Udupi: An academician whose principle of ‘Live and let others to live’ always remains an inspiration to many, Fr Ferdinand Gonsalves, a people’s priest is all set to celebrate his 60th birthday on September 29. His achievements are many, his noble deeds are always appreciated by the people. He has been a true inspiration to youth and his students. He is presently serving as the parish priest of St Theresa Church, Kemmanu and is the spiritual director of Catholic Sabha Udupi Diocese.
Fr Ferdinand Gonsalves was born on September 29, 1955. He is the son of late John and Anjeline Gonsalves, residents of Kamasta Kudru, Kundapur. The couple has 6 sons and 4 daughters. Fr Ferdinand’s sister, Sr Rosalinda is serving in the Apostolic Carmelite order in Kolkata.
Fr Ferdinand pursued his primary and high school education at St Mary’s Highschool in Kundapur. He completed his pre-university and graduation at Bhandarkars’ College in Kundapur. He later pursued his Bachelor of Education degree from Government BED College, Mangaluru; Theology from Urban University, Rome and MA in English from Mysore University.
He was ordained as priest by late Bishop Dr Basil D’Souza on April 16, 1985. Fr Ferdinand has not limited himself to the Diocese of Udupi and Mangaluru but has also served in missionary station of the Diocese of Gulbarga.
After being ordained priest, he served as assistant priest in the Holy Cross Church, Cordel, Kulshekar. He was then appointed as parish priest of Kottada in 1986. He was later posted as the Assistant Director of St Anthony’s home for aged in 1987. Later, he was appointed as the parish priest of Byndoor. He was also elected as the president of Rotary Club of Byndoor for a year, and had organized a district level convention of the Rotary Club in Byndoor.
Later, he was transferred to the Diocese of Gulbarga at a mission station in Bidar on 1992, June 1. He was appointed as the parish priest of Sacred Heart Church and also Headmaster of St. Joseph’s High school, secretary of Catholic Society and Administrator of the hostel. His service of 7 years in Bidar has always been an inspiration to others.
He was appointed as the Headmaster of St Philomena’s College, Puttur in 1999 and served there till 2002. From there, he was transferred to St Thomas Church in Canada and later to Muscat as associate pastor of St Peter and Paul Church.
He returned to Mangaluru from Muscat in 2004 and was appointed as English Professor in St Joseph’s Seminary. He was later transferred to Ujire as parish priest and also Headmaster of Anugraha English Medium School in 2005 and was given additional charge as Principal of Anugraha PU College. He was then appointed as Headmaster of Lourdes Central School in 2011.
With the formation of the Diocese of Udupi, he was appointed as Principal of Milagres PU College, Kallianpur and in 2014, he was appointed as the parish priest of St Theresa Church Kemmannu. Presently, he is also serving as the spiritual director of Catholic Sabha, Diocese of Udupi.
Fr Ferdinand is a talented orator and a good swimmer. He has great interest in theater and singing. He is greatly respected by the people of all religions. He is adored by youth for his support and encouragement given to them. His students are scaling new heights in different sectors around the globe. He is a great visionary who aims to develop the church along with the faithful.
The Diamond Jubilee Celebration of Fr Ferdinand will be held on 29th September with Holy Eucharistic Mass at 5:30 p.m followed by a felicitation programme at St Theresa Church Kemmannu.