Michael Britto

Obituary of Michael Britto



Celebrant:  Father Richard Whalen

Musicians: Madeline Lafferty (cantor) and Miriam Spoelstra (organist)

Processional Hymn-Be Not Afraid

First Reading-Wisdom 3:1-6, 9 -Reader: Kiara Britto (granddaughter)

Psalm-Psalm 91*-Reader: Anthea Murrell (daughter)

Second Reading-2 Timothy 4:6-8-Reader Keenan Pereira (great-grandnephew)

Gospel-John 6:51-58

Homily-Father Richard Whalen

Prayers of the Faithful-Reader: Malcolm Britto (son), Response: "Lord, graciously hear us."

Holy Communion             

Communion Hymn-Prayer of St. Francis

Recessional Hymn-Holy God We Praise Thy Name

Pallbearers: Malcolm Britto (son), Dan Murrell (son-in-law), Sherman Pereira (grandnephew-in-law)

Dante Britto (grandson), Roman Britto (grandson), Kenneth Murrell (grandson)


*Psalm 91 was recited often to Michael in the last month of his earthly life, 

when he was fearful or anxious, in the hospital or by phone, and frequently

late at night. He said he loved the words and the words gave him peace.


Livestream will be available on the Steele Funeral Home Facebook Page at 1:30 p.m. Saturday 


Michael Britto, passed away peacefully at 3pm on Friday, July 10 in Belleville, Ontario in his 96th year, with family at his side.  Loving and devoted father of Malcolm (Sylvia), Anthea Murrell (Dan) and Marwin (Sarah). Cherished grandfather of Kenneth and Vanessa Murrell, Marcello, Kiara, Dante, Roman and Marah Britto. Predeceased by his beloved wife of 55 years, Alice, his older brothers Constance and Santana Britto, older sister Cypriana D’Souza and his twin sister who passed at birth.

Michael was born in the village of Chinchinim, Goa (Portuguese India) on August 28, 1924.  Though his father died in childhood, Michael was the first in his family to graduate from high school and to complete a university degree, because of the financial support and encouragement of his brother Santana.  Michael achieved a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Bombay. With two years teaching experience in Goa, Michael accepted a position teaching French and English in Nairobi, Kenya at Dr. Ribeiro Goan School, where he met a beautiful English teacher, also from Goa, Alice Botelho.  They were married at St. Francis Xavier Church in Nairobi on Easter Monday, April 7, 1958. The couple, with son Malcolm and daughter Anthea, moved to England in 1963, where Michael obtained his Teacher Training Certificate from the University of London, while his wife Alice taught high school.  The family returned to Nairobi, where son Marwin was born.  In 1969, Michael and Alice Britto along with their three young children immigrated to Canada, and settled in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  There, Michael taught Special Education for the Welland County Catholic School Board, taking courses at Brock University during the evenings and summers with his wife Alice to update their Bachelor degrees.  Michael then completed a Master of Arts from Niagara University in Buffalo, New York, while still teaching, subsequently working until his retirement as a teacher/diagnostician. 

Michael was also an accomplished linguist: his first language was Konkani (Portuguese-Indian dialect), followed by Portuguese (elementary school), English then French (high school and university), Swahili (in Kenya), followed by courses in Spanish and Italian after retirement. He used these language skills to develop strong relationships on the four continents where he lived, studied and worked.  From a very early age, Michael committed himself to religious and community service with untiring devotion, reflecting his faith in Scouting and St. John’s Ambulance in Kenya, active membership in St Francis Xavier Church in Nairobi, Our Lady of the Scapular Parish in Niagara Falls (where he sang in the choir, was a lector, Eucharistic Minister, and member of Parish Council, the Catholic Council of Men, the Parish Choice, the Renew Program team, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) and the Holy Name Society.  Michael was also active in the Knights of Columbus Hennepin Council 1652, serving as Guard, Church Director, Chancellor, Deputy Grand Knight, Grand Knight and District Deputy, Fourth Degree Knight of Fr. Hennepin Assembly 1831, and Faithful Navigator.  Michael was also active in the community of Niagara Falls, as Scout Master, soccer and badminton coach, and English teacher to new immigrants. His lifelong commitment to service was recognized on two continents:  in Kenya, Michael was given a 25-year Service Award for his work with the Scouts and St. John’s Ambulance; in 1986, Michael received Volunteer of the Year award from the City of Niagara Falls.

Michael was a gifted speaker and typically began with an entertaining story or new joke.   Whether leading the Rosary service for the Knights of Columbus or Our Lady of the Scapular Church, celebrating family milestones  or speaking at social events,  or praying before breaking bread, the warmth of his baritone voice, and his charm and gentility resonated with all.  Michael could walk into a room full of strangers and within hours leave behind laughter and a new circle of friends, a talent that stayed with him even this past year as he easily adjusted to a new social life at the age of 95 at Chartwell Bayview Retirement Home and to a new parish community at St. Michael the Archangel Church.

Michael was always very proud of his children and grandchildren, and he will be dearly missed by his family and friends.

Visitation will be held at Steele Funeral Home, Moira Street Chapel, 30 Moira Street West, Belleville (613-968-2273), on Saturday, July 18th, 2020. Visitation times are: 11:00 to 11:30 a.m., 11:45 to 12:15 p.m., and 12:30 to 1:00 p.m.  Those wishing to attend are asked to reserve a time by e-mailing RSVP@steelefuneralhome.ca  Please reference BRITTO in the subject line. Please be sure to include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address, and the time slot you would like to attend. If booking for multiple persons, please include contact information for each person.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at the church of St. Michael the Archangel, following the visitation.

Those wishing to attend the Funeral Mass, please contact Malcolm Britto directly at, malcolm_britto@hotmail.com  Only those who have pre-registered and contacted Malcolm will be allowed into the church due to Covid screening protocol. 


PLEASE NOTE: As per the directive of the Bereavement Authority of Ontario:  attendance numbers are restricted. Please be aware that Covid-19 protocols are in place which may preclude some from being able to attend. MASKS and social distancing are mandatory.  Live-stream on Steele Funeral Home Facebook Page.  The Mass will also be recorded in order that you may view it at a later time.


A Thanksgiving Mass followed by an outdoor informal gathering will be held on Saturday, August 15, 2020.

The Feast of Assumption, at 11am, at Our Lady of the Scapular church in Niagara Falls, with Father Paul McNeil presiding.


In lieu of flowers, please offer a Mass for the soul of Michael Britto at Our Lady of the Scapular Church, St. Michael the Archangel Church (email: stmichael1829@gmail.com), at your own Catholic church, or make a donation to the church in your community, in memory of Michael Britto. 





Share Your Memory of