Profile - REV. FR. TERENCE D'SOUZA
When one of the relatively new parishes in the Archdiocese of Toronto
was named after St. Francis Xavier we would have expected a Goan to be
involved - and so it was, the pastor being Fr. Terence De Souza. Fr.
Terence was born in 1932 in Jacobabad, in then British India, later,
Pakistan. After studies in Karachi, he chose to become a priest and was
ordained in 1960.
As a priest Fr. Terence has been very active both in physically and
mentally. From 1960-68 he was Secretary to the Archbishop, and 1968-70
Secretary to the Papal Nuncio. From 1970-75 he served as Editor of
Christian Voice, and in between (1973-75) was appointed Vicar General of
Karachi. If that were not enough he chose to be pastoral priest of
Landhi which required him to say Mass in the streets for the poor of the
In 1975 he accepted an earlier offer by Bishop Fulton to come to Toronto
because by that time, a significant number of his close relatives had
immigrated to this region. He served as Associate Pastor at Our Lady of
the Airways Parish in Malton (1975-82), moved to Pope John XXIII Parish
in Don Mills as Pastor, and finally was asked to start a new parish in
Mississauga which he canvassed relentlessly to have named St. Francis
Xavier Church. He is still pastor of the parish and expects to lay the
foundations for the church building in the spring of 1997.
A strong believer in education, Fr. Terence decided to run for Trustee
in the Dufferin Peel Separate School Board after receiving approval from
then Cardinal Carter. He was elected twice and served between 1988 and
1994. When a new high school was opened in his parish boundaries in 1990
he gently canvassed the parents to asked for the name St. Francis Xavier
- and so it has been named.
Fr. Terence is a proud Goan and Catholic. He is a resolute believer that
firm roots are important to sustain a strong family and staunch faith.
On many an occasion he has used the example of St. Francis to urge us
on. As he says "St. Francis did not bring Catholicism to Goa, but he
strengthened it. Likewise Goans have not brought Christianity to Canada,
but we can strengthen it."
When asked why he became a priest, he replied that he is not sure. For
one, as a child his health was not the best and so his parents did not
push him. He credits two factors: first, his godfather was once a
seminarian and may have influenced him; but perhaps most of all, the
constant presence of prayer in his parentsí home created a fertile
(Contributed by Jack Fernandes
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