Mangalore, July 10: Rev. Fr Antony Joseph D’Souza, who was a priest of the Diocese of Mangalore, passed away on Monday July 9 at 11 p.m. in a private hospital in Mangalore. He was 80 years old and a priest for the last 53 years.
His funeral Mass would be conducted at St Vincent Ferrer Church, Valencia at 4.00 p.m. on Wednesday July 11 and the mortal remains would be interred at priests’ cemetery in Valencia.
He was born in Kulur Parish on November 25th 1931 as the son of Sebastian D’Souza and Agnes Mathias.
After the priestly studies at St Joseph’s Seminary, Mangalore he was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Mangalore on the 2nd of March 1959.
After being the assistant parish priest of Barkur (3 years) and Karkala Attur (2 years) parishes, he was the Vicar Oeconomus (in-charge) of Perdal Parish from 1964-`70. He was the Parish Priest of Nekraje for 5 years, Kelmbet for 7 years, Padukone for 7 years, Perampalli for 7 years, Karady for 7 years. He was the chaplain of Olavinahally for a year.
Having retired from the active priestly ministry in 2004, till to date he lived in Kankanady Vianney Home, the home for the retired priests.
According to Rev. Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, the Bishop of the Diocese of Mangalore, Fr Antony Joseph was a soft spoken priest and has taken care of the spiritual needs of the people with a committed and prayerful approach.
According to Msgr Denis Prabhu the Vicar General of Mangalore Diocese, Fr Antony Joseph is from a very devout family from Kulur. He was a hard working priest who disturbed no one. He was so committed to his work that he would always remain in the parish wherever he was. If anyone was in need Fr Antony would respond positively to help. He would finish his work in time.
He was the son of a renowned teacher from Kulur because of which he was called as a `mesthricho puth’ (son of a teacher). Even though there was no high school then in Kulur and it was difficult to cross the river and come towards Mangalore for studies, the parents of Fr Antony were very instrumental in making him a educated youth.
Being sick for many years because of paralysis, diabetes and other ailments he suffered patiently nearly last 10 years. One of his legs was amputated some time back. The Bishop, Vicar General and Chancellor of the Diocese of Mangalore have condoled his death.