Thursday, 20 September 2012

FR JOSEPH D’SILVA(05.04.1952-19.09.2012)

The funeral Mass at St. John's Church, Sealdah at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, 22nd September 2012, followed by interment at St. John's cemetery.

Fr. Joseph D’Silva was born at Bondel, Mangalore, on 5th April 1952 as the second of the three children and only son to the late  Mr. Alphonse Cajetan D’Silva and Mrs. Nathalia D’Souza.  He has an elder sister (Christina) and a younger sister (Mary Josephine).

Up to 1965, he did the Primary schooling at St. Joseph’s Higher Primary School, Kulshekar, and completed High School and Pre-University Class from St. Aloysius School and College, Mangalore in 1969. He decided to join the Archdiocese of Calcutta and did his Juniorate at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Mangalore, and graduation from St. Aloysisus College, Manglore in 1972

From 1972-74, Br.Joseph studied Philosophy at Morning Star College, Barrackpore.  In 1974, he did his regency at St. Teresa’s Church, and St. Peter’s School, Moulali. From June 1975 to April 1979,  he studied Theology at Morning Star College, Barrackpore.  On 11th May 1979, Fr. Joseph was ordained a priest by the late Bishop Basil S D’Souza of Managlore.

As a young and energetic priest, Fr. Joseph served the Lord and His people in different places and capacities:
Assistant at Sacred Heart Church, Burdwan (now Asansol Diocese): 1979 June – December 1980;
Assistant at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Midnapore and Acting Headmaster at Nirmal Hriday Ashram School, Midnapore : June 1981-May 1984;
Assistant at St. Teresa’s Church and at St. Peter’s School, Moulali: 1984 June to October;
Assistant at Boys’ Town of West Bengal, Orphanage: November 1984-December 1985;
Priest in-charge of Queen of Peace Church, Tollygunge: January 1986 to May 1988;
Parish priest of St. Anthony’s Church, Burnpur(now Asansol Diocese): June 1988-December 1994;
Priest in-charge of St. Paul’s Parish, Kulti (Now Asansol Diocese): January 1995 to June 1996;
Assistant, Infant Jesus Church, Behala: July  to December 1996;
Parish priest at St. Patrick’s Church, Dum Dum: January 1997 – June 2000;
Priest in-charge of Mary Immaculate Church, Kanchrapara, and in-charge of Calcutta Theology seminarians at Kristo Niketan Barrackpore: July 2000-June 2001;
Rector of St. John Mary Vianney Minor Seminary, Barasat: July 2001-December 2002;
Priest in-charge of Nishkalanka Maria Girja, Barasat and Director of Praggaloy Pastoral Centre, Kolkata Archdiocese, and coordinator for the deanery as Dean of North 24 Parganas Deanery: July - December 2002;
Rector of St. Joseph’s Chapel and St. Anthony’s Shrine, Market Street, Kolkata: January 2003 to December 2005;
Rector of St. Aloysius Orphanage and Boarding, Jholi, and Curate of Sacred Heart Church, Kharagpur: January 2006 to December 2011;
At Vianney Home, Middleton Row, Kolkata: December 2011 until he breathed his last on 19th Sept. 2012.

That was the availability of Fr. Joe for God’s work with generosity and faith, carrying the Cross daily. In a note dated 26.2.2010 and signed by him, he considered his entire Priestly ministry as a Way of the Cross with 14 stations, a way that leads to death and through death, to resurrection and salvation.

Fr. Joseph had a miraculous cure of a pancreas-related ailment  about 9 years ago, and  the last 10 months he spent at Vianney Home fighting a brave battle with diabetes and  heart problem and finally surrendered his life to the Lord peacefully at 9.15 p.m. on Wednesday, 19th Sept. 2012 as Archbishop Henry D’Souza administered to him the Sacrament of the Sick.  It was indeed a happy death.  As in life so in death, Fr. Joseph lived his simplicity to the end.

In the death of Fr. Joseph D’Silva, the Archdiocese of Calcutta has lost a   generous  and dedicated pastor.  The family has lost a dear one, and all of us a cheerful friend. We are grateful to the parents and family members of Fr. Joe who offered him to the service the Lord in this Archdiocese.  Today we remember in a very special way his dear mother, now 87 years of age, and sick, who, like Mary the mother of Jesus is grieving the loss of her only son. Fr. Joseph’s younger sister Mary, his niece Jane, and nephew Rohan   will represent the family at the funeral.   May the Lord grant Fr. Joe eternal rest and life.