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85-year-old Divine Word missionary from Austria dies in India

Brother Herbert Raich, SVD

Herbert Raich, an Austrian Divine Word brother who spent most of his missionary life in the printing press, died in Indore, India, on May 28.

Brother Raich dedicated 58 years as a missionary to India. The obituary describes him as a brilliant missionary and model of religious dedication who inspired Divine Word Missionaries (SVD) priests, brothers, and many laypeople, notably in Indore's Cathedral Church parish.

His continuous commitment to Sat Prachar Press for almost 57 years was a landmark of religious dedication. In the Sat Prachar Press, where he resided, he would be already up in the chapel by 3:30 a.m. when others would be sleeping soundly.

While working full-time in the press for the last fifty-seven years, he regularly visited Prarthanalya, Mhow, where the director started night adoration every third Saturday of the month. But once the Adoration chapel was inaugurated in the refurnished old `Red Church,' he spent his free time daily after working hours in the press until 7 p.m. 

Pneumonia has made breathing challenging for him lately. On May 12, 2023, he entered Roberts' Nursing Home in Indore. He felt better when he left Robert's Nursing Home on May 26, 2023. He and several SVD priests who companied him spent two days at St. Joseph's Home, Palda. However, a few days later, he stopped breathing and died peacefully after supper.

Raich was one of India's last European SVD missionaries. On February 3, 1938, he was born to the late Mr. Krispin Raich and Mrs. Rosa Raich in the parish of Jerzens, Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria. His family is composed of five brothers and two sisters. One of his siblings became priest, and two became religious brothers in the SVD.

Herman Raich, his priest brother, was the bishop of Enga, Papua New Guinea. He died on October 9, 2009. Richard Angelus, his younger brother, worked in Central Europe. He died on October 30, 1992.

On June 1, 1954, he entered the SVD as a religious brother in St. Gabriel's, Austria, and made his first vows on September 8, 1958. He moved to England-Ireland after vowing.

The printing press has employed him since 1961. On September 8, 1964, he committed to St. Richard's College, England. He arrived in Indore at Sat Prachar Press on October 7, 1965, the feast of the Holy Rosary.

He did not celebrate his silver and golden jubilees, even if the province did. He desired prayer. He strongly opposed spiritual brotherhood in India, as, inspired by his congregation’s founder, Saint Arnold Janssen, he stressed that prayer and work were the brotherhood's primary professions.

On Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. in Holy Spirit Church, Palda, bishop Chacko Thottumarickal SVD of Indore, Provincial Fr. Paul Raj, and many SVD priests, brothers, religious sisters, and laypeople will celebrate the funeral mass for him. - With input from Fr. Clarence Srambical, SVD


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