The Silver Jubilarian From Saligao

by Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas

Recently, three priests from Saligao – Fr. Almir de Sousa, Fr. Thomas de Sousa and Fr. Casimiro D’Mello – celebrated the Golden Jubilee of their Ordination. At the same time, Fr. John Cajetan Felix D’Silva, ordained a priest on 28th December 1985, celebrated his Silver Jubilee. Let me tell you a little more about Fr John (today also happens to be his 57th birthday).

Fr. John D’Silva is the son of Domingos D’Silva and Sabina D’Cunha, and was born on 8th February 1954 at Shinvaddo-Mudd’davaddi in Saligao. He was baptised at Mae de Deus Church and is the sixth of seven children.

In Saligao John studied at Mae de Deus Parochial School and the Government Primary School (Aula). Later he went to St. Anthony’s High School, Monte de Guirim, and finally to Dyan Prasarak College of Commerce, Mapuça,

He joined the Franciscan Capuchin Order in June 1977 and underwent the Initiation Course at St. Fidelis Ashram in Lucknow. Subsequently he completed his philosophical studies at Calvary Ashram at Trissur in Kerala, before joining the Novitiate at Monte Marino Friary, Paranjipet, Mangalore, followed by Simple Profession in June 1981. He was there for a period of three years.  Then he did theological studies at Deena Seva Ashram, Kengeri, Bangalore, followed by Final Profession at Alverno Friary, Monte de Guirim, in June 1985.

He was ordained deacon by late Dom Jose Colaço, Bishop of Cabo Verde, at Alverno Friary Chapel, Monte de Guirim, in July 1985 and was finally ordained priest by the Most Rev. Raul Nicolau Gonsalves, Archbishop-Patriarch of the Archdiocese of Goa & Daman, at Mae de Deus Church, Saligao, on 28th December 1985.

Over the years Fr John D’Silva has undertaken the following Ministries:

  • Deacon ministry at Alverno Friary, Monte de Guirim, Our Lady of Victories, Revora, and St. Francis Xavier’s Church at Pirna (all in Goa), followed by other postings in various places.
  • January 1986 to May 1986 at Alverno Friary, Monte de Guirim.
  • From June 1986, he was at Padre Pio Friary at Modi, Navelim, as Treasurer, Vocation Promoter and External Apostolic Ministry, for a period of three years.
  • From June1989 Fr John was sent to help in the parishes of Our Lady of Victories, Revora, and St. Francis Xavier, Pirna, for a period of three years. Here he brought out a souvenir covering the history of these two parishes.
  • Fr John returned to Padre Pio Friary at Navelim as Vicar of the Community, from June 1992 for a period of two years.
  • From June 1994 to 1995 Fr John attended Regionalisation of Orientation & Postulancy courses and during this interim period was Superior of the House and Director of the Minor Seminary
  • From 1st June 1995 onwards he was appointed as full-fledged Superior & Director of Padre Pio Friary and Minor Seminary, Navelim. However Fr John faced great difficulty in carrying out his responsibilities, and on 29th June 1997 he walked out of the friary as no solution or help was forthcoming. He spent some time at home and also at Bhatpal parish in Goa, with the full knowledge and permission of the concerned Superiors.
  • 1998-1999: Fr John was appointed “on the staff” at St. Theresa of Child Jesus, Chaudi, Canacona.
  • 1999-2002: Appointed “on the staff” at St. John the Baptist Church, Benaulim.
  • On 1st January 2002 he was incardinated as a Diocesan priest, in the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman. In June 2002 he was appointed Chaplain of Our Lady of Piety, Panzarconi, Cuncolim, for a five-year term.
  • In 2007 he was appointed Chaplain of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Telaulim, Navelim, for one year up to May 2008.
  • In June 2008 he was appointed Parish Priest of Assumption of Our Lady Church, Velsao, and continues to serve there at present.

Fr John D’Silva is a good writer and has to his credit two books written in Konkani: Sant Anton Milagrincho Bhokt (2006), and Punzail’li Girestkai (2008). He celebrated the Silver Jubilee of his ordination on 28th December 2010 at St. Anne’s Chapel, Saligao, with a celebration of Mass, followed by a get-together.

Reference: Arquivo Paroquial da Igreja de Saligao

[with information supplied by Fr. John D’Silva]

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