07/08/2020, 16.55
INDIA
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Raymond Ambroise, social communication missionary

by Nirmala Carvalho

Card Bo remembers the clergyman who died yesterday. A former executive secretary of the FABC Social Communications Office, he was also a consultant for Radio Veritas Asia. “He loved the poor as is evident in his painstaking work to found and nurture the Andhra Pradesh Social Service Society (APSSS), which ensured sustainable livelihood and economic development for thousands of families.”

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Father Raymond Ambroise was a “calm missionary priest with deep love for the Church. He devoted all his energies to serve the Lord," said Card Charles Maung Bo, chairman of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), in a statement.

The clergyman died yesterday at “the home for the disabled” where he lived “together with hundreds of people who had no home or relatives.” For them, “he was their Father”.

Card Bo writes: “On behalf of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC), I express our grief and sorrow at the sudden demise of Rev Fr Raymond Ambroise, former Executive Secretary of the FABC Office of Social Communications and consultant to Radio Veritas Asia.”

"Fr Raymond was a quiet and calm missionary priest with a deep love for the Church,” who served the Lord with all his strength. “He was a trail blazer and a luminary in the field of social communication, social development, innovative educational programs and numerous other forms of pastoral ministry.

“An able administrator and meticulous planner, he was calm, unassuming, gentle and above all deeply spiritual in all that he did. He handled lots of funds and projects but lived a very frugal and austere life.

“His deep insights and progressive thinking helped Radio Veritas Asia (RVA) migrate from Short Wave to an online service. He guided the process of transition with diligence. He was a visionary and his efforts have borne abundant fruit.   

“He loved the poor as is evident in his painstaking work to found and nurture the Andhra Pradesh Social Service Society (APSSS) which ensured sustainable livelihood and economic development for thousands of families.”

Fr Raymond “never retired from any work, but those who had known his abilities continued to seek his support and advice. He was always ready to render any service with utmost commitment.”

Sadly, “We never expected he would leave us so soon, but we believe that in the Lord’s reckoning he had faithfully completed the work entrusted to him. We bow in gratitude to God for the life and witness of Fr Raymond. We trust the Lord to reward him with eternal life.”

The cardinal noted that in March 2019 Fr Raymond, at the end of his assignment with the FABC, wrote: “As I returned to India after completing my assignment at FABC-OSC, my heart was exuberant with Joy for what God has done in my life and particularly in the last nine and half years in the field of Social Communication and Radio Veritas Asia (RVA); further with a heart-filled gratitude to God for having fulfilled my desire through RVA to be a missionary in my life to bring Jesus to the teeming millions of Asians all over the world”.

“I thank God for having selected me to serve RVA as a consultant from 2003 to 2009 and, from 2010 to April 2019, to serve the Asian Church as the secretary of FABC-OSC. As I always acknowledged, I consider the selection as [part of] God’s plan to use me in spite of my inadequacies.”

However, “since I was serving the Lord and it was He who selected me, I was confident that He would complement and empower me to achieve His plan for all my assignments and in particular to Radio Veritas Asia as per the demands of the new technological innovations. In all these I had to be only an instrument in His Hands. I thank God for the manifold ways by which He accompanied me to fulfil my assignment.”

For his part, Father Anand Mathew IMS, director of Vishwa Jyoti Communications, Varanasi, expressed his condolences in a note sent to AsiaNews, in which he defines the deceased as "the doyen of Indian Catholic media.

“As director of Amruthvani, he produced the well-known movie Karunamayidu/Dayasagar which made a deep impact on the minds of people even in the remotest villages of India.”

“I cherish sweet memories of interacting with him at the APSSS office. May he from above inspire and guide us in our media service and ministry towards the marginalised.”

Bishop Moses Prakasam of Nellore, speaking on behalf of the Telugu Catholic Bishops Council (Andhra and Telgana), remembers his "tireless and highly dedicated services for the growth of the regional Church on all fronts,” and expresses its "high regard, appreciation and thanks from the depth of our hearts" for the services he rendered in the spreading of the Gospel "in words and deeds".

"We have every reason, in faith, to believe that the gates of heaven are kept open to you with a glorious welcome [. . .]. With folded hands, we thank you very much for all the precious services you have rendered to the Church in our Telugu States".

"In spite of” your “official duties and responsibilities, you have also found amount of quality time to live the Gospel of Charity with the poor and the humble,” offering “concrete and very tangible services with genuine love and commitment.”

“By our Christian faith, we are convinced that you are now in the presence of God seeing Him face to face, praising, adoring and worshipping Him. [. . .]  Please pray for us and intercede for all of us, the whole Church, especially for the Church in our Telugu States.”

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