Mark Fonseca has compiled a book about his Brother who was a (Catholic) priest in Bombay, India for 43 years prior to his passing in June 2011. The book has a lot of contributions from various friends, ex-Parishioners of his in Australia, USA and Canada and India.It is titled MEMOIRS OF HUGH ANTHONY FONSECA.
What was so great about my brother? He was regarded as the “Priest of the Poor” and was extremely innovative and way ahead of his time in his approach to religion. He firmly believed in a different “brand of religion” – one which meant living your Christianity .In the 1990 and early 2000, he was a strong advocate of (and led several marches on )
1. Equal Rights for woman
3. Social justice for the poor and downtrodden
His innovations? He introduced a “Tithe” – which is a form of Church Tax or Giving which was used in the main to feed and medically treat the poor. This was then introduced across Bombay in 2002 and in a lot of parts of the world including Sydney.
In 1992 and 1997 he organised for his assistant priest to wash the feet of women in the church ceremony alongside him, for Maundy (aka Holy) Thursday – why his assistant? When he advised his intention to wash the feet of women at the altar, the then Bishop in-charge, ruled that it was *’against Canon law to wash women’s feet* – washing of mens’ feet was permitted by Canon law. Pope Francis broke with Canon Law in 2013 and washed the feet of one woman (21 years after Hugh did it)!!
The book is free on request.It has many interesting anecdotes from various contributors across the world.