Fondest Farewell to Very Rev. Fr. A.S. Anthony Swamy
“For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.” (Romans 14:8)
Very Rev. Fr. A.S. Anthonyswamy Born: 09.07.1959
We are indeed deeply shocked and saddened to hear the sudden demise of Very Rev. Fr. A.S. Anthonyswamy on 8th July at the age of 61due to cardiac arrest at Sagar Apollo Hospital, Marathahalli, Bangalore. Incidentally, today it happens to be his Birthday, and he has gone to his heavenly abode to celebrate his Heavenly Birthday in the presence of God in the company of Angels and Saints.
Very Rev. Fr. A.S. Anthonyswamy was born on 9th July, 1959 in Bangalore and was baptised on 26th July 1959 at St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Bangalore. His parents were the late Mrs.C. Anthony and the late Mrs. Sebastinammal. His parents had nine children (7 Boys and 2 Girls) and Fr. Anthony Swamy was the 6th among his siblings. Now there are only three surviving children in the family.
After his primary and matriculation studies in St. Anthony’s School and St. Aloysius High School, Bangalore, he decided to become a priest and joined the seminary. He was sent to St. Mary’s Minor Seminary, Mysore, to do his initial priestly formation and, during that time, he also did his studies at St. Philomena’s College, Mysore. Later, he was sent to do his Philosophical Studies at St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore, and to do his Theological Studies at St. Paul’s Seminary, Trichy. He was ordained a priest on 10th May, 1988 at St. Mary’s Basilica, Shivajinagar, by Archbishop Alphonus Mathias.
He served at the following Parishes/Institutions:
Fr. Anthony Swamy was a popular Priest in the Archdiocese and was known for his fraternal love, hospitality, hard work and helping nature. He was very docile to his Superiors and was a great help to them. Fr. Anthony Swamy was always cheerful and never used to get angry. It seems, he was solving many crucial problems with his endearing smile!
Whenever any priest or a seminarian went to him for guidance and assistance, he went out of his way to help him in his needs. When a young priest or a seminarian went to him with a problem, he used to always say:” Don’t worry, my son, I will help you. Do you need anything else?” Many priests fondly remember him for his fraternal love, genuine concern and timely help. Likewise, whenever any poor person or a family went to him for help, he used to render financial and material assistance very generously.
He was known for promoting devotions, especially devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Mother Mary and St. Anthony. His tireless services at St. Anthony’s Church, Guddadhahalli (which was under St. Peter and Paul’s Church, Rayapuram, before its bifurcation); and St. Anthony’s Church, T.C. Palya, where he set up a beautiful
St. Anthony’s Park depicting the Life of St. Anthony; and St. Anthony’s Church, Uttarahalli, are indeed monumental. The annual Lenten Pilgrimage to Annamma Betta/Annamma Malai was organized very spiritually and meaningfully by inviting thousands of pilgrims from in and outside Bangalore.
During his tenure as the Parish Priest of St. Mary’s Shrine Basilica, Shivajinagar, he strived very hard for its spiritual and overall development, and it was he who streamlined the First Saturday Devotions, Night Vigil Services, Bible Classes, Eucharistic Adoration and Penitential Services. He organized very devoutly and grandly the Annual Shrine Feasts in September at St. Mary’s Basilica by organizing a number of spiritual programmes, seminars, gatherings and conventions. Thousands of devotees and pilgrims thronged to the Shrine to participate in the Novena devotions and, particularly in the Annual Feast on 8th September. Even during the week days, hundreds of devotees were visiting the Shrine to receive Mother Mary’s maternal blessings.
When he was the Archdiocesan Chancellor and the PRO, he did an excellent job to the best of his ability and to the great satisfaction of his Superiors. As a PRO, he established a good rapport with the Government Officials, Police Personnel, State and Central Political Leaders, Press and Media Persons and Religious Heads to avail their services and help to serve the Christian Community and also to maintain harmony and unity in the society.
As the Coordinator of the Divine Mercy Devotion, Fr. Anthony Swamy was instrumental in spreading the Divine Mercy Devotion in the Archdiocese by distributing Divine Mercy Statues, Pictures and Prayer Cards to the parishes and individuals. He recited daily the Divine Mercy Chaplet in the parishes at 3 p.m., along with the people.
It was brought to my notice that, at St. Theresa’s Church, Robertsonpet, he used to spend more time before the Blessed Sacrament, recite four rosaries daily, conduct Holy Hours and go for house blessings. Many have telephoned to me and my office to express their great shock and condolences, and it only shows how popular he was among the clergy, religious and lay faithful.
Needless to say, in his death, we have lost a great, exemplary, dynamic priest who served the Archdiocese with real pastoral zeal and great commitment. I take this opportunity to express my deepest condolences to his brothers and sister and close relatives and friends, and also to the Parishioners of St. Theresa’s Church, Robersonpet, KGF, where he served last as its Parish Priest, and Manager and Correspondent of the Parish Institutions. The Archdiocese will remain ever grateful to him for his 32 years of dedicated and commendable priestly service. We wish him a Heavenly Birthday and pray that the Merciful
Lord may grant him eternal peace and happiness. Let us also pray for the bereaved family members and friends that the Almighty God may give all of them the needed spiritual strength to accept this irreparable loss in the spirit of true Christian faith and hope.
May the pastoral life of Very Rev. Fr. A.S. Anthony Swamy be a source of inspiration to all of us and help us follow his example in our everyday Priestly and Christian life.
Kindly note: As it is customary in the Covid period, the body of Rev. Fr. Anthony Swamy has been retained in the hospital for post-death investigations. As we now go to the Press, it is not clear to us when the body will be released for the final rites. All the same, in view of the restrictions for gatherings and movements in this Covid season, his Funeral Rite and Burial will be done in private at the Sacred Heart Church Priests' Cemetery, Richmond Town, Bangalore.
All the Priests of the Archdiocese of Bangalore are requested to offer 3 Masses for the repose of the soul of Very Rev. Fr. A.S. Anthony Swamy.
May his soul rest in eternal peace!
+ Peter Machado
Archbishop of Bangalore