By Gordon D’Almeida

Mangaluru, July 26 : Going back to the year 2014 June 7, when Fr James took charge as the new parish priest of Valencia parish after serving seven fruitful years at Holy Redeemer church Belthangady. And yet again the time has come for him to bid goodbye to Valencia church after serving six years here. Fr D’Souza now will be taking up his new assignment as the parish priest of St Joseph the Worker church Vamanjoor.

Having vast experience in his priestly life, Fr James has conquered the hearts of every parishioner, specially the youth and needy. He has been a role model , moulded every person and had them bloomed under his guidance.

On 24 July 2020, Thanksgiving mass was celebrated at 5.00pm by Fr James D’Souza. Asst PP Fr Joswin, Fr Arun Lobo and Fr William Barracas were the Co-Celebrants. Due to the current pandemic, keeping the guidelines in mind , a simple farewell was organised by the parishioners.

Compere of the farewell program Mr Patrick D’Souza welcomed the gathering .

Wonderful speech was rendered by parish council vice-president David Pais. He started his speech by quoting late Mr Nelson Mandela former president of South Africa - “There is a time when a leader must move out ahead of the flock, go off in a new direction, confident that he has new direction, confident that he has lead his people in the right way”. As Fr James is under transfer to Vamanjoor, parish people of Valencia will be losing a gem and the parishioners of Vamanjoor will gain this gem. He is a man of simplicity and understanding and never went craving for name for which he is an example.

As a token of love , Fr Joswin honoured him with a shawl , He was garlanded by PPC vice-president David Pais, Memento was given by Fr Arun and Citation was presented by Fr William Barracas.

Asst PP Fr Joswin in his speech thanked Fr James for the service rendered in Valencia parish . He described him in five words :
J- Joyful , A- Able, M- Meek, E- Efficient, S- Self Discipline. He mentioned a quote by a famous American author Flavia Weedn which tells “Some people come into our lives and quickly go, Some stay for a while leave footprints in our hearts and we are never ever the same”.

People were anxiously waiting to hear Fr James, who also spoke during the occasion. He started a with qoute “Joy is not the absence of suffering but the presence of God”. In the past years though I felt the difficulties and tiredness, It was God’s grace which was the reason for my true happiness .Eucharistic Celebration,Sacrament Adoration, Small Christian Community meetings, Parish Retreat, Parish Annual plan; to execute all these activities, we got an opportunity to do everything as per plan.

"I would like to thank all the Asst Parish Priest who were with me at Valencia . Fr Gratian Alvares , Fr Clifford Pinto, Fr Naveen Pinto , Fr Joswin D’Souza, resident priest Fr Arun Lobo and elderly priest Fr William Barracas; Parish Council Vice Presidents Arun Raj Rodrigues, Anil Lobo and David Pais; Secretaries Leslie D’Souza, Dolphy Saldanha, Lizzie Pinto and Rita Menezes. I am grateful to all the ward Gurkars, Presidents and members of pious associations, Convent sisters and Sunday catechism teachers of the church and to my dear children , youth , families and the elders of the church.Thank you for showing your love and co-operation", said Fr James.

Ending his speech he mentioned a qoute by a famous missionary Wilfred Grenfell -“ The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on earth”. For whatever good that has happened here is all because of God’s plan and he has made use of me to make it a reality.

As you would be welcoming the new parish priest, support him the same way you all supported me. He urged the people to keep him in their prayers. "Valencia parish would always be close to my heart", concluded Fr James.

Fr James was very jovial and close to the youth of the parish . ICYM Valencia Unit presented him a gift as token of love and affection. Special issue of Ekvott was also released during the occasion. Rita Menezes, secretary of the PPC read out the citation. Patrick D’Souza rendered the vote of thanks.

Parishioners with enthusiasm and emotions participated in the program keeping the safety regulations in mind.


About St. Vincent Ferrer Church, Valencia

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