Fr. Charles D’ Souza, An Exemplary Pastor Called To Eternal Home

Fr. Charles D’Souza, Notary of the Diocese of Bellary and former Chancellor and Rector of St. Anthony’s Cathedral, passed away on 29 July, at about 12.45 pm due to a massive heart attack. He was 78.

Fr Charles was residing in Bethany Senior Priests’ Home. This morning he felt little uneasiness, about 9.00 am, he was admitted at St. Mary’s Hospital, Bellary, later he was taken to VIMS for a test, where he breathed his last peacefully and gracefully at emergency ward due to massive heart attack.

Bishop administered the Anointing of the Sick and made the Last Commendation. His mortal remains are kept at Bethany now and later will be taken to Cathedral Church.

The funeral will be at 9.30 a.m. on Friday, July 30, 2021 at St. Anthony’s Cathedral, Ballari.

Arrangement is being done for live-streaming the funeral service.

Until his last day, he helped his fellow priests and happily fostered fellowship among them.

It is noteworthy that on Sunday 25 July, when Bishop Henry D’Souza, Bishop of Bellary, concelebrated Holy Eucharist at Christ the King Church, to mark the Day of Grand Parents and the Elderly, Fr. Charles was there and was appointed as the Socius to Fr. Cyril Lasrado, the Parish Priest of Christ the King Church, Bellary.

He celebrated Holy Eucharist in Cantonment Parish till Wednesday, 28 July.

In his 55 years of priestly ministry, Fr. Charles served in different capacities such as Asst. Parish Priest, in Sacred Heart Church, Mudgal (1969-71), Parish Priest in Hirenaganur 1971-72), Mudgal (1972-75), Kavital (1975-79), Sirwar (1979-86), Jawelgera Farm (1986-94), Shahabad (1994-99), Gangavathi (1999-2004), Lingasugur (2004-09), Cathedral (2009-14) , Fort (2014- 2019) and Notary of the Diocese (2019- July 28, 2021).

He was instrumental to start Sirwar Mission in Raichur district. For many years he resided in a small hut and part of his hut was used as a chapel. He had brought many souls from Kurkundi, Seventhikal, Hera, Bhumalgunda, Narbande, Navalkal, Kalmal and Sagubai to the Lord.

While serving in Kavital, he bought land in Jinnapur village for the poor and was instrumental in constructing 80 houses for the poor people of Kavital and Sirwar parishes.

St. Antony’s Cathedral church was renovated in the year of Faith when Fr. Charles was the Parish Priest.

Fr. Charles brought the healing power of God’s grace to everyone in need. He stayed close to the marginalized. In the words of Pope Francis, Fr. Charles was a true shepherd for the sheep entrusted to him.

He has made huge effort as a Director of Church Farm to secure all the Jawelgera Church Farm’s landed properties and made them cultivatable. He also served as a member College of Consulters, Finance Council, Senate, and Chancellor of the diocese.

He was the Dean of Gulburga (before the erection of Gulburga Diocese), Lingasugur & Ballari deaneries.

He was in charge of various Commissions and Committees in the Diocese, particularly preparing Catechism syllabus for the School children.

His contribution to fix the parish boundaries was commendable. As the dean of Gulburga deanery, he was instrumental in starting Sedam, Surpur and Shapur parishes while he was a parish priest of Shahabad (presently in Gulburga Diocese)

He was awarded twice by Raichur district horticulture authorities for his exemplary works of horticulture while in Sirwar parish.

He toiled 30 years in Raichur district and Gulburga and Koppal districts 5 each years out of his 50 years active pastoral ministry.

While in Lingasugur he brought the Apostolic Carmelite Sisters and helped them to put a convent and Little Flower school at Lingasugur through which thousands of children of the area get quality education.

When he had taken charge of Fort parish, he worked hard to construct the Sacred Heart Community Hall in Fort, through CDC grant.

After his retirement in 2019 he was very generous to pastoral services when and wherever need arose. He was at the pastoral services of Cathedral Parish, Gurgunta, Torangallu and Cantonment parishes.

He was regularly assisting at Bellary Arogya Mathe Shrine praying over the sick people.

In 2019 he is appointed Notary of the diocese, the position he held till his death.

Fr. Charles was noted for his exemplary prayerful and disciplined life which he lived throughout his Priestly life. The Diocese of Bellary is indebted to him.

Fr. Charles D’Souza was born on 19 October 1943 at Agrar, South Kanara district to late Basil D’Souza and Mary D’Souza.

Two of his siblings Fr. Bernard D’Souza and Fr. Herald D’Souza, priests of the Diocese of Mangalore and Sr. Stephany, a religious nun is his sister.

He had his primary education at St. Andrews Primary School and Secondary School SVS High School, Bantwal.

He was ordained for the Diocese of Bellary on 21 December 1968, by Bishop Ambrose P. Yeddanapalli OFM, Bishop of Bellary at Agrar, Mangalore.

Fr. Charles, a zealous, tireless, simple, unassuming and totally committed to the mission entrusted to him. He loved the Church dearly till his end.

We offer heartfelt condolences to all his brother priests, religious, relatives and the lay faithful of the diocese.

May his soul rest in Peace!

Our Patron
St Anthony of Padua