Several priests in the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman have paid rich tributes to noted Konkani author and Tiatr writer, director and actor late Fr Nevel Gracias (58) of Velim, who passed away in the Clergy Home at Porvorim in the wee hours of Friday.
Describing him as a good example of utilising God-given talents for His greater glory, Fr Jose Silveira, Director of Thomas Stephens Konkani Kendra (Porvorim), said late Fr Nevel used the medium of art and music through Tiatr and compositions and articles for various Konkani magazines to proclaim the good news of the Lord.
“He came across as a person of faith and integrity, always open to others and an inviting personality. No barrier was able to take his heart and mind away from his mission and from doing what he did for the Lord through his Lenten dramas.”
Aldona Parish Priest Fr Tomas Lobo, who was a companion of the departed priest in the seminary, said Fr Nevel used his God-given gifts and talents to spread faith-values with joyful enthusiasm, hope and a never-say-die attitude.
“He was a great writer, preacher, dramatist and human being who touched people in many ways. Despite his failing health, he never displayed cynicism or fatigue but worked with a positive frame of mind and faithfully carried on with the vocation and mission of proclaiming the Good News using his talents in unfailing faithfulness and joyfulness,” said Fr Lobo.
Borim Parish Priest and Tiatr playwright Fr Victor Ferrao said the Church in Goa has not only lost a dynamic spiritual leader, but Goa and the Konkani world had lost a shining star, with the untimely demise of Fr Nevel.
“His love and passion for Konkani as well as the Konkani theatre that we know as Tiatr cannot be replaced. The Konkani world will certainly miss this great son. His Lenten theatrical shows have certainly produced a new genre in Konkani stage,” said Fr Ferrao.
“We have to agree that he single-handedly brought Lenten theatre to a new level. He deserves rich tributes for his contribution to this unique Konkani theatre. Besides, he was a luminary of Konkani lyrics, poems and faith reflective writings.
“He was a prolific writer of Konkani and contributed to a number of magazines, including Gulab, Renovacao and Vauraddeancho Ixtt.”
Konkani writer Fr Myron Barretto said Fr Nevel preached through Tiatr and writings.
“His insight into the Gospel was awesome. A very simple man with remarkable humility, he never cared for himself but enthusiastically worked to build the kingdom of God. He won many awards for his contribution in the literary field. His legacies are indelible,” said Fr Barretto.