OBITUARY - + Fr. Victor Noronha, SVD R.I.P.

Fr. Victor Noronha was born on the 15th April 1938 in Taccode, Mangalore, India. He entered the Society of the Divine Word on the 22nd June 1954. On the 31st May 1962 he made his first religious vows, and on the 30th May 1968 the final vows. He was ordained priest on the 19th October 1968.

Fr. Victor had Masters in Sociology and diploma in Child Psychology.

His first 12 years of missionary priesthood he was involved in the formation of young missionaries in Minor Seminary in Mangalore in years 1969-1977, and then in Mysore between 1977-1981.

On the 31st July 1981 Fr. Victor arrived in Botswana, as one of the first SVD missionaries. From 1981 to 1984 he was the first District Superior of the SVD Botswana. From 1984 till 1990 he was the first Regional Superior of the SVD. From 1990 he became the parish priest of Sebina Mission. In 1997 he was appointed to Selebi-Phikwe and in 2000 to Our Lady of the Desert Parish in Francistown as parish priest. In 2005 he was given the responsibility to take care of the new St. James Parish in Francistown.

In eighties and nineties he was a bishop’s consultor and from 1998 till his death the General Vicar of the Catholic Vicariate of Francistown.

For many years he was also a manager of Mater Spei College in Francistown.

During his fruitful missionary life he built many chapels, churches, parish houses, multipurpose halls and other facilities of the Roman Catholic Church.

He was a hardworking, systematic and well organised person. A man of regular prayer and gentle character, very hospitable, welcoming and respectful he touched the lives of many people.

He was a good and faithful friend, always remembering feasts and birthdays. He had contact with people from all over the world. He often called to say just few words of appreciation and encouragement.

As a missionary priest he served in many places, helping many Christians, administering the Sacraments to them, teaching them about faith and accompanying them in various difficult situations. He was close to people.

He was also known for his involvement in social activities – for the sick, the poor, prisoners, refugees and children.

As a member of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) he was a wonderful confrere, understanding, supportive, community oriented, very responsible and reconciliatory.

In the last few years he struggled with his health. Some years ago he had to undergo a bypass operation. Gradually he was becoming weaker and experiencing medical problems. Towards the end of the last year he went for a few weeks for a treatment to India. He had to make a very painful decision to retire and let go… Two months ago he was transferred to Selebi-Phikwe parish. Joyfully he celebrated Christmas and the New Year, and on the 2nd January 2017, during the night, he passed away peacefully. He was found in the morning as if resting with one hand under his head and another on his heart.

Today, we praise God for his life and vocation and, although we miss Fr. Victor, as believers we also rejoice. All his life he served Jesus who promised His Life to all who love and follow Him. He died in his beloved Botswana as missionary. May Merciful God give him the reward and life everlasting.

Fr. Marek Marciniak, svd
Provincial of the Botswana Province of the SVD