MY ASSOCIATION WITH BR. SIMON RODRIGUES

*"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" 2 Timothy 4:7*

On March 2nd 2019 Karnataka Regional Service Communion (KRSC) reconstitution took place at 'Palana Bhavan' Archdiocese of Bangalore. I met a very jovial person Br. Simon there. Lots of fun we had during break time. He told that he knows me well. On March 4th Br. Simon Rodrigues was chosen to lead the KRSC.

I could experience his zeal for the Lord Jesus Christ and for his kingdom in the very first meeting itself. Ever since his dynamism I experienced in every meeting that we had. I organized one meeting in my Diocese Shimoga, he told me we need to do a lot. I appreciate you as a priest and your Yesusparsha team doing tremendous amount of service in preaching the Word of God and bringing people closer to Jesus and his kingdom. I am praying for you please don't stop at any cost. He also told me don't look back. Don't worry about criticism. You just focus on Jesus and his Word. Rest Lord will do.

Many a time when I told him it's bit difficult for me to manage together with my Parish, School and so many associations and now KRSC Spiritual Director. He told me it's God's plan and I am with you, my prayers are with you. Your presence is enough. What may come let us go ahead focusing on Lord Jesus. He kept every member of KRSC United in the Lord.

He told me even though I am a Chartered Accountant (CA) for me Preaching the Word of God comes first. I heard his testimony how Lord Jesus Christ touched his life. He said Jesus manages my office and I do his Mission.

Last year as a Region we planned to integrate Media in KRSC. we together planned Five days family retreat in Kannada, Konkani, English, Malayalam and Tamil. Every time he called me and sought my suggestion. He coordinated these retreats very well. He was in touch with all the bishops of Karnataka. They too had high regard for him. His talks on mobile are very brief and to the point. He never wasted his time with unnecessary talks.

On October 28, 2020 he sent me a message as he completed his twenty five years of wedding. Here I quote;

"THANKSGIVING DAY
Today ( 28th October)
We completed 25 years of married life . Charlotte is huge blessing in my life. She always supported my call to serve God. She blessed our daughter and son. We started our life with a humble beginning. We lived one day at a time. She had only one expectation from me to spend time with family. I failed miserably in this area . Still she supported me .
Please uphold us in your prayers".

What humility in this message. He never claimed he is perfect. But it's Mercy of God that leads him. Since there wasn't any celebration due to pandemic. I invited him to come to my parish that I will offer a Mass together with his family. He told yes but now he has gone to the Lord.

He was ever ready for sharing his testimony and the Word of God. In the month of February 16th, 2021 I had one day course for Deacons of St. Peter's Pontifical institute, Bangalore on "Charismatic Spiruality". I requested him to come and share his testimony with Deacons. He came in time and shared his testimony, which was so inspiring. I knew that day he had very important meeting but he said Lord's work is first.

During the season of Lent February 21,2021, I was invited by the Konkani Charismatic group to preach one day retreat at Divine Mercy Retreat centre, Ulsoor, Bangalore. Br. Simon Rodrigues shared his testimony and a talk on family. I was really touched the way that he preached with full of spirit.

In the month March 14, 2021, I was preaching a Retreat at Christ the King Parish Trasi Diocese of Udupi. I heard he visited Udupi for a talk on finance. I just called him to come and share his testimony. He was ever ready to come and share his testimony and Word of God.

Br. Simon Rodrigues had a first place for Jesus.
He was convinced about his call.
He loved the Word of God.
He was a man of deep prayer.
He was simple, humble and with full of compassion.
For him ministry and mission always first.
He never broke his head for finances he knew that Lord will provide. He has shared lots of incidents how God provides when we work sincerely for his kingdom.
He is straight forward never liked any type of duplicity in ministry.

July 30th, 2020 I was admitted to St. John's hospital due to mild Covid 19 positive symptoms. I didn't want to make it a news, but I informed Br. Simon Rodrigues. He prayed for me. Everyday he enquired about my health. He gave me encouraging words from the Bible. I was there till August 12th. Then took another 17 days complete bed rest. He is the one who called and gave lot of strength. Ever since like a elder brother he stood by me.

On April 5th, 2021 I met him at KROSS, then I went to his office. April 10th I heard about his sickness, later he was tested positive for covid 19. It's exact after one month on May 5th, 2021, he went to his Master Lord Jesus Christ.

We thank you Lord Jesus Christ for your gift Br. Simon Rodrigues. We will continue the mission that's given to us by you. We will keep up his spirit in our mission as a Region. We pray for him and his family so that they all receive this news with faith. We also pray for his staff. May Lord Jesus give them the strength to accept this loss and bless each of them.

May our Br. Simon's Soul Rest in Peace.

THANK YOU JESUS. WE LOVE YOU JESUS

A tribute to friend and guide Br. Simon Rodrigues
By Fr Franklin D'Souza
KRSC Spiritual Director

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