//Fr. Jerome Gonsalves, SJ (PUN) 1949 – 2021

Fr. Jerome Gonsalves, SJ (PUN) 1949 – 2021

Fr. Jerome will be specially remembered as a caring teacher and pastor, who kept the wellbeing of the people he served with joy always close to his heart. His students at St. Joseph’s Technical Institute, Pune, and at the Xavier Technical Training Center, Shrirampur cherish his dedicated and loving ministry. Fr. Jerome was a devout, zealous Jesuit and a warm, missiondriven companion to many. Fr. James Shelke and Fr. Jerome made an inspiring team, as they toiled together, with one mind and one heart, for the development of the Shrirampur mission. With deep resolve, Fr. Jerome would often say, “We must do something for our people!” — revealing his passion, commitment, compassion, and his intense love for the people he worked with and worked for. With the heart of a good shepherd, his evenings were dedicated to spending time in the villages to celebrate the Eucharist with the scattered flock.

As Director of the Social Centre in Ahmednagar, he worked tirelessly for the development of village communities in the drought-prone district, to renew the environment through soil and water conservation projects, with the people’s active participation. His priority was to seek justice and a life of dignity for the weak and vulnerable groups – especially children and women, through networking and collaboration. He remained committed lifelong to their empowerment. Fr. Jerome also served as the Province Youth Coordinator and Vocation Promoter. With his everenthusiastic spirit and the support of companions and friends, he organized youth camps within and outside the Province to promote vocations. Fr. Jerome passed into God’s eternal embrace on 7th May, at the Sonali Memorial Hospital in Pune. He surrendered his life to the will of God—as he always did. Fr. Jerome, our dear companion and friend, joins us now in prayer for vocations and intercedes for us, as we continue together our mission journey in love, faith and hope.

Bhausaheb Sansare, SJ