Mysuru: V. Rev. Fr Joseph Silvestre D’Souza has been elected as the Provincial Superior of the Discalced Carmelites of Karnataka-Goa Province in the 15th Provincial Chapter being held at Pushpashrama, Mysuru on April 21, 2023. He succeeds Fr George Santhumayor, OCD.
V. Rev. Fr Joseph Silvestre D’Souza hails from Nagoa, in the archdiocese of Goa and Daman. Born on April 22, 1971, to devout parents, he did his high school education at St. Joseph’s High School in Arpora, Goa and his pre-university studies at St. Xavier’s College in Mapusa, Goa. On June 14, 1988, he joined the Carmelite Order and was admitted to the aspirants’ house at Xellim, Goa. On October 15, 1990, he made his first religious commitment at the Carmelite Monastery in Margao. He obtained BA in psychology from Madras University while completing his philosophical studies at Pushpashrama, Institute of Philosophy and Religion, in Mysuru. And after a year of regency, he attended St. Joseph’s Inter-diocesan Seminary in Jeppu, Mangaluru, to complete his theological formation in view of the priesthood.
On May 26, 1996, he made his solemn profession at St. Joseph’s Monastery in Carmel Hill, Mangaluru. On October 16, 1997, at St. Joseph’s Inter Diocesan Seminary in Mangaluru, Most Rev. Bernard Moras, Bishop of Belgaum, ordained him a deacon. The Most Rev. Filipe Neri Ferrao, the then Auxiliary Bishop of Goa and Daman, elevated him to the order of the priesthood on April 22, 1998, at Holy Trinity Church, Nagoa, Bardez, Goa.
Upon his ordination from 1998 to 2000, he was at the Carmelite Monastery in Margao. He pursued higher studies in dogmatic theology at the Northern Italy Faculty of Theology in Milan, as well as assisted at Corpus Domini Church in Milan from 2000 to 2004. Then he was assigned to the community at Johannesburg in South Africa from 2004 to 2005 and rendered ministry of spiritual life to the cloistered sisters, as well as laity in the retreat house. In 2005 he was chosen to be the third Provincial Councillor. Then once again from 2008 until 2011, he rendered his pastoral service at Santa Teresa, Torino, Italy. From 2011 – 2020 he gradually moved up, from being the third councillor of the province to being the second councillor. Then he was given the total responsibility of the province secretariat. The 2020 Provincial Chapter elected him to lead the Carmelite Monastery in Margao.
Besides his competence in the bureaucracy, he served also as the editor of the magazine ‘Springs of Living Water’ as well as was a regular professor at various Formation houses and spirituality Institutes such as Dhyanavana, Dhyana Sadhana, Ryshivana as well as in other houses of formation for women religious. He recently became Vice – President of the Goa CRI unit. Of late, since 2022, he is also a Member of the Diocesan Council of Priests and Diocesan Pastoral Council (Goa and Daman).
Obviously, he is a man who reads widely; and his competence in the papal documents is rich. He is diminutive in stature and soft-spoken as a person and yet a highly talented musician with qualifications from Trinity College of Music in London. He combines a wealth of administrative knowledge with his skills as an orator and animator.