By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | October 15, 2017
If a young 22-year-old can create a lasting impression on a student, lost in the maze of confusion the teens carry (struggling to understand their identity), and if that impact converts into a strong bond over 35 years, then that 22-year-old has to be someone special.
I say 22-year-old because, way back in 1982, when I first met Bro. Glenford Lowe in the dormitory after I came back from the Std IX summer vacations to begin a new year, I saw him as a superior. As a 15-year-old, a superior is a superior and age is something a 15-year-old mind conjures up as someone ‘old’ for a superior. It was only later in life when I realized how old he must have been (after I realized the impact he had on me and several others from my batch), that I marvelled at his maturity in handling the youth. I marvelled because I always thought back to that one year I spent with him in Don Bosco, Lonavala, and wondered what made him so special to everyone in our batch. One thing that stood out was that he had no favourites! That is the way Don Bosco operated!
For me, it was like meeting Don Bosco in person. In fact, Bro Glenn was the one to make my second year a comfortable one after a miserable first year. I don’t think he even knows what an impact he made on my life then. By just being equal to everyone he broke down all ‘favouritism barriers’. For Bro Glenn, no one was special, but he had this knack for making everyone feel special. And it is this quality of his that has made him such a popular priest even 35 years after I first met him.
Fr. Glenford Lowe imbibes into every fibre of his being Don Bosco’s teaching of being one with the youth. Even today, at 57 years of age, he is a youth magnet. I’m sure Don Bosco, looking from above, will be grinning from ear-to-ear at a priest playing hockey and football with the students, especially the underprivileged!
It has been an honour knowing Fr. Glenford. He has impacted the lives of so many from the Batch of 1983, his first batch in practical training. There have been numerous other students too, who have been blessed and enriched by his presence, after that first batch of ours. Like he did in Lonavala, he transformed the youth of East Africa too, where he worked as a Missionary for over 18 years.
On his 57th birthday, Opening Doorz catches up with a few students from the Class of 83, as well as some from the Don Bosco Youth Services, for their lasting impression of him.
Class of 1983
Every Don Bosco, Lonavala, student looked up to their superior in charge. From the sound of the morning bell where we made a beeline to the washrooms, till we hit the bed at night in the dormitory, we were looked after by them. Bro. Glenn was that young brother who was in charge of us and kept a good watchful eye. His artistic side was something I have never forgotten. Since I was not cut out for art, I always went to him for help when it was my turn to ‘dress up’ the Notice Boards. His talent in music was also was very prominent. In sports, he was and still is a champ!
We enjoyed his company all the time. I am not sure I recall getting in trouble with him but I did have a very secure feeling around him and always looked up to him for help and guidance.
Reconnecting with him after all these years has been a delight. It’s such a pleasant feeling to see him really well and so involved in what he was so passionate about—his call to serve God. I feel blessed to have known him and pray for his good health.
Class of 1983
When you’re a youth at an impressionable age, on the threshold between school and college life, what you need is a friend, philosopher and guide. Most of us have friends, teachers as philosophers and parents as guides. I was fortunate to have Bro. Glenn in my life at that time—all three rolled into one. A gift sent by God.
It’s difficult to say whether he was more of a teacher or a friend. I still can’t decide. Even today, when I reminisce about my DBL days, I think of how I wanted to play music and sports like him, write like him, draw and paint like him. I was in awe of his creativity and talent. I learned a lot from him in my three years at DBL and these things are a part of me even today, 35 years down the line.
Fr. Glenn is undoubtedly the most exemplary and selfless priest that I know of. I pray to God for his good health and well-being for many more years so that he can touch many more lives!
Class of 1983
A big thank you to Don Bosco for bringing Bro. Glenn in my life! I remember him from my schooldays as a multi-talented warm and friendly sports person, musician, very artistic, and always ready to lend a helping hand.
Bro. Glenn has been my inspiration in my growing up years and I try to follow his example and teachings. His life has taught me what sacrifice and being there for others means. His act of donating his kidney to a fellow priest and life as a missionary in East Africa for over 18 years is testimony to this fact.
Happy Birthday, Fr Glenn. Wish you God’s blessings for a healthy life.
Class of 1983
I remember Bro. Glenn when I was a boarder at Lonavala, as a very systematic person. He was terrific in soccer and his artistic skills inspired me a lot. As a youngster looking for guidance, he was there for me. He was very disciplined in the Study Hall but made up for it during the games time.
He went to East Africa as a missionary as a young priest. This inspired me a lot. I’m glad he is once again back with us. With him around, I’m always reminded of my childhood and growing up years. It is thanks to him that I was groomed well during my formative years.
Class of 1983
I met this young man when I was in Std X at the boarding school in Lonavala, who I immediately knew I could look up to. Not too many people give you that impression, but he did. He had that aura about him that makes you feel… hmmm… here is someone that I would like to be like.
A kind soul and dedication to God was what I needed to see as I was intending to be a priest myself. However, God had other plans for me. When I left the boarding school, he left a mark on me for the rest of my life. God bless you Fr. Glenn and may you have many more wonderful years ahead of you.
Class of 1983
A home away from home is what we called Don Bosco Institution at Lonavala. What made this true is the fact that we lived among people we loved and trusted. Our superiors (the priests and brothers), were the ones who set a perfect model for all of us to follow. One of the finest amongst them was Bro. Glenn.
Handsome, fair and a ready smile always on his face made us all bond well with him. I was in Std X when he was put in charge of our group. This was the toughest year of school life as we would appear for a Board Exam. Before the year began, I was tense as to how I would cope with studies but with Bro. Glenn in charge, it made me feel better. I owe a lot to him for the First Class I achieved which not only surprised me but my parents as well!
Thank you, Fr Glenn, you meant a lot to me during my formation days. I was blessed to have you around as a good example at that young age. This experience has enhanced my love and respect for all priests and has also increased my faith in Jesus who instituted priesthood.
Thank you once again and wish you a very happy birthday… Cheers!
Working Youth, DBYS
I have known Fr Glenn for the past five years. The one person to learn about enjoyment and responsibilities would be him. He is always seen with the young, alleviating them to aim higher and to do good. He is a very jovial, dynamic and fun-loving person. Fr. Glenn, without considering his age, is up for everything and is a go-getter.
He is one priest whose ever-willing attitude of helping has inspired and won many hearts. I and many of us from the youth group look up to him as a guide, friend, mentor and above all a Father. I am fortunate to have known a person like Fr. Glenn who has brought a tremendous change in my life.
Working Youth, DBYS
My first interaction with Fr. Glenn was when I joined Don Bosco Youth Services, Matunga. The immediate impression I got was: ‘He’s a down-to-earth person’. Fr Glenn is friendly, dynamic and a jovial priest, who made me feel welcome from the very first day. Over the past eight years that I have known him, my opinion hasn’t changed a bit. He’s more a FRIEND than a priest to me. Fr. Glenn as a priest is an asset within the Church and particularly to the Salesian family where he belongs. He has a way of attracting the youth through his homilies, thereby drawing them towards spirituality.
As a friend, Fr. Glenn has really been one of the best individuals I have hung out with or as a youth would say, ‘chilled’ out with. He’s always on the move ever ready to wear his boots and hit the field for a game of soccer. He is so many things; it’s just hard to put in words.
God bless you today and always for the special love and care you have shown us. May your life be filled with God’s many gifts!
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