BALAKA, Malawi - Is this too early?, Could this be true? The death of Fr. Fred Scragg, a respected Montfortian religious, has been received with much sadness within the Africa Anglophone Delegation, the Montfortian family at large and the clergy in Malawi.
I have known Fred for some time. When I was cutting my first teeth in theology in Nairobi Scholasticate Community, he inspired me. He was my confrere, formator, Canon Law and Mariology teacher, mentor and companion. He was a computer wizard, open minded and an up -to- date lecturer. He always encouraged me to do Canon Law and finances. At Hekima Jesuit College he has left a mark in terms of teaching and research beyond his age.
Fred was a man of faith; prayer was his life. When I talked to him on skype early last month, he was very happy and asked; "How is Antony, Jacob, Felix, David, Louis, Francis ... I miss Malawi, please remember me in your prayers and Mass. I will say Mass for you." He was always asking for prayers even before his health condition worsened.
We will miss a good confrere. He was everything a Montfortian should want to be. There won't be another Fred, though.
Fred had a heart for Africa, his passion and Montfortian zeal was for Africa. No wonder he passed on as formator of Montfort Scholasitics in Nairobi as his last assignment before he left for medical treatment.
While in Malawi Fr Fred served at Nankhunda Minor Seminary for many years. In their Whatsapp group, the clergy in Mangochi had these messages:
"Fr Fred was my Rector from 1974 to 1978. A great Mathematics and Physical Science teacher! May he soul rest in eternal peace!" Fr Joseph Kimu
"Sad indeed. vivid memories about him come to my mind. May his soul rest in eternal peace." Fr Grevulo.
"Rest in Peace. During our time as Rector we were calling him Mchonya (Great teacher)." Fr kalawa.
Goodbye, Fred, our beloved companion and mentor. A great voice falls silent. A great heart for Africa stops. The seedlings you planted in the young confreres of Africa and the Philippines are but the lasting memories for your work in formation.
You will be sorely missed. Rest in Eternal Peace. Fr Fred pray for us as you are with Mary and Montfort.
"It's sad when someone you know becomes someone you knew" - Henry Rollins
-Fr Jailos Mpina,smm