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Local News :  Sarfaraz Pinto -First Mangalorean Deacon for Diocese of Toronto
on 2010/6/27 8:00:00 (2258 reads)

It is an awe-inspiring moment for the Mangalorean & Goan communities in Canada when their own Sarfaraz Pinto of Mangalore origin was ordained as the Deacon in a ceremony at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto on May 29th 2010. Sarfaraz, along with caring for his wife and four children in Scarborough, Ontario, will now have an additional role of taking care of the parishioners in the Diocese of Toronto and supporting them with their spiritual needs. From now on, Rev.Mr.Sarfaraz will help with the sacraments of baptism, holy matrimony, funerals, as well as other services. He will read the gospel and preach but not say Mass or hear confession.

Deacons in the Roman Catholic Church assist priests in administrative and pastoral work. A deacon preaches, teaches and proclaims the Gospel during Mass. A deacon can also act as a minister of communion during Mass. In addition, they provide assistance to the poor and encourage parishioners to get involved in such efforts. They can act as the Church's witness during marriage ceremonies. Deacons can also give certain blessings but cannot give absolution or anoint the sick. If a funeral doesn't include Mass, a Roman Catholic deacon can preside over the rites. A deacon can help the priest during a Requiem Mass. Permanent deacons can act as parish administrators. Other possible ministries also include parishes, hospitals and prisons.

Sarfaraz’s childhood:

Sarfaraz Pinto, the 55-year-old family-man turned deacon, though born and bred in the Mumbai metro, traces his roots to Mangalore. The son of late Frederick Michael Pinto (Kadri/Bendur), the renowned politician in Mumbai/India, and late Lucy Nee Aranha (Mulki) has set his close circles abuzz with his unique commitment towards serving the Lord’s flock.

Sarfaraz’s dad Frederick Michael Pinto - popularly known as “F.M.Pinto” - came to Bombay (now Mumbai) from Mangalore to join India’s Freedom Movement in 1930. He was actively involved in many freedom struggles until India received independence in 1947, also undergoing over four years in jail under the British rule. He was the Municipal Corporator for the City of Mumbai from 1948-1952 and was then elected to the Maharashtra Legislature from the Mahim Assembly constituency for six consecutive terms from 1957-1985, the only Christian to hold such a record. As a great recognition for his incredible and unselfish contribution, a road in Mumbai is named after him as 'F.M.Road'.

Among F.M.Pinto’s siblings were three priests and one nun:
(1) Late Msgr. Alexander Pinto, former Vicar General of Mangalore Diocese (served also as a Parish Priest in Bendur and Rosario Cathedral parishes), went to heavenly abode in 1967.
(2) Late Rev.Fr.John Pinto (served as a Parish Priest in Hosabettu and Pezaar parishes), went to heavenly abode in 1967.
(3) Late Rev.Fr.Alphonsus Pinto (served as a Parish Priest in Munirabad, Bellary Dist), went to heavenly abode in 1983.
Rev.Sr.Maria Rosina (served as a religious Nun in Sonepat, Haryana & Calcutta), went to heavenly abode in 2002.

Sarfaraz’s journey towards leadership

Sarfaraz inherits dynamic leadership qualities from his dad and a priestly nature from his uncles who were renowned priests in the vineyard of the Lord. Highlights of Sarfaraz’s journey towards his leadership include:

• Finished schooling at St. Xavier’s High School, Bombay.
• Obtained a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Mumbai.
• Ran own business firm and was actively involved in local politics.
• In search of greener pastures, Sarfaraz reached Muscat, Oman and worked in various Accounting positions from 1981-1997.
• Married Luiza Tavares in 1983 and now have 4 children: Fahad Martin, Fedora Melissa, Froila Rosina and Frederick Michael.
• Was an active member of the Mary Immaculate Praise Community (MIPC) Charismatic Prayer Group at Sts.Peter & Paul Church, Ruwi, Muscat from 1986 – 1997. Also served as a Servant Leader.
• Immigrated to Canada in 1997.
• Was joined to the Deaconate Formation Program of the Archdiocese of Toronto in September 2006.
• Was ordained to the Sacred Order of the Deaconate on May 29, 2010.
• Liturgical base will be at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Markham, Ontario and Diaconal Ministry base at Centenary Hospital, Scarborough.

A role model Pinto family:

Sarfaraz tied the knot in 1983 to a beauty queen Louiza Tavares who was fondly known by her nick-name Louie. Louie was a renowned ‘theatrist’ who acted as a heroine in a number of Goan stage plays in Goa, Mumbai and in Muscat. God has blessed them with lovely and highly talented children – Fahad, Fedora, Froila and Frederick who are faithfully following their parents' footsteps by taking active roles in church and prayer group activities. During his tenure in Muscat, Sarfaraz served as a Servant Leader of ‘Mary Immaculate Praise Community (MIPC)’ – A Charismatic Prayer Group at Ruwi, Muscat, one of the renowned Charismatic prayer groups in the entire Middle East. Although he was a great leader and gifted speaker, Sarfaraz is very well known for his humble nature and down-to-earth personality. All the more, Sarfaraz and Louie were very well known for faithfully practising what they preach especially helping people who are in need.

Filled with a strong tone of commitment towards his vocation with all humility, Sarfaraz spoke to Daijiworld Canada, “After I immigrated to Canada with my family in 1997, I took an active role in my Parish and was approached by my parish priest, who asked if I would like to become a permanent deacon. I strongly felt that it was the Lord’s calling to serve His flock and I decided that was the road I wanted to go along. I wanted to re-pay the parish and diocese at large”.

Sarfaraz is the youngest of 5 children of Late Celestine Lucy nee Aranha of Mulki and Late Frederick Michael Pinto of Kadri
Among Sarfaraz’s siblings, Fr. Seraj Pinto is currently Parish Priest of St. Anthony’s Church, Vakola, Mumbai and has been a Priest in the Archdiocese of Mumbai since 1971
Undoubtedly, Sarfaraz is a unique and precious Mangalorean gift to the Diocese of Toronto during this special ‘Year of Priests’ dedicated to all Catholic Priests around the world. The Konkani community in Canada wishes all the best for his new and exciting journey with the Lord.

** Courtesy of http://www.daijiworld.com



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