Fr. John Santos was a zealous, dedicated Jesuit, ready to be sent anywhere on mission. Born in Pune on 6th May 1928, in a deeply religious family, he entered the Society on 21st June 1951. He celebrated his diamond jubilee as a priest on 24th March 2022, and passed away on 11th December 2022. Whether at his desk in office or the community or with the people he served, Fr. John followed a strict, regular schedule, carrying out his responsibilities with promptness, deep commitment, and meticulous care.
Posted to Dnyanamata Vidyalaya, Sangamner, as spiritual director and teacher in 1964, he was soon appointed principal of this first Marathi-medium Jesuit District High School, which celebrates its Platinum Jubilee this year. He played a notable role in transforming this multi-purpose school into one with a distinct agricultural thrust. Over the years of dedicated ministry that followed, Fr. John served as rector, socius to the provincial, province treasurer, parish priest, vicar general and province archivist.
As pastor in various parishes he served, the faithful fondly remember him for his loving concern, generosity and simplicity in the Lord’s service. He always made time for ministries to Sisters, and was ready to travel miles by public transport to respond to requests for retreats, recollections and spiritual direction.
After long suffering, Fr. John passed away peacefully, firm in his belief that ‘the climax of Holy Week is NOT Christ’s death on GOOD FRIDAY but His Glorious RESURRECTION on EASTER SUNDAY, conquering death and giving us NEW LIFE……’ (from his hand-written notes that he used for his personal prayer and preaching). Fr. John served the Lord with love and commitment all his life. May the Lord grant his good and faithful servant the fullness of life and peace as his eternal reward!
Stan Fernandes, SJ