|A painting of Herbert D'Souza sj|
Rev.Fr. Herbert A. de Souza, S.J.
peacefully went to his Heavenly Father on Monday December 15, 1997, at 7.30 a.m., in Los Angeles. Fr. De Souza was born in Karachi (now in Pakistan) on August 14, 1918. His parents were from Goa. Fr. De Souza was a loving son and brother to his family, and a faithful Jesuit who spent his life in the service of others, especially the poor and downtrodden of India. After completing his doctoral studies in English Literature at Columbia University, Fr. De Souza became the founding president of St. Xavier’s University College in Ahmedabad, India. In a few years he made St. Xavier’s the top university college in the whole state of Gujarat. After fifteen years as president of St. Xavier’s he moved to Rome, and was made the counselor for education to the General of the Society of Jesus, Fr Pedro Arrupe, S.J. From Rome he came to Los Angeles and earned a Masters in Communication Arts at Loyola Marymount University. Later, he taught creative writing at the same university. Simultaneously, he was involved in the production of a number of nationally acclaimed religious television programs in Los Angeles. Fr. De Souza was a superb orator, whose skills were honed at Speakers’ Corner at Hyde Park, London early in his life. He was invited to give the commencement address at his own graduation at Loyola Marymount University. His talk is remembered even today. He was a much sought after speaker in lecture circuits across the continent. His range of knowledge of classical and modern literature, his mastery of the English language and outstanding wit kept his audiences enthralled. As a priest, his homilies touched many lives, and his popularity and immense. Fr. De Souza’s experiences with the mass media in the United States made him realize the tremendous potential of the media for education and human development in India. He made it his Mission to use media to empower the powerless. Gurjarvani, Xavier Centre for Culture and Communication, run by the Jesuits in Gujarat, enabled him to carry out this mission. With his extensive network of friends he guided and supported the outstanding work of Gurjarvani in the field of media for education and human development. His sole concern throughout the latter part of his life was the continuation of his Mission. Herbert de Souza was a very large-hearted man, whose sensitivity and compassion reached numerous people in India, the United States, and through out the world. He touched many lives profoundly. He created a family of friends who support his Mission for the poor in India.
Rappai P sj