//Leslie Francis, SJ (GOA) 1931-2023

Leslie Francis, SJ (GOA) 1931-2023

Leslie was born on 10 February 1931 and spent his childhood in Pune. At 20, after graduating in Economics, he joined the Society of Jesus in 1951. He studied philosophy at Berchmans Kolleg in Munich-Germany. If we asked him a question in German, he would respond in German, but not without correcting your pronunciation. This is because his ministry, after his ordination on 24 March 1962, involved many years of teaching at different schools: St. Vincent’s-Pune, St. Paul’s-Belgaum, Loyola-Margao, and St. Britto’s-Mapusa. He was the Superior and teacher at the Juniorate from 1998 – 2004 and taught English to the candidates from 2007-2008.

He promoted the Marriage Encounter programme and helped many married couples. Many remember him for his meaningful Eucharistic celebrations and powerful singing. He visited the old and the sick, and celebrated the Eucharist for the home-bound elderly. At Pedro Arrupe Institute, from 2013-2019, he assisted with confessions. People described him as a warm-hearted and loving person.

He was committed to the Jesuit way of life. As Superior, he displayed good leadership qualities, invited cooperation, and advice from others. His administrative skills helped to serve the Goa-Pune Province as its Treasurer from 1982-1994. From 2019, dementia curtailed his activities and interactions, but his eyes always brightened up when asked about his childhood or Marriage Encounter programs. Although he could not recognize persons and recollect events, he never lost his wit or sense of humour. He kept himself active and he didn’t want others to look after him.

Leslie led his religious life with a sense of purpose by placing his trust in God and in all his responsibilities with a desire of the Ignatian axiom: “all for the greater glory of God.”

– Agnelo Mascarenhas, SJ