The entire Catholic Christian Community of Karnataka is rejoicing at the news of its first Doctor in Sacred Scripture in the person of Fr. Richard Francis D’Souza, OCD. Fr. Richard defended his thesis titled, “Yes Lord, I have Believed”, Martha’s Confession of Faith in the Fourth Gospel, A Narrative Critical Analysis", on Tuesday 30th June in Rome. It was an online defense that lasted for about two hours and was live-streamed on YouTube starting at 7.30 p.m. Indian standard time.
Fr. Richard is the son of Mr. & Mrs. Maurice D’Souza and Elize D’Souza and hails from Our Lady of Pompei Church, Gurpur, Mangalore. After completing his SSLC in 1992 he joined the Order of the Discalced Carmelites of the Karnataka-Goa Province. He pursued his Philosophy in Mysore and graduated in Commerce securing the first rank and a gold medal. Later he completed his Theology at St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore. He was ordained a priest on 28th December 2004. After his ordination, while serving six months at the Carmelite mission in Hadagali, he was appointed as the director of the minor seminary in Koteshwar, Kundapur for three years. Meantime, he also completed his MBA in Human Resource Management at the KSOU, Mysore. Thereafter, for three years he rendered his services as the secretary to the Provincial Superior in Bangalore.
In 2011, Fr. Richard traveled to Italy for his higher studies in Rome. In October, the same year he began his Licentiate in Sacred Scripture at the prestigious Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome. Having completed his Licentiate in record time (December 2014), he registered himself for the Doctoral program at the said university in 2015. In February 2016 he successfully cleared his free-doctoral defense (Lectio Coram). From October that year Fr. Richard began his doctoral research under the guidance of Prof. Luca Pedroli and submitted the completed thesis for the defense in February 2020.
While working on his research paper, Fr. Richard was also teaching at the Pontifical Spirituality and Theology Institute, “Teresianum”, Rome. He will continue to be a professor of Sacred Scripture at the said Institute. During his visits to India, Fr. Richard also teaches Scripture at the Carmelite Spirituality Institutes such as “Ryshivana” in Mangalore and “Dhayanavana” in Mysore. In summer, he holds biblical conferences for the Cloistered Carmel sisters in Italy and to the Parishioners of St. Gregory the Great Church, Harrison, New York.
The Discalced Carmelites, together with the Catholic Christian Community of Karnataka, congratulates Fr. Richard Francis D’Souza on being the first Doctor in Sacred Scripture and wish him all the very best for his teaching ministry as the professor at the Teresianum, Rome.
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