It is with saddened heart I communicate to you that our first Indian Guanellian Priest, Rev. Fr. John Bosco, SdC, the pillar on which the Guanellian charism and mission was built in India was taken back by the Lord into the company of saints around 10.30pm, 27th May 2021.The Divine Providence Province humbly pauses to mourn, honor and celebrate the life, ministry and legacy of our loving Fr. John Bosco, SdC.
The Gospel accounts of Jesus‟ life teach us that many people approached him with the prayers imbued with suffering. Jesus‟ response was immediate in some case and was delayed in some other cases. In the healing account of Jairus‟ daughter, Jairus asks for Jesus‟ help, Jesus accepts to visit but on their way to home, Jairus‟ daughter dies. It seems to be the end but Jesus says to him “Do not fear, only believe” (Mk 5: 36). He encouraged him to continue to have faith because faith sustains prayer. For our surprise, even the prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane also seems to have gone unheard: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me” (Mt 26:39). It seems that the Father did not listen to Him. The Son must drink fully from the chalice of the passion. The miraculous event after the death of Jesus on the Cross teaches us that Holy Friday is not the final chapter because on the third day, Sunday, is the resurrection. The last day of the human beings belongs to Him alone and it is the day when all human longing for salvation will be fulfilled.
The Guanellian Family around the world in general and particular in India offered prayers unceasingly for the speedy recovery of Fr. John Bosco. Yet, his death appears like a radical objection to our prayers as it seemed to have gone unheard. It looks like God did not grant our request or God did not listen to our prayers. We offer the struggle for life, which Fr. John Bosco underwent on the death bed, as a participation in the death of Jesus on the Cross. The Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus help us to accept the grave loss of our dear loving Fr. John Bosco that on the last day, God solves everything. We have also experienced this at this moment of the death of Fr. John Bosco. All of us prayed for a miracle to happen but things have worked out in God‟s way, the divine way, not according to what we wanted. God‟s time is not our time.
We realize and believe that Fr. John Bosco has now gone to meet our Creator. I‟m sure many of you feel the same way, because he whom we loved is now no longer physically present. The most important aspect of our life is love. We continue to love Fr. John Bosco, SdC as he continues to love us in the afterlife, as God‟s love makes it possible. Our hope lies in the depth of our faith. We thank God for the witness of faith of Fr. John Bosco, SdC who witnessed with joy and dedication to Jesus in this life and who now in the presence of Jesus is in a position to continue to intercede, inspire and help us on the difficult path of our life in faith in a changing world. We give thanks to God for his ministry and we commend his soul into the hand of God who is merciful and forgiving and who is true life for all eternity.
I conclude this letter of condolence with the words of Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury who wrote at the end of the 12th century: “Death is strong, for it can rob us of the gift of life. Love too is strong, for it can restore us to a better life. Death is strong, for it can strip us of this robe of flesh. Love too is strong, for it can take death‟s spoils away and give them back to us. Death is strong, for no man can withstand it. Love too is strong, for it can conquer death itself, soothe its sting, calm its violence and bring its victory to naught. The time will come when death is reviled and taunted: „O death, where is your sting? O Death, where is your victory?‟ Love is as strong as death because Christ‟s love is the very death of death.”
May Rev. Fr. John Bosco, SdC rest in peace. May his memory be eternal and may his prophetic passion for the love of Christ and for the Congregation of Servants of Charity, live and reign in our hearts now and forever.
In the name of provincial council and all of you dear confreres, sisters, cooperators and the residents of our facilities, staff and the parishioners I express our condolences to our confrere Rev. Fr. Kuariakose and the bereaved family.
"The confidence of Christians is the resurrection of the dead; believing this we live." (CCC, 991)
You will be with us till we come back to you Dear Fr. John Bosco
Fr. J. Ronald, SdC - Provincial Superior