Most Rev. Valerian D’Souza, Bishop Emeritus of Poona Passed Away

Bangalore 26 February 2020 (CCBI): Most Rev. Valerian D’Souza (86), Bishop Emeritus of Poona passed away on Tuesday, 25 February, 2020 at 11.20 p.m. The funeral will be held on Thursday, 27 February, 2020, at 11.30 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Pune.

He was born in Pune on 3rd October 1933. He completed his university degree course (B. Sc.) in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics before commencing his studies for the priesthood. He obtained a licentiate in Philosophy at the Papal Seminary in Pune and studied theology at the Jesuit-run faculty Sankt George, Frankfurt, Germany. He was ordained a priest on 29 June 1961. He also obtained a Bachelor of Education degree and was Principal of Garrison High School (now St. Jude High School) Dehu Road, for 7 years.

In 1971 he was appointed Vicar General of the Diocese and in December 1976 Vicar Capitular. On 25th September 1977 he was ordained Bishop of Poona. He was: Chairman of the Commission for Seminaries, Clergy and Religious for 7 years; Chairman of the Commission for Youth of the CBCI Western Region; President of the CBCI Western Region for 4 years and Chairman of the CBCI Commission for Women for 4 years. In February 2002 he was elected as Vice President of the CCBI.

In September 2000, Pope St. John Paul II nominated him as a Member of the Pontifical Council COR UNUM, which promotes and coordinates Christian Charity and development efforts, for a period of five years. In May 2007 his term was extended to another five years. On 31st March 2007, he was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Nashik.

He was known as “Singing Bishop” who communicated God’s Word in song, himself playing the guitar.  His sense of humour and joy in the Lord touched the hearts of people. On the occasion of his Episcopal Silver Jubilee in September 2002 two books containing his writings were released, entitled: “Love is the only Answer” and “Shepherd’s Voice”.

Bishop Valerian was Bishop of Poona from September 1977 till April 2008, and was appointed Diocesan Administrator of Poona till his successor Bishop Thomas Dabre was appointed in April 2009. Even after his retirement, he was actively involved in Pastoral Ministry in the Diocese of Poona till his death. He was a priest for 58 years and a Bishop for 42 years.