holy Eucharist followed by a function at which a memorial volume titled Padre Chico: To the Manner Born, will be released. The function will be held at Lar Dos Estudantes, Altinho, Panjim.
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