Rev. Dr. Lawrence DSouza celebrates Ruby Jubilee of Ordination with Thanksgiving Mass and Felicitati

Rev. Dr. Lawrence DSouza celebrates Ruby Jubilee of Ordination with Thanksgiving Mass and Felicitati


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By Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Pics By Alphonse Mendonsa
Bellevision Media Network

Udupi/Shanakerpura, 18 Jul 2017: Rev. Dr. Lawrence D’Souza, presently Secretary of Catholic Education Society Udupi (CESU) celebrated the Ruby Jubilee of his ordination with a solemn thanksgiving mass in St. John the Evangelist Church, Shankerpura (Pangla) followed by reception in the parish hall on Tuesday, 18 July 2017. Fifty priests from the Dioceses of Udupi and Mangalore were present for the solemn thanksgiving mass along with those who were ordained with him by late Bishop Basil D’Souza on 5 May 1977 at Milagres Church, Mangalore - Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo, Fr. Fred Mascarenhas - presently parish priest of Padukone Church and Fr. Fredrick D’Souza-presently parish priest of Manipal Church.

 

Fr. Baptist Menezes in his homily quoting former Pope Benedict XVI said that the people choose two kinds of cultures-culture of death which destroys people physically and spiritually and culture of life, that is, the life of virtues, service and sacrifice. The priests choose the culture of life and dedicate their lives in the service of God, church and humanity. Fr. Baptist Menezes highlighted the priestly vocation as the person chosen among the people by God Himself, anointed and sent among the people to spread the Good Word. He also referred to specific passages from the Gospels which point out the evolution of priesthood as designed by Jesus Christ. He further said that every Catholic requires a priest  from his or her birth till death, to administer Sacraments and also to render various other spiritual services. 

 

The liturgy of the thanksgiving mass was animated by the family members of Rev. Dr. Lawrence D’Souza

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Soon after the mass, felicitation function was held in the Parish Hall above the commercial complex. Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo presided over the felicitation function. Other dignitaries on the dais included: Rev. Dr. Lawrence D’Souza, Fr. Fred Mascarenhas, Fr. Fredrick D’Souza, Fr. Valerian Mendonca, parish Priest of Mother of Sorrows Church, Udupi and Chancellor of Udupi Diocese, Fr. Ferdinand Gonslaves-parish priest of St. John the Evangelist Church, Shankerpura, Fr. Peteer Noronha, Fr. Antony Serrao-parish priest of Bendore, Mangalore, Fr. Rajesh D’Souza (SVD), nephew of Fr. Lawrence and Mr. Baptist D’Souza, eldest brother of Fr. Lawrence. 

 

Following the welcome dance by Chrishel and Gishel , Roshan D’Souza, one of the nephews of Fr. Lawrence D’Souza welcomed the guests and the gathering.  This was followed by cutting of the jubilee cake.

 

Raising the toast, Fr. Antony Serrao briefly narrated the family background and achievements of Rev. Dr. Lawrence D’Souza as a student, seminarian, priest and administrator. He said that during 40 years of his priesthood, Fr. Lawrence spent 36 years as an administrator of Catholic institutions such as Fr. Muller’s  Hospital, Catholic Board of Education (CBE) and St. Johns Medical College, Bangalore. Fr. Antony further said that Fr. Lawrence has been a man of prayer, intelligent, deep thinker and voracious reader. He has a rare gift of memory especially remembering the names of persons. He has been a good organizer and his PRO has been exemplary as he could maintain good relation with higher officials in government departments.

 

Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo and other dignitaries on the dais honoured Rev. Dr. Lawrence D’Souza by offering him shawl, jasmine flowers garland and fruits.

 

Fr. Ferdinand Gonslaves, parish priest of Shankerpura in his felicitation message highlighted the fine qualities of Fr. Lawrence. Along with Fr. Vincent Coelho, Principal of St. Johns PU College, Fr. Royson Fernandes, assistant parish priest, Vice President  and Secretary of Parish pastoral Council he felicitated Fr. Lawrence on behalf of  the parishioners of Shankerpura.

 

On behalf of the family, Baptist D’Souza, the eldest brother of Fr. Lawrence appreciated the achievements of his younger brother as a priest and wished him well in his future endeavours. On behalf of the family all three brothers-Baptist, Joseph and Lazarus felicitated Fr. Lawrence by offering him floral garland. 

 

Fr. Lawrence honoured those who were ordained with him - Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo, Fr. Fred Mascarenhas and Fr. Fredrick D’Souza by offering them shawls and jasmine garlands.

 

In reply to the felicitation function organized by his family members, Rev. Dr. Lawrence D’Souza said that he was an instrument in the hands of God to do His work. Speaking about his family in an emotional tone, Fr. Lawrence recalled the role of his parents and the then parish priest late Fr. Gabriel D’Souza in his vocation to priesthood. Fr. Lawrence narrated the circumstances that led to his joining the seminary. He greatly appreciated the responsibilities shouldered by his eldest brother Baptist and his wife in looking after the parents in their old age. He further said that because his eldest brother took the responsibility, others could move out of the house in search of better prospects. Fr. Lawrence said that though his parents were illiterate they had in depth knowledge and he learnt many things from them and had great respect and affection towards them.  He thanked all those who made the celebration of the Ruby Jubilee of his ordination possible especially all his family members, Fr. Ferdinand Gonsalves, Fr. Vincent Coelho, Fr. Royson Fernandes and others. 

 

In his presidential message, Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo lauded the fine qualities of Rev. Dr. Lawrence D’Souza. He said that Fr. Lawrence has been the gift of God to his family, to his parish, to the dioceses of Mangalore and Udupi as well as to the Church of India. The Bishop mentioned about the academic and administrative achievements of Fr. Lawrence and said that the greatness of Fr. Lawrence lie in his humility and obedience. Though he had an opportunity to serve as an administrator of CBCI Hospitals in Ranchi and Andhra Pradesh, he chose to return to his native diocese of Udupi after the end of his term in St. Johns Medical College and abide by the directives of the Bishop. Finally, the Bishop said that the greatness of Fr. Lawrence lie in the fact that he remained true to his vocation of priesthood for the past forty years and rendered his service to the church and humanity with full dedication and sincerity. 

 

On behalf of the Diocese of udupi, Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo felicitated Rev. Dr. Lawrence D’Souza with shawl and garland.

 

Fr. Rajesh D’Souza (SVD) proposed the vote of thanks. The entire function was efficiently anchored by Fr. Royson Fernandes. 

Rev. Dr. Lawrence DSouza: A Great Administrator and Educationist

Born on 28 November 1948 as the third among four sons(Baptist, Joseph, Lawrence and Lazarus) of late Casmir D’Souza and late Regina Mendonca at Pernal in Udupi District had his primary education at Fatima Higher Primary School, Pernal. He completed his high school education at St. Mary’s, Shirva. Though his parents lacked education, they made it a point to see that all their sons would get better and higher education.  His parents, though simple, brought  up their sons with the noble philosophy that ‘home is for work and eat, school is to study  and church is to pray’.


In 1962, when his mother took ill, young Lawrence learnt the art of cooking, a skill that paid rich dividends in his later life, in times of need in the United States which he continued as a hobby. His other hobbies included stage events such as public speaking and acting. Lawrence joined St. Joseph’s Seminary, Mangalore in 1966 while his elder brother took on responsibility to take care of the parents.

 

The then parish priest of Our Lady of Fatima Church, Pernal, Fr. Gabriel D’Souza was a great source of inspiration to young Lawrence who nurtured the spirit of vocation in the heart and mind of the young boy. When Fr. Gabriel used to visit the homes of the parishioners, young Lawrence would tag along with him. As Sunday School teacher, Fr. Gabriel would tell stories from the Bible in simple language. He also introduced Lawrence to Christian literature which led him to learn more. Fr. Gabriel’s virtues of simplicity, love for all mankind and strong faith inspired Lawrence to follow his footsteps. Fr. Gabriel greatly inspired young Lawrence to join the seminary.

 

Along with the formation for priesthood in the seminary, Br. Lawrence continued his education in which he excelled throughout his acaademic pursuit obtaining ranks and medals. He secured BSc degree from St. Aloysius College, Mangalore and secured second rank in the subject of Chemistry in the entire Mysore University. After Philosophy studies in the seminary, Br. Lawrence went to Rome for Theological studies and acquired Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) from Urban University, Rome in 1977 which he passed with ‘Summa cum Laude’. After completing the training and learning to be a priest, Deacon Lawrence was ordained a priest on 5 May 1977 at Milagres Church, Mangalore.

 

Even after being ordained a priest and serving in parishes, Fr. Lawrence did not give up his hunger for higher learning  and did Post Graduation in Philosophy from the Karnataka University, Dharvad and Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from St. Aloysius College. He also obtained LL.B. degree  through SDM Law College, Mangalore with Gold Medal.

 

After his ordination, Fr. Lawrence D’Souza was appointed as the Assistant Priest at Kulshekar Church, Mangalore. Thereafter, he served as Assistant Director of Fr. Muller’s Hospital, Mangalore for five years. Next, he took charge as the Secretary of the Catholic Board of Education (CBE) where he served for seven years. With his intelligence, hard work and dedication, Fr. Lawrence made Catholic schools more active and responsible for good education.

 

In 1980, when he was the Assistant Director of Fr. Muller’s Hospital. Fr. Lawrence arranged for the visit of Mother Teresa on the occasion of the Centenary Celebration of the hospital. In 1986, he was embraced by Pope John Paul II at the Bajpe Airport, Mangalore in recognition of his work as Secretary of the Organizing Committee that arranged the Papal visit to Mangalore. He cherishes this memory till date as the ‘embrace of a saint’.

 

Fr. Lawrence D’Souza did M.A. in Religious Studies in Fordham University, New Yok (USA) in 1994. His  highest academic achievement was when he was awarded Ph. D. degree in Administration and Supervision from Fordham University, New York (USA) in 1998.

 

Along with his studies at the Fordham University, Fr. Lawrence served as the Associate Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Church, New York from 1992 to 1998.


After completing his Ph.D. studies, Rev. Dr. Lawrence D’Souza served as Administrator of Fr. Muller’s Medical College of Nursing for 8 years During his tenure, he was responsible for many developments of the college. He went back to serve as the parish priest of Kulshekar Church for two years. During this period, in 2007, the All India Bishop’s Conference, after evaluation of the capabilities and service of Rev. Dr. Lawrence D’Souza appointed him as the Director of St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Bangalore where he served till 2014.

 

After completing his term as the Administrator of St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, Rev. Dr. Lawrence D’Souza came back to Udupi Diocese in 2014 and was appointed as the Secretary of the Catholic Education Society of Udupi (CESU), the post which he still holds.


Comments on this Article
Maurice Menezes, Udupi/DXB Mon, July-31-2017, 2:33

Dear Dr Rev Fr Lawrence, Hearty congratulations and best wishes on your Ruby Sacerdotal Jubilee Celebrations.May God grant you many more years of service and greater achievements in your mission. Maurice Menezees Family.

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