Photos : Stanley Bantwal
Mangaluru, May 1: Director of St Antony Charitable Institutes, Fr Onil D’Souza, celebrated his Silver Jubilee of Priesthood with the destitute and family members in a simple and meaningful way on Monday, May 1, 2017 here.
Fr Onil celebrated the Thanksgiving Mass with nearly 50 clergymen including the Bishop of Mangaluru Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, Vicar General Msgr Denis Moras Prabhu and Chancellor Fr Henry Sequeira.
Msgr Moras in his homily thanked Almighty for giving a simple priest like Fr Onil to the diocese. He explained how Fr Onil walked on the way shown by Jesus Christ which is always difficult for every human being.
During the introduction before the celebration of Holy Eucharist, Fr Onil thanked God and all concerned people for helping him to reach twenty five years milestone of priesthood. “I have achieved a few things in life. Yet, I feel I could have done more. I will try his best to achieve them in the future,”
Later during the short felicitation programme, Dr Aloysius D’Souza presided over. Msgr Denis Moras Prabhu, Fr Henry Sequeira and Fr Francis D’Souza graced the dais.
Fr Henry Sequeira introduced Fr Onil D’Souza while he raised the toast and said “From his childhood Fr Onil D’Souza has been a simple person. He was ordained in 1992. After that he served in many places like Nakre, Valencia and Pangla. He was given a greater responsibility as the chief of CODP. Fr Onil and CODP became one name and the institute gained immensely during his term. He was instrumental in providing houses for the poor in the diocese during the Jubilee Year. Later he was sent to St Antony’s Institutes where he brought in revolutionary changes which can be seen by all. He is loved and liked by all. May he accomplish more achievements in his life.”
Fr Francis D’Souza read out the citation and Fr Onil was facilitated by the Bishop and Vicar General on behalf of all.
Dr Aloysius D’Souza hailed Fr Onil D’Souza for his obedience. “He never said no to anything in life. He was given toughest tasks as he was capable. But he never hesitated to take up any responsibility. He also motivated others to do good deeds in life. I was apprehensive when I sent him to St Antony’s Institutes. But he completely changed things here. St Antony’s devotion also gained momentum and more people started coming for novenas and feasts. It shows the dedication and popularity of Fr Onil as well as the miraculous help of St Antony to people. Fr Onil lives a life of a pious and simple priest. Inmates of St Antony’s Ashram love him very much,”
Fr Onil, speaking on the occasion, said “God does not choose the strongest, but strengthens the chosen people. I was not a very intelligent student. But God chose me to be a clergyman to serve the people. The current bishop was vocation director when I entered seminary. He willingly accepted me to be a priest and still guides me, encourages me and motivates me. I am always grateful to him. Monsignor Moras has been always a guide to me and an ambassador for St Antony’s Institutes with his never ending help. I thank all the clergy friends, nuns, all the people of diocese, my four brothers and a sister for all the encouragement and love they gave in these twenty five years of my religious life. I did not want to celebrate my jubilee. So I decided to spend the day with celebration of Eucharist and with some good moments with inmates and well wishers of Ashram.”
Fr Peter Gonsalves compered.
United Family Choir sang the hymns during the Mass and songs during the felicitation.
MLA J R Lobo and MLC Ivan D’Souza wished Fr Onil D’Souza. M P Noronha, Secretary of Diocese Pastoral Council was present among others.