Very Rev. Dr. Lawrence D’Souza takes over charge as Rector of Milagres Cathedral

Udupi : Very Rev Dr. Lawrence D’Souza taken over charge of Milagres Cathedral, Kallianpur as a Rector and Vicar on Monday, 28th May, 2018.

Newly appointed priest Very Rev Dr. Lawrence D’Souza was garlanded by Very Rev Fr. Stany B. Lobo, Outgoing Vicar, Rev Fr. Rolwin Aranha, Rev Fr. Lancy Fernandes sj, Dr. Nery Cornelio Vice President of Parish Pastoral Council, Secretary Felciana Lewis, Rev Fr. Henry Mascarenhas and other priests at Cathedral portico.

Handing over ceremony was held at thereafter under the supervision of Bishop’s representative and Chancellor of Udupi Diocese Very Rev Fr. Valerian Mendonca from outgoing Rector of the Cathedral Very Rev Fr. Stany B. Lobo. During the ceremony Fr. Valerian Mendonca took oath from Rev Dr. Lawrence D’Souza.


Then Cathedral records and Tabernacle Keys were handed over to the new Vicar Rev Dr. Lawrence D’Souza by Very Rev Fr. Stany B. Lobo. Meanwhile Cathedral Accounts books were handed over by Dr. Nery Cornelio, Parish Pastoral Vice President. Newly incoming vicar Very Rev Dr. Lawrence D’Souza was lighted the candles to all the parish pastoral council members during the occasion.

The taking over ceremony was witnessed by Very Rev Mosignr Dr. Baptist Menezes, Vicar General of Udupi diocese, Very Rev Fr. Denis D’Sa, PRO of Udupi diocese and Vicar of Kunatalnagar church, Rev Fr. Henry Mascarenhas, Diocese Real Estate Manager, Rev Fr. Clemant Mascarenhas, Vicar of St Lawrence Church, Moodubelle, Rev Fr. Royson Fernandes Asst parish priest of Pangala Church, Rev Fr. Vincent Coelho, Rev Fr. Lancy Masracenhas, sj, Rev Fr. Vijay D’Souza, nuns of both the convents of Milagres Cathedral, Heads of Educational institutions, large number of parishioners and fans of incoming vicar from Udupi Bishop’s house.

After the taking over ceremony, Very Rev Fr. Stany B. Lobo outgoing vicar welcomed the priests and all participants of the occasion and briefed about the history of Milagres Church. The incoming Vicar, Rector the Cathedral, Dean of Kallianpur Deanery, Correspondent of Milagres Educational Institutions Very Rev Dr. Lawrence D’Souza spoke during the occasion and thanked his fans who joined to drop him to the Cathedral.

Rev Fr. Rolwin Aranha compered the ceremony and Dr. Nery Cornelio proposed vote of thanks. Large numbers of fans of Rev Dr. Lawrence D’Souza were present.

About Rev Dr. Lawrence D’Souza:

Rev Dr. Lawrence D’Souza has great student, seminarian, priest and administrator. He will serve as a Rector of Milagres Cathedral as well as Secretary of Catholic Education Society of Udupi diocese (CESU). In his priest career, Dr. D’Souza was spent 36 years as an administrator of Catholic Institutions such as Fr. Muller’s Hospital, Catholic Board of Education (CBE) and St. John’s Medical College, Bengalore. He served as a asst parish priest at few churches in Mangalore diocese.

Born on 28th 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 and had his primary education at Fatima Higher Primary School, Pernal. He completed his high school education at St. Mary’s High School at 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 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, the founder of the church Fr. Gabrial 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. Gabrial (Uncle of this reporter) used to visit the homes of the parishioners’, young Lawrence would tag along with him. As Sunday School teacher, Fr. Gabrial would tell stories from the Bible in simple language. He also introduced Lawrence to Christian literature which led him learn more. Fr. Gabrial’s virtues of simplicity, love for mankind and strong faith inspired Lawrence to follow his footsteps. Fr. Gabrial 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 academic 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 5th 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 Karnataka University, Dharvad and Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from St. Aloysius College, Mangalore. He also obtained LL.B. degree through SDM Law College, Mangalore with Gold Medal.

After his ordination, Fr. Lawrence D’Souza was appointed as Assistant Parish priest of 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 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 Theresa on the occasion of 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 York (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, USA from 1992 to 1998.

After completing his Ph.D studies. Fr. 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 capabilities and service of Rev Dr. Lawrence D’Souza appointed as the Secretary of Catholic Education Society of Udupi (CESU), the post which he still holds.

Milagreans hearty welcome to receive the Rector of Milagres Cathedral as well as the Correspondent of educational institutions which the parishioners needed eagerly. All the best Fr. Lawrence.

News published on: 13-06-2018