This website is about the GOAN Christian Community of Pakistan. Every Goan has ancestral roots in Goa, India, formerly a Portuguese colony. All Goans of Pakistan are predominantly Catholic. Although the 'Christian Community of Pakistan' has contributed immensely to nation-building; this endeavor is solely dedicated to researching, highlighting and archiving the GOAN community's historical background, cultural heritage, significant achievements and contribution to Pakistan, before and after independence.

 
Pakistan’s gift to Gujarat Jesuits
14 Jesuits from one town, one school


To while away the hours on a sleepless night, I began to total up the contribution of fourteen Jesuits from Karachi to the growth of the then nascent Gujarat Jesuit Region beginning in the early 1930s. It would have been an impossible task to try to evaluate it.

All fourteen of them of Goan heritage, born and brought up in British India Karachi, were ex-students of St. Patrick’s High School. Ten of them studied under Spanish Jesuits of the Bombay-Aragon Province, the remaining three under the Dutch Franciscans. Unsurprisingly in pre-partitioned India, all followed their former Jesuit teachers or parish priests to the new region of Gujarat. At the time of writing, they have all gone to their eternal reward except the writer who at 85 seems in no hurry to join them. The roll call:

 

Edwin Pinto First Bishop of Ahmedabad, Principal
Charles Gomes Bishop of Ahmedabad, Provincial, Missionary, Principal
Anthony Lobo School Principal/Founder, Jamnagar, Missionary
Aloysius Fonseca Writer ISI, Social Activist Delhi, Rome
Joseph Lobo College Professor, School Principal, Pioneer Missionary South Gujarat
Gerald Lobo School Principal, Anand
Lionel Mascarenhas Lifelong Professor, Dogmatic Theology, Pune
Herbert de Souza College Principal/Founder, Secretary of Education, Rome
Frank Lobo Parish Priest, Bhavnagar, Sabarmati, Maninagar
Carl Fonseca Principal, Rosary, Registrar Jnana Deepa, Pune
Augustine Lobo Secretary St. Xavier’s College.
Ignatius Pinto School Principal, Rosary, Gandhinagar
Freddy de Souza School Principal, Rosary, Gandhinagar
Vally de Souza Pioneer Missionary South Gujarat, School Principal/Founder

Add that up: 2 Bishops, 1 Provincial, 1 College Principal/Founder, 9 High School Principals, 2 Founders of Schools, 2 Professors, 2 Assistancy Delegates, 3 Missionaries.

The figures indicate but hardly reflect the full value of their contribution to the development of the Gujarat Province. These men lived their lives and carried out their tasks with distinction. Their memory is fast fading from our collective consciousness. So, for the record, I write this before the embers of a fire they kindled finally die out.
Interesting facts: among the 14 Karachi Jesuits were four sets of brothers: Carl/Aloysius, Joe/Gussy, Herbert/ Freddy, Frank/Gerry. In 1945 two sets of all the brothers in the family were members of the Society of Jesus in Gujarat: the Fonseca brothers (5) and the Lobo brothers, Joe, Gussy and Edwin (3)

This chapter in the history of the Gujarat Jesuit Province will soon come to an end. I closed the door on would be Jesuits from Karachi. I did not choose to do it. A British lawyer, Cyril John Radcliffe, sixty five years ago traced on a map of India a line running up the western borders of Kutch and Rajasthan to Kashmir. He gifted the land on the shores of the Indus, and the charm of the town of Karachi with its potential for Jesuits to droves of refugees that flooded the country we now call Pakistan. Adios Karachi. We love you and remember your gift to us.

Ronald Rolheiser wrote “Like Jesus, we too are meant to give our lives away in generosity and selflessness, but we are also meant to leave this planet in such a way that our diminishment and death is our final, and perhaps greatest, gift to the world.”

Vally de Souza S.J.
8 September 2012

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