Father Agnelo Gustavo Adolfo de Souza (Jan. 21, 1869 – Nov. 20, 1927), was a saintly priest of the Society of the missionaries of St. Francis Xavier.
The 150th birth anniversary celebration of Venerable Father Agnelo has become an occasion for recalling the missionary zeal of the Goa-born priest and drawing inspiration from him.
Three bishops, over 25 priests, religious sisters and hundreds of faithful joined the mass as part of the celebrations of at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi Jan. 20.
Archbishop William D’Souza of Patna, the main celebrant recalled Fr. Agnelo’s asceticism and saintliness that inspired people.
Father Agnelo Gustavo Adolfo de Souza (Jan. 21, 1869 – Nov. 20, 1927), was a saintly priest of the Society of the missionaries of St. Francis Xavier. The society based in Goa’s Pilar area is commonly known as Pilar society.
Goa was then part of the Portuguese India, the base of Father Agnelo’s missionary activities.
Father Agnelo received his faith from his mother who entrusted the family into the hands of Blessed May even as she on her death bed knew she was leaving behind very young children, Archbishop D’Souza explained.
Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, the secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, and a member of the society of Pilar emphasised the need for mothers to impart the faith to their children.
Bishop Ignatius Mascarenhas of Simla-Chandigarh appreciated the Pilar Fathers for the hard work of the Pilar Fathers in very remote and difficult areas.
The process for the Cause for Father Agnelo’s canonization is at advanced stage in Rome and the process of Miracles has been opened in 2018. Prayers were offered for his early Beatification.
Father Alarico Carvalho, Regional Superior of the Agnel Region introduced the celebrations to the gathering and Fr. John Marcus Fernandes, Provincial of the Delhi Province of the Pilar society proposed the vote of thanks.
Fr. Anthony Fernandes, Administrator of CBCI Centre and a Pilar Father and Fr. Bento Rodrigues, Director of the grater Noida Bal Bhuvan of the Agnel Region organised the celebrations.
Franky Cardozo and Norman Almeida led the choir singing inspiring hymns in English and Konkani.