Br M R Foran


Br Foran embodied all those virtues that make the Christian Brothers so famous. He was a teacher in the best of traditions—as much at ease with the subjects he taught as he was with those who were privileged to learn under him. His special magic was that he drew love and respect simply by being himself—a man who wore his burdens lightly, was quick with a smile or a wisecrack, and always came across as a friend you could count on. Of course, he did give me a couple of stingers way back in 1970, when I was in Class Eight. I didn't enjoy the beating—and nor did he! Someday, hopefully, all teachers will be like him.

— Pierre Francis (1973)

Like many others, I was saddened to hear of the death of Br Foran. I had the privilege of working with him and have many happy memories of Raphael.  I attended his funeral in Co Waterford where the oration was given by a colleague of his, Br Pat Gaffney. Also present from India were Br John Corbett, Br Maurice Finn and  Michael Johnston. My condolences to all at Mt Abu. (I loved every moment I spent there in the 70's and was thrilled to be able to visit again in 1984. My next visit is long overdue). Mt Abu holds a very special place in my heart and that is due in no small way to prople like Br Foran. May he rest in peace.

Ar dheis De go raibh a ainm.
— John Whelan

I was shocked to hear of Br Foran's passing away—I always thought he was as enduring a presence as Plummy or Spongy and that I would go and meet him one day and that there was no hurry—for he would always be there and what's more—he would be the same. "Here are those nice boys from class 10—how are you today Nalin"—I guess everyone would remember his greetings. I never knew I could be so saddened by the memories of a man who taught me more than 30 years ago and who had come from a land 5000 miles away. He will always be in our hearts and praying for the rest of his soul in peace would be superfluous for such a noble soul. All the same we will be compelled to do it—for such were the bonds—such was the reverence—everyday of our lives for the rest of our lives—may his soul rest in eternal peace.

—Nalin Thaker (1969)

A gentle soul,  that touched many for life.

—Stephen de Silva (1972)

Br. Foran was a very nice and sincere person who was committed to his mission and his pupils. A person of his dedication is becoming rarer to find in today's world. His demise is a deep loss to us all.

—Sujeet Mudarth (1985)

Dear Gentlemen of Abu,

I come to you this time with the sad news of Brother Foran's passing away. He had gone to Ireland to celebrate his 80th birthday in May and was in top form. News came in today that he slipped on the stairs and fell, injuring his head. Brain damage followed and when he was admitted in hospital, he was declared dead. May his great soul rest in peace. Many lads will have fond memories of him. He may not have been the best teacher around but he was a real Brother to the young lads in Abu, a man with a sense of humour and heroic dedication. He shall be missed. We will never know how he felt, but I'm sure he would have loved to be buried in India, possibly in his beloved Abu. God had other plans. Some of the great Brothers of India are buried in Ireland. Come to think of it, Ireland, being so close to heaven, is not a bad place to be buried after all!!! [That said, I want to be buried in India.] God bless all of you in whatever you have in hand these days. Let us be united in prayer. Your Brother

—Br Kevin Ward

Br Foran….fondly remembered as FORI used to be seen clearing away small stones that he would come across on the football field (E-div) he was in charge of so that the boys playing would not get badly hurt when they fell down.

Whenever I met Bro.Foran with my classmates and other boys he would tell them “This is the best boy in the school” and I would just smile. Similarly he used to do the same with the others. This was something really sweet about him.

Br. Foran will be well remembered for his witty and humorous comments which most of us I guess did not understand. They could be simply called “BOUNCERS”.

In Gratitude,

—Preston Coelho (1992)

Br Foran's death came as a great shock to me since he was here the week before for a few days. He was in great form and was enjoying his holiday and looking forward to his trip back to India in 12 July. I shall be going to his funeral today in the South-east of Ireland where he will be buried in the Brothers' Cemetery in his hometown. Bye for now and God bless.

—Br John Corbett

The death occurred last evening at his sister’s home in Carrick-on-Suir of Brother Michael Raphael Foran. Apparently he was coming down stairs when he fell. An ambulance rushed him to Waterford Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. May his gentle soul rest in peace.

Removal to Carrick Church on Monday evening and burial will be after 11:00 Mass on Tuesday morning. Please do remember him in your prayers.

I would also be grateful if you would please forward this to any other Abuites or friends of the Brothers who might have known "Foree".  God bless

—Br Liam Deasy

Fondly remembering Br. Foran and his limit of tolerance in the class

—Saba Vincent Da Silva

I will always remember Br Foran as a very gentle soul and an affectionate human being. last saw him 31 years ago.It is a pity I didn't look him up,though I thought of it many times. And now he is gone forever. Will always remember him as a kind man with a smiling face and a twinkle in the eyes. He alongwith Br Keane, Br Deasy and Mr Kureekat is a part of one of the most important and influencial experiences of my life. May God bless his soul and look after his family.

—Phalguni Mukherjee (1978)

A man with a heart bigger than Rajasthan, yet the best part of it was crammed into Abu, where he taught from the 1960s to the 1990s.

He was no athlete, but he administered and refereed countless games and sports events. He was no brilliant scientist, but much of our grounding in math and science (minus b plus or minus the square root of b squared minus 4ac ...) can be traced straight back to him. He was no writer, but he hammered in essential elements of our classical literary and cultural education (redundancy—“up, above, on top; down, below, underneath”, Hobson's choice, busman's holiday). He did this with a style all his own: infinite repetition, and a unique trait of breaking off in mid-sentence, even mid-word, cueing the class to run a constant dialogue with him.

He was constantly on the move, keeping accounts in Clerk's office, biking to town for groceries, or making sure the footballs were properly inflated. On every trip from one corner of school to the other, he intoned those unforgettable endearments: “There's that nice D'Souza boy.” He was a tease, and often the instigator of nicknames. There was a special line he used on me: “He's a lovely boy when he's sleeping.”

He could fairly be accused of being less than the sternest disciplinarian. While some staff had the reputation of hiding a cain up their sleeve, Forey was known for hoarding chocolates in his pockets, and it was a constant challenge to catch him slipping one into his mouth. Many classes claim to have been the first to lock the sash of his habit inside a front row desk.

If our memories of him could be characterized in one word, it would have to be “affectionate.”

—Val Noronha (1973)