Moved by the loving and inviting gaze of the Lord on him, Francis D’Souza left everything and followed the Lord for the unknown land of Darjeeling. He entered the Society in 1971 and after going through different stages of Jesuit formation, he was ordained a priest in 1983. After completing his B.Ed studies in Darjeeling, he did a two-year Master’s Degree in Pastoral Counseling in the USA.
The breath of interests Francis manifested in being at the service of the mission, enabled him to fill different types of responsibilities entrusted to him: Pastor, Treasurer, Minister, Director, Teacher, Province Coordinator for Vocation Promotion, and In-charge of Province Land and Buildings. In all these positions, he was perceived to be practical, efficient, and innovative.
His companions admired his skills in the area of planning and organizing. His knowledge in handling finances, managing the estate, looking after the property problems and tricky land cases in the courts, received due measure of recognition. He enjoyed good relationships with government officials and lawyers.
Considering his proficiency and competence in administration and finances, he was appointed Minister and Treasurer of Papal Seminary, Pune, from 1998 to 2003. Thereafter, he was appointed for a year as the Assistant Treasurer and Minister of St Joseph’s Technical Institute, Pune. Further, he worked in the Bishop’s House of the Diocese of Bagdogra for three years – from 2018 to 2020, when the Bishop was in need of a Jesuit to be the Treasurer there.
He spent the last two years furthering the mission of the Society as he cheerfully continued to offer his service as in-charge of Province Land and Buildings, an area in which he enjoyed vast experience. He breathed his last on 6th December 2022, after braving his suffering from metastatic malignant melanoma. May his soul rest in peace!
Xavier Alangaram, SJ