Adieu, Brother Felix D’Mello!

Members of Bodh Gaya (Bihar)  tiny Catholic community gathered together at the chapel of the Jesuit run social centre Jivan Sangam  on June 28 to bid farewell and celebrate the life of Religious Brother Felix D’Mello of the Missionary Brothers of Charity (MC).

Brother Felix, (84) was among the earliest postulants who joined St. Teresa of Calcutta’s  the newly formed religious congregation for men. He was appointed local superior of MC houses during his postulancy and novitiate periods.

Secretary of Gaya YMCA, Priyaranjan Dwyer  said in a formal condolence message: “With profound grief I have to share that Bro. Felix D’Mello MC, Life member of Gaya YMCA passed away. He was an accountant from Mangalore working in Mumbai during his prime youth, tried  to help an unknown person, who could not be saved.

“This was a turning point in his life and he renounced his corporate life to a volunteer social activist and joined Mother Teresa’s organisation (where no salary is given), and served for more than 50 years, much of which was in Gaya. He was socially active till the last phase of his life. Gaya YMCA felicitated him in 2021 for his dedicated community service.”

Archbishop Sebastian Kallupura, speaking at the funeral service, said that though most Catholics are aware of the work of Priests and religious sisters, the important service to the Church given by religious brothers goes unnoticed.

Early Life

Felix D’Mello MC: Committed Option for the Poor

Felix D’Mello  was born on 20th November 1938 in a very traditional Catholic family at Bejai in the coastal town of Mangalore in Karnataka.

 His father,  Albert D’Mello and mother, Anna Piad were God fearing Catholics. Brother was the second child among , with an elder and younger sister. His parents were ardent devotees of Our Lady and their children inherited the same devotion from their early childhood.

As a young boy  Felix was very regular and faithful in the Parish. He  passed the secondary school examination from St.Aloysius Jesuit school in 1956 from Mangalore and later did his Secretariat course from the same college.

 Felix  was known as one of the best students,  specially good in Mathematics. Soon after the completion of the  course he landed a  job in the State Electricity department in Mangalore.

Seeking further advancement he shifted to Bombay  to Mumbai in the account section of a leading Machinery manufacturing company..

Felix , in his early twenties, had enough money, friends and comfort but at times he used to find himself empty.  He discovered himself and was inspired to do something extraordinary service for the poor people.

One day he came across a Magazine named REKNOW and  he read an article about  Mother Teresa Of Calcutta. Her life touched the very core of Felix’s heart. With much prayer and consultation with his family, he joined Missionaries of Charity brothers in 1967 at the age of 28 years.

Religious Life

Brother Andrew, the co-founder of the MC Brothers, saw Brother Felix’s leadership qualities and rapport with the postulants and  young brothers.  Br. Andrew  appointed him as local superior of Dum Dum community to lead a group of brothers as well as to form himself as a postulant.

Bro Felix entered Novitiate on 2nd June 1968. The MC Bothers superior  Br. Andrew appointed Bro Felix D’Mello  local superior for the second time at Rose Mary Lane Howrah community in the second year of Novitiate.

He pronounced his first vows as a Missionaries of  Charity religious brother on 2nd June 1970.

 He rendered his service in the city of Kolkata,  and in Bihar and Jharkhand. He served the poorest of the poor in pPlaces like Bokaro, Kishanganj, Darbhanga, Ranchi.  For the last 22 years he  lived as faithful, dedicated as a missionary in the Gaya community.

“Even at the age of 84 he never missed community prayers. A saintly man who was always happy in the community. We have lost a great exemplary brother,” say the members of his community

On the 16th June he was taken to Kurji Holy Family Hospital (Patna) and was admitted in the ICU. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and oxygen level was low. His condition worsened  and there were  multiple organ failures. The doctors tried their level best but hedid not respond to any medication.

 He passed away on 27th June at 12.30pm in Kurji Hospital.

NEWS COURTESY PRIYARANJAN DWYER, GAYA YMCA

8 thoughts on “Adieu, Brother Felix D’Mello!

  • July 8, 2022 at 6:15 pm
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    I am Charlotte, Br.Felix’s younger sister. I like to share few memories of my brother.

    He was baptized as Archibald Felix Christopher D’Mello. My mother and my elder sister used to call him Babuti, which was his pet name. My second brother and I were calling him Baba, meaning elder brother. He was known as uncle Archy for all our children.

    When I was very young he left to Bombay for employment. Though I stayed with him for short period in my home town I still remember his good qualities.

    He was talented, systematic and perfect at every work. At the same time humble and mild.

    Sometimes he used to get upset when people don’t co-operate with him. But he would forget himself and reach out to people and help them. He had unique habit of keeping all his good deeds in secret and would never praise himself.

    He had special love for his family. I used to receive video calls from him often. Even though he was not very comfortable in making video calls with the help of brothers from his community he would call me and speak which I use to eagerly wait. He also like talking with me very often. He was like my Father whom I miss him now very much.

    Now he is no more with us. We all miss him a lot. One consolation is that, he is now closer to God and would pray for us to God the Father. One day we all will meet in heaven together with all our friends and relatives.

    Farewell Baba till we meet.

    • August 14, 2022 at 9:30 pm
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      Thank you for sharing this beautiful memory!

  • July 4, 2022 at 10:30 am
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    Thanks a lot for appreciating and encouraging to take the best example of our dear Bro. Felix, for his deep conviction in prayer and service in MC.
    May the good master reward him for his labor

  • July 3, 2022 at 7:23 pm
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    Thank you very much for love and concern for the Missionaries of Charity.Specially love for the late Br.Felix really we the mc family grateful to you all.for arrenging prayer service.

    • July 4, 2022 at 10:37 am
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      It is very heartening to know the life Bro. Felix lived which has earned him name ‘ Saintly Man’. Indeed he deserves to be called so. When he visited us in Bangalore, the little sisters of the poor, wanted to know from my wife, his youngest sister as to who this saintly man was. This was when he came with us to attend the mass at their chapel.

      When I came to attend his funeral, I was so surprised to hear from the brothers of his community. Every one had some wonderful things to share with me about Br. Felex. He has helped them, guided them, handheld them and provided them all necessary support in their vocation. A fatherly figure, who was there for them when they needed help.

      I was told that Br. Felix had the opportunity to serve the society in every area the community was involved,

      To tell something more about Br. Felix, he was humble to the core. He never threw his weight around. A soft spoken person, friend of all irrespective of caste, creed, colour, language, religion, where ever he lived.

      This writeup was possible due to what I came to know about Br. Felix from the brothers of his community. He never even once in his life time ever told the family members about his service to the community in particular and to the society in general.

      Finally, I wish to conclude by saying he lived a life with God’s Grace. He set an example for all us. Surely he is in God’s Kingdom, interceding for all of us. Let us pray that God grant Br. Felix eternal life and may he rest in peace.

      Farewell Br. Felix, may God invite you by saying ‘ Good and Faithful servent, come to my rest’.

  • July 3, 2022 at 7:05 pm
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    I am truly inspired by the very life and personality of bro. Felix. And the amazing write up on his life. I want to salute the person who wrote about his life. I am deeply inspired by the simple and effective write up on the life of bro. Felix.
    Thank you so much for inspired me

  • July 3, 2022 at 6:59 pm
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    I am amazing inspired by the very personality of bro. Felix and the write on his life, I also want to salute the person who wrote on his life. It is very inspiring and touching. I am truly taken up by the write up and the very life of bro. Felix

  • July 3, 2022 at 9:16 am
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    Good to know about brother some how we appreciate Father’s and Sisters but forget about brother life and their contribution to the society.

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