On 26 July 2018, Fr Clement Campos, C.Ss.R. sent a WhatsApp message to the Redemptorists in India with these words: “Yesterday, I celebrated my 47th anniversary of ordination. Yesterday God also told me I had cancer. He has invited me into a new way of participating in his redemption. Pray with me that I be faithful. I love you my confreres and I count on your support and prayer.”
A little over a month later, on 28th August at 12:50 pm, he breathed his last. This past month, Clement faced the ravages of pancreatic cancer with a serenity that came from a heart that had offered and surrendered his life and impending death to the Redeemer. He was lovingly attended to, by his own Redemptorist family and the many members of his own Campos family.
The funeral was held on 29 August 2018. The Eucharist was presided over by the Archbishop emeritus of Bangalore, Bernard Moras. The current Archbishop of Bangalore, Peter Machado concelebrated and then blessed the mortal remains at the end of the Eucharist. There were several concelebrants present not only from among the Redemptorists, but also other religious and those of the Archdiocese. There were also several other consecrated persons. The Church overflowed with hundreds of persons - many of whose lives were touched by Fr Clement Campos. He was a remarkable man who lived a remarkable life and died a remarkable death as he participated in the new way of participating in God’s redemption - faithful to the end.
Clement had chosen the readings and the hymns for the Liturgy in advance. And the entire service was a thanksgiving to God for the gift of Clement. It was also an expression of gratitude to Clement for the many things that he was to many people: a wonderful pastor, brilliant teacher, talented musician, compassionate minister, lover of the poor and broken, vulnerable and marginalized. He served the Redemptorists as well the Church of God not only in India but through his theological contributions, the wider world as well.
At his express desire, the homilist was Fr Juventius Andrade CSsR. There was a string of eulogies delivered at the end. There was a message sent by the Superior General which was read out by Fr Assisi Saldanha appreciating Clement for who he was and what he contributed to the worldwide Redemptorist Congregation. A moving eulogy was given by Fr Joseph Royan on behalf of the Province of Bangalore. There were also tributes delivered by Fr Joseph V. J. for the Liguori Province and Fr. Shane Varghese for the Vice Province of Majella. Fr David Jesuraj thanked the many persons who cared for Clement during his time of illness. And finally Clement’s brother, Mr. Mario Campos thanked all on behalf of the Campos Family.
Fr. Clement Campos has left a profound mark on the Church in India, but he has also left a void especially among the Redemptorists, that can never be filled. The sure consolation is that we have yet another intercessor for us all - one who faithfully persevered as a Redemptorist till the end. God rest you Clement. We miss you. We are grateful to you.