We are sorry to inform you about the passing away of Fr. Chelston(Charlie Dias) (68/50) at 10.45p.m on 27 January 2015 at Gomtipur, Nursing Home in Ahmedabad. The funeral will be held on 29 January 2015 at 3.00p.m in Loyola Hall, Ahmedabad.
Fr.Charlie Dias was admitted in the Sterling Hospital in the second week of November 2014 for the treatment of cancer in his right arm. The doctors were trying their level best to save his right arm. After a prolonged treatment at Sterling, on 16 January 2015 the doctors then in consultation with the superiors concerned decided to go for the amputation of the arm in order to save his life.
Fr.Charlie Dias accepted the decision of the doctors and then he had sent his personal message to his near and dear ones:
“It is hard to believe i have finally after more than a month i have now been recommended to take the harsh step of consent of amputation of my Right hand, this is in consultation with the team of my Superiors, Socius and my family members having met with the Panel of doctors including Dr Somesh and Dr Mandeep to save my life. They did all the best to save my hand but at the end i lost the battle and had to surrender my right arm.”
The right arm was amputated on 16 January 2015. For a week he was in the ICU and then he was transferred to a private room. He showed a lot of improvement. With the support of Bro.Pravin Falcao, he even tired to walk in the room. Once again on 25 January, he had to be put in the ICU since his vital organs were not cooperating to the treatment that was given to him. Moreover he had to undergo dialysis. After the dialysis he had to be put in ventilators.
Finally his prolonged suffering came to an end on 27 January 2015 at 10.45 p.m and he departed for the eternal home. May his soul rest in peace!
Fr.Chelston was the ninth child in a family of twelve. He joined the Apostolic School at Loyola Hall and passed SSC from Loyola in 1964. Influenced by the Jesuit Community at Loyola, he joined the novitiate the same year and took his vows in 1966. As a student of St.Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad, he presented the college in football, hockey and athletics. Though chosen to represent the Gujarat University in these various disciplines, he had to step out ‘in virtue of holy obedience’. In 1968, Fr.Charlie Dias was the fastest runner in Gujarat University standing first in the 100 m. race.
After an illustrious college performance, both in and off the field, he proceeded for the novitiate at Mt Abu and then for philosophy to Pune. After completing his regency and theology, he was ordained a priest in Bandra in 1979. After his B.Ed. Charlie had four assignment at Rosary, Baroda in 1984, landed at Loyola hall as Vice Principal, with additional charge of sports and scouts.
Charlie has a motto that reads: A true Xavierite is a better person for others. His great hobby is arranging leadership camps and ‘future leaders’ vie with each other to find a place on these camps. The leadership camps surely went beyond the ordinary and the mundane routine of the textbook learning and spewing what was learnt in examinations. These camps have been, a unique contribution of fr.Charlie to engage young people in understanding themselves, discovering their inner potential, sensitizing them to society’s challenges and egging them on to leadership. His faith formation camps for Catholics students have him personally involved and devoted every bit of his time and energy. As a Vocation promoter, he organized many camps and through these camps many have joined for priesthood and for religious life.
All through the years at St.Xavier’s Loyola Hall, Fr.Charlie has held many offices and important ones such as Principal of St.Xavier’s Loyola Hall Primary Section, Director of Leadership Training programmes, Director of Sports and games, Director of alter servers, Chairman of Cubs and scouts, Director of the Social service league and Minister of the Jesuit residence. Holding all these portfolios, Fr.Charlie’s main focus has been the children. He instilled in his students the spirit of sportsmanship. ‘Play the game to enjoy it. Winning and losing don’t matter. Participation is the most important thing’.
Fr.Charlie’s generosity knows no bounds reaching out to the poor and the needy far and wide. He is very often addressed as Fr.Santaclaus.