Opening Doorz Editorial | March 24, 2021

Fr Aloysius Furtado who celebrates his 79th birthday today is presently at St Dominic Savio Church, Wadala, Mumbai, a Parish he helped nurture during its early years. In this article, reproduced from SDB West, a Salesian Mumbai Province Publication, Fr Savio D’Souza, Parish Priest, profiles the People’s Priest, who has also completed 50 years of his Ordination.

“The Parish is a beacon that radiates the light of faith and thus, responds to the deepest and truest desires of the human heart, giving meaning and hope to the lives of individuals and families.”

–Pope Benedict XVI
Instruction on Pastoral Conversion of the Parish Community

Fr Aloysius Furtado can attest to the effectiveness of these words since he has been a Parish Priest for 30 years. While discovering in himself the meaning and hope that comes from being a Priest, his ministry (60 years as a Salesian and 50 as a priest) has helped him respond to the needs of persons and families, and enabled God’s light and hope to shine into their lives and families.

From Zanzibar to Bombay, India…

God chose Fr Aloysius (Fr Aloo as he is fondly called) from among the five sons of Stephen and Alexandrinha Furtado. His life that was nurtured in Zanzibar, Africa, shifted shore to Bombay, some 2500 miles away, where Don Bosco, Matunga, became his second home and the care of saintly Salesians like Fr Mauro Casarotti and Fr John Giacomello sowed in him the desire to imitate them in the service of the young.

With an enterprising spirit and faith in his heart, he left for Yercaud, Tamil Nadu, to follow the promptings of the Spirit where on May 25, 1960, he made his first profession. Three years of philosophy coupled with the TSLC (Teachers’ Secondary Leaving Certificate) brought him again to Don Bosco, Matunga, for Practical Training.

Over his three years at Don Bosco, Matunga, he rediscovered the richness of the classical Salesian life which comprised hard work, a spirituality lived in the midst of the boys, and a firm desire to offer his life as an oblation to God. After another year as a Practical Trainee at St Bede’s, Chennai, the young Aloysius began his theological studies first at Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu, and then as one among the first batch of students to be shifted to Kristu Jyoti College, Bengaluru.

Ordained a Priest… Grace abounded…

On December 19, 1970, at Panjim, Goa, he received the Sacred Orders from Archbishop Raul Gonsalves. His ordination motto bore inspiration from the letter of St Paul to the Romans, “Though sin increased, grace always abounded. Take up the life of Jesus.” (5:20).    

Fr Aloysius Furtado Priest
God chose Fr Aloysius (Fr Aloo as he is fondly called) from among the five sons of Stephen and Alexandrinha Furtado.

Fr  Aloysius’ life as a  priest  with the boarders as  Prefect of Studies at  St  Paul’s  Borivali (1970–1975); Don  Bosco,  Matunga, (1975–1979),  Don Bosco  Panjim (1983–1984)  and later as Assistant Parish Priest and Parish Priest at Our Lady of Dolours, Wadala (1979–1983; 2005–2011); St Dominic Savio, Wadala, (1987–1994; 1999–2005); and Don Bosco Borivali (1994–1999;   2012–2018; 2018–2020) is filled with cherished moments because it helped him develop a caring and an amiable personality that made him accessible to people of all age groups and walks of life.

As a Good Shepherd among his people, Fr Aloysius’ years can be characterized as an engagement in the daily life of communities, giving others courage and strength to live their own lives, moved, like Jesus, when he sees people exhausted and ‘like sheep without a shepherd.’

Without people, the Priesthood is nothing…

Though these engagements have brought with them a share of crosses, the moments of joy and happiness far outweigh the stress. He believes, “Without people the priesthood is nothing,” and in his simple candour states, “You have to be happy with yourself and make good choices.”

Fr Aloysius Furtado Priest
Fr Aloysius Furtado during the Celebration of his Golden Jubilee Mass at Dominic Savio Church, Wadala.

A ‘joy’ that comes from his union with Jesus and the ‘humour’ that unfolds from an awareness of his own limitations are what help Fr Aloysius live his vocation passionately. Pope Francis describes the priest as a decentralized man, because at the centre of his life there is not him, but Christ.

The words of Christ: ‘This is my Body, which is given up for you’, gives Fr Aloysius the identity and the meaning to daily renew the promises he made at his priestly ordination. Moreover, it helps him discover his own humanness as he welcomes every person in their brokenness, listens to them attentively, approaches the situation with respect and truth, and accompanies them on the journey of reconciliation.

Fr Aloysius, like his Founder, Don Bosco, has always believed that a priest needs to be a man of prayer and a man for others. In the faithful contemplation of the Rosary, Fr Aloysius is made aware of the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness, where his spirituality as a Priest is embodied in the reality of everyday life. He always makes it a point to find opportunities to visit the families in his Parish so that he can know his flock and serve them better.

The musician and Manchester United…

Music and sports are passions that define Fr Aloysius as a man for others. Having learnt music under the watchful gaze of Fr Eliseo Bianchi, Fr Aloysius has himself spent countless hours nurturing his musical talent so that the Good Lord may be praised. Even now, despite his fingers losing sensation and his advancement in years, he will never miss an opportunity to play the keyboard in his unique ‘jazz’ style. Over the years, he has trained the young in music and singing, and thus, laid the foundations of many choirs that till today serve their Parishes.

Fr Aloysius Furtado
Over the years, he has trained the young in music and singing, and thus, laid the foundations of many choirs that till today serve their Parishes. Here he is seen with Parishioners from Borivali.

It is probably the best form of legacy that he leaves behind in every Parish where he has worked. Back in the day, he was a talented hockey and soccer player. He was also known for being a very enthusiastic coach, who not only encouraged his own ranks, but also instilled fear in the opposition! He may be well past his days of active action, but he keeps abreast of his favourite team’s progress (Manchester United) on television. It gives him common ground to interact and win over the youth in the Parish.

St Paul prayed this powerful prayer for the Romans: “May the God of hope bring you such joy in your faith that the power of the Holy Spirit will remove all bounds, to hope” (15:13). We should never limit what God can do nor place bounds to our hope.

As I thank God for Fr Aloysius, I pray that the Lord will plant the ‘seed of living hope’ in our hearts, that He remove all bounds to our hope, and that He enable us to give the people we serve ‘reasons for living and reasons for hoping’

Happy Birthday Fr Aloysius, you are truly God’s gift to the people.

Also Read: Fr. Savio Silveira’s thumbs-up to the Swachhata app

Also Read: Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil: “Forgiving and praying can turn all our enemies into good friends.”


  1. May the Almighty God the Father, the Lord and Master Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit keep you in their shadow and give you good health of body and mind as you continue in your Ministry Fr. Aloo.May you have many more Birthdays.

  2. Happy birthday, dear Fr. Aloo. May God bless you with good health and happiness always.
    Have wonderful memories of having you as a brother both in the band and on the playground. I have the privilege of having got married with you as the celebrant in the crypt. You also raised my wedding toast. Thankyou father and may god keep you for many more years to do service in his vineyard.
    Love, John Peter, Priscilla & Croydon.

  3. May God bless you with peace n happiness, on this unique day that you celebrate n may tthe divine peace n happiness follow you.The rest of your life.Have a blessed n fun birthday on this special day of yours.I pray that the good Lord gives u all the joy n happiness that your heart can content.

  4. Happy 79th Birthday dear Fr Aloo! You have touched us all through your music, your passion to get everyone praising God through song and your vocation as a Salesian and we say Asante Sana to the Lord for your life! Our best wishes for good health and cheer always – Romano & Maria (Gomes) Fernandes, ex-Kampala-UGANDA/Arusha-Tanzania & St John Bosco Parish Borivli & Don Bosco Youth Association (DBYA:1985-1992)

  5. The Nunes family from Zanzibar are so proud to know you from school days. Your are just the torch that has shown so much of LIGHT to those in most need of it, such as your music lessons. Please don’t STOP praying for us ALL. Walter

  6. Hey Fr Aloo, along with Fr Wilfred D’souza, both of you changed & brought a new life style to the youth of Mount Poinsur’s I. C. Parish. Who can forget your famous slogan “Summer Of 73”, those were the days, and you were the biggest live wire!
    Happy Birthday, God Bless You Abundantly…. I can still remember your Aiwa tape deck….

  7. Happy 79th birthday Fr. Loishi. I wish you all the very best. Our paths have crossed so many times. In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to Toronto, Canada and then to Goa and being on the same flight from Goa to Mumbai. You have given so much to all you meet. The Catholic Youth Club in Dar, etc.. Hopefully if the pandemic is in check we can celebrate your 80th birthday here in Toronto. I have saved all the lovely Christmas cards on the Neem leaf that you sent us. May God bless you abundantly and may you continue to lead God’s flock for many more years to come.

    With love always, Albertina & family.

  8. Fr. Aloo Happy Birthday. Congratulations too. May our Lord bless and keep you in good health always. Joe and I are indeed privileged to have known you and will cherish the memories and the mtgs., though not very often but each time we met, u left an indelible mark on us. Tks once again. Leo from the Madonna Community, Wadala West

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