Fr. Valerian and Fr. Denis: Two Brothers, Two Occasions but one Solemn Celebration

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Report and Pictures by Dr. Eugene D’Souza, Moodubelle

Mangalore, 22 January 2010: It was indeed a rare occasion when two brothers, that too priests, reaching two distinct landmarks in their individual lives but celebrating these two occasions in a single family function beginning with a solemn thanksgiving Mass followed by felicitation and lunch along with the entire family, relatives, friends, well-wishers and parishioners where both of them had served with dedication, love and affection. These two priests are, Rev. Dr. Valerian D’Souza and his younger brother, Rev. Fr. Denis D’Souza.

Fr. Valerian D’Souza has completed fifty years of his priesthood on 5th December 2009 and his younger brother, Fr. Denis will complete seventy five years of his life on 15th February 2010. Hence the family members and relatives of both Fr. Valerian and Fr. Denis decided to have a grand family function on 21st January 2010 as a single celebration to honour the jubilarians of their family.

The solemn thanksgiving Mass was offered by Most Rev. Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Shivmoga along with Fr. Valerian, Fr. Denis and other forty two priests at the Church of St. Sebastian at Bendoor, Mangalore on Thursday, 21st January 2010 at 11 AM. The liturgy was selected in tune with the occasion and the choir sang the hymns carefully chosen to enhance the fervour of the Eucharistic celebration.

Fr. Clifford Fernandes, Professor at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Jeppu, Mangalore in his homily emphasised the fact that we should give thanks to the Almighty God for the gift of fifty years of priesthood to Fr. Valerian and the gift of life of seventy five years to Fr. Denis. He pointed out that during these years of their priestly ministry they had done a lot of good things to the parishes wherever they had served. He said that life is like a book and its worth is to be judged not by its thickness but how good the book is. Elaborating this point Fr. Clifford said, “We should measure our worth by thinking not how much we are happy, but how many people are happy because of us.”

Following the thanksgiving Mass, every one proceeded to the parish hall for a brief felicitation programme. The hall was packed to the capacity. Fr. Vincent anchored the programme and invited Bishop Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo, Fr. Valerian, Fr. Denis, Fr. Antony Serrao, parish priest of Bondel and Fr. Peter Noronha, parish priest of Bendoor to the dais. Mr. Patrick D’Souza, son-in-law of Mr. Henry D’Souza, the youngest brother of Fr. Valerian and Fr. Denis welcomed the guests.

In his felicitation address, Fr. Antony Serrao said that both the brothers are celebrating their important anniversaries. Their family is proud to have five of their siblings being in the service of the church and God, two as priests and three as religious sisters. Theirs has been a God fearing family and both Fr. Valerian and Fr. Denis have been God fearing and loved by the people wherever they had gone either as assistant parish priests or parish priests. Both were great builders and they built churches, schools, parish houses and above all parish communities.

In his message, Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo congratulated both Fr. Valerian and Fr. Denis for reaching the milestones in their individual lives and wished them good health and happiness in their future lives as well.

The family members felicitated both Fr. Valerian and Fr. Denis by offering them flower bouquets. Their three sisters- Sr. Lucina (Bethany), Sr. Saverina (Brigitine) and Sr. Celine (Bethany) were present for the thanksgiving Mass and the felicitation programme and they too offered bouquets to their brothers. Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo honoured both Fr. Valerian and Fr. Denis by offering shawls and garlands. In turn both brothers thanked and returned the respect to the Bishop by offering floral garland to him.

On behalf of himself and his brother, Fr. Denis, Fr. Valerian thanked the almighty God for the all the good things that He had done to both the brothers and the entire family. In emotion filled voice he expressed his gratitude to his late parents and brothers and Archbishop Albert D’Souza and Bishop Basil D’Souza for all the help that they had rendered to the family and themselves when they were in need. He also thanked the present Bishop of Mangalore, Most Rev. Dr. Aloysius D’Souza, all the family members, relatives, friends from far and near and all the parishioners where both of them had served for their love, affection and cooperation.

Quite a number of parishioners from Moodubelle attended the thanksgiving Mass and felicitation function and wished both Fr. Valerian and Fr. Denis on this occasion.

Fr. Valerian D’Souza was born on 15th October 1932 and was ordained on 5th December 1959. He served as the assistant parish priest at Pezar, Valencia and Moodubelle. He went to Rome and acquired doctorate in Canon Law. He was appointed as the first full time Director of the Youth Activities of the Diocese. He served as parish priest at Urwa, Puttur, Cordel and Moodubelle. Wherever, he went as parish priest he built churches, schools, halls and parish houses. He also served at the diocesan level as the treasurer and administrator of the diocesan properties. Before his retirement he served as the parish priest for the last time at Moodubelle where he constructed the beautiful church of St. Lawrence, the shrine, the English medium school and the parish house.

Fr. Denis, the younger brother of Fr. Valerian was born on 15th February 1935. He joined the seminary after completing matriculation examination in 1954 and was ordained on 4th December 1961. Fr. Denis served as assistant parish priest at Shirva for six years. Thereafter, he was appointed as the first parish priest of Pamboor where he built the Church and served the parish for nine years. Later he went to Bondel as parish priest where he remained for ten years during which he constructed the St. Lawrence Church. Next he was the parish priest of Niddodi for seven years, Mukammar for one year, Cassia for seven years where he built the parish house and St. Rita’s Higher Primary School building and Suratkla for three years where he built English Medium Higher Primary School. Presently, since five years, Fr. Denis is the parish priest at Sampige where he will be completing seventy five years on 15th February 2010 and thereafter will retire from June 2010.

As we briefly review the life and achievements of both Fr. Valerian and Fr. Denis, these two brothers coming from a family that has offered five of its members to the service of God and church, indeed deserve the felicitation that the grateful family and the parish communities offered to them. It was a befitting thanksgiving solemn Mass and the felicitation that would remain ingrained in the hearts and minds of all those who attended this one grand solemn function of the two brothers celebrating two different landmarks in their lives-Fr. Valerian, fifty years of priesthood and Fr. Fr. Denis, seventy five years of life.

Bellevision congratulates both Fr. Valerian and Fr. Denis on the occasion of the celebration of their fifty years of priesthood and seventy five years of life respectively and wishes them good health and happiness throughout their lives.

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Comments on this Article
Therese dalmeida, Moodu belle/ Qatar Mon, January-25-2010, 7:55
Congratulations Fr. valerian and Fr. Denis on this special occasion.Wish you both good health, peace and happiness throughout your life.
santhosh prakash mendonca, padubelle / pamboor Sat, January-23-2010, 7:40
congratulation Fr.Vally and Fr.Denis on this great occasion.
Bellevision Qatar, Doha Fri, January-22-2010, 11:59
Congratulations Fr. Valerian and Fr. Denis on this special occasion. We wish you good health, happiness and peace for the years to come. May God guide you, guard you and keep you under his loving care today and everyday of your life.
Victor D, Moodubelle / Doha Fri, January-22-2010, 11:56
Five members to the service of God and church from one family, is rarest. Congratulations Fr. Valerian and Fr. Denis on this great occasion and wish you good health and happiness throughout your life. Thanks Dr. Eugene, for the great report and pictures.
Thomas, Moodubelle/ Dubai Fri, January-22-2010, 9:26
Congratulations to Fr. Vally and Fr. Denis. Let almighty god grant you good health and peaceful retired life.
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