Natalia Goncalves DeBarros

With a grace all her own, Natália Gonçalves de Barros was a welcome sight to all who knew her. Her love was unyielding, her faith relentless, and her tranquility unmatched. Affectionately referred to as Bibica, she began her story on February 23, 1921 in Laranjeira, Fogo, Cabo Verde with her four siblings and her parents Manega and Patola. It was in these formative years that she nurtured a love for God which she carried on throughout her life. With this foundation she set out to start her own family, and at the age of 17 married Tomé Resende de Barros.

The young family quickly grew, and Bibica became a mother to 14 children known as Maria Antonia, Mery, Maia, Tina, Pedro, Bartolomeu, Ana, Luluxa, Eloy, Nanando, Nuni, Duduca, Pinani, and Lalala. Each learned quickly that a successful family is built on unity and responsibility; as such, they all helped in the house, on the farm, and in raising their younger siblings. Bibica had an undeniable bond with her home in Ponta Verde Fogo; however, her love for her children was greater. In 1979 Bibica and Tome immigrated to America leaving almost everything they knew behind so that their family might have access to more opportunities.

Settling in Roxbury, Massachusetts, they moved into an apartment on Shirley Street. Their family continued to grow as grandchildren scurried down what seemed to be a mile long hallway, never growing tired of the endless fun with their cousins. With 42 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren, Bibica loved them each in such a unique way that made each one feel truly special. Eventually Bibica did return to her home in Fogo where she was most happy. It was there on her front terrace that she would relax under flowing trees, chat with visitors, and inevitably “baza nove” to anyone playing Biska with her.

Bibica left an immeasurable imprint on us all. When we miss her, let us think back to the special moments we had with her. Moments when she gladly sat up in her bed to share photos of family and

friends from her iPad. Moments when she recounted memories and stories from her younger days in away so vivid that listeners were always left amazed. Moments when she smiled at you and made you personally feel like you were the most important person in the world to her. Moments when she laughed that uniquely Bibica laugh that made your heart warm in a way nothing else could.

We can rest assured that she was welcomed into heaven by loving daughters, siblings, parents, and so many others who awaited her arrival. Additionally, our beloved Bibica is resting in peace for eternity right alongside her husband as she always wished. May we take these last moments to thank her for all her blessings and for the legacy she left behind in all of us.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Saint Patrick Church, Thursday, November 30 at 10AM. Visiting hours will be held at the Church on Wednesday from 5-9PM. Interment at New Calvary Cemetery. Relatives and friends invited.