Mangaluru: A humble, social, a role model and above all a devoted Jesuit priest; words will not be enough to describe the life journey of Rev. Fr. Leo D’Souza SJ. Over the past six decades out of nine decades he has witnessed, his true devotion to the teaching profession, research, and social service have made him a beloved icon among Aloysians and Jesuit priests.
Fr. Leo, who has been a source of inspiration for many, has turned 90 this year and St. Aloysius College (Autonomous), Mangaluru (SAC) is celebrating his birthday on Monday February 28. The thanksgiving mass was held in the college chapel at 9.30 am. The felicitation ceremony will be held in LF Rasquinha Hall, LCRI Block at 11.00 am and will be followed by lunch at 12.45 pm.
His enormous contribution in the field of research as a Botanist have earned him a lot of praise. He has served as the Former Principal and Rector of St. Aloysius College, Mangaluru. He has also held various administrative positions both in the college and in the Society of Jesus.
The Laboratory of Applied Biology was founded by Rev. Dr. Leo D’Souza in 1975 at St. Joseph’s College in Bengaluru after returning to India on completing his doctoral studies at the Max-Planck Institute for Plant Breeding in Cologne. In 1980, it was moved to St. Aloysius College in Mangaluru. The Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, recognised the Laboratory as one of the first 18 labs in the country.
In 2017, people from in and around Mangaluru were enthralled by Fr. Leo’s unique exhibition of German stamps he had collected over 54 years, titled ‘Erhaltene Briefmarken.’ The event was held in collaboration with the Philatelic Club of St. Aloysius High School and Laboratory of Applied Biology.
Some of the scientific works by Fr. Leo includes Biotechnology for a Better Future, Tissue Culture as a Tool for Plant Breeding, Biotechnological Applications of Plant Tissue & Cell Culture, Fr. Leo’s Misc. Papers and The Challenge of Tree Tissue Culture.