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Fr Antony Silva

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Fr Antony Silva

  • Birth 5 Dec 1912
  • Death 13 Aug 2003
  • Burial Margao, Goa, India
  • Plot Monastery Cemetery, On The Hill's Top, Inside A Grave Dug Out In Laterite Stone.
  • Memorial ID 33164142

Friar Antony Silva was born Domingo Antonio Geravdo de Piedade da Silva to Jeronimo Silva and Ana Blanca Soares in Remanso House, Mapusa, belonging to his maternal grandparents, on December 5, 1912. He was the fourth of five sons born to them. His father was Government Tesoureiro for Quepem and later served as the Administrador do Palacio de Deao.

After studying at the Escola Primario De Margao, he took private tuitions in Latin. He was very weak in his studies and was shy when it came to speaking in public, once revealed Mousinho, his brother. "But all this changed when he joined the Seminario de Rachol. It was as if he found the purpose of his birth in this Religious College".

Fr. Silva was ordained to the Priesthood on April 16, 1944, for the Archdiocese of Goa. As a Diocesan Priest he excelled too, for the people of the Majorda Parish, which was his first posting, still fondly remember him. He was also the First Chaplain of the Rosary Chapel in Fatorda, which is now elevated to a Parish. During this time he came to know the Carmelites who had recently built their Monastery at Aquem, Margao. He was very much attracted to their way of Prayer Life. But again according to Mousinho it was only after his mother's death that he joined the Carmelite Teresian Order at Margao. He became a Professed Member of this Order on July 2, 1951.

Thereafter, he continued to serve in the Community at Margao itself for quite many years. For a short period he was a member of the Monastery at Alwaye, Kerala, until he was transferred to Pushpasrama, Mysore. In 1972, he was transferred to Mangalore and was made Superior of the same House at Carmel Hill in 1975, serving the post until 1978. For the rest of his years he was continuously at Margao till his death on August 13, 2003.

Fr. Silva loved to reach out to one and all. In fact he respected people of other Faiths too and was always seen visiting the elderly Hindus or Muslims in the neighborhood. Perhaps his heartfelt wish to reach out to everyone attracted him to a two - wheeler. One always remembers him riding a moped, which he did even when he was in his late eighties. Though he met with many accidents he never lost confidence. And he got up each time he fell, something, which inspired others a great deal.

It was on the December 5, 2002, that Fr. Antony Silva thanked the Lord, for his 90 years of life. All were wishing him Ad Multos Annos, to go much beyond, to make it a century. His health was good enough and his mind quite alert. His inviting smile and encouraging words, his regularity of life was all there. He easily overcame some minor health problems a few months ago. Though he gave up his moped driving by his 90th birthday, used for taking rounds to distribute Communion to the sick, his Ministry to the sick and the old went on. On the advice of others he accepted a reduced regimen of activity. Surprisingly a few days before his death he was even seen kicking football with Fr. John of the Cross. On Sunday, December 10, he offered Mass for the public at 6.00 am., and again on Monday. Life was normal for Fr. Antony till Tuesday.

On the previous midnight he complained of breathing trouble and doctors came rushing and advised him to be shifted to the Hospital. But Fr. Antony was not willing. He thought he did not need any serious medical help, or he simply knew that 'time had come to go home' as he used to say. All the same he was rushed to the Hospital. From there it was all a slow but steady slide down. His response for the medical help was poor. By noon on the 12th, the renal failure was serious and by evening there was little that earthly medicine could do. He was all feeble, yet seen to be saying something. His lips were all through moving without noise. He was given the anointing of the sick. At no time he showed stress or struggle. He was serene and radiating inner peace. For any queries he could only respond by nodding. At about 6.00 pm., he showed signs of heavy breathing.

On August 13, 2003, at about 7.15 pm., the end came invading, and Fr. Antony Silva left us to his Eternal Home, leaving behind not merely an empty space in the Community and in the hearts of those who admired him, but much more, a heroic example of holiness of life. Indeed a rich heritage of virtues and a legacy of a meaningful committed life as a Priest and as a Carmelite.

The Funeral was slated to be held at 4.00 pm., on August 15, the Feast of Assumption of Our Lady. The body was brought from the Morgue at about 12.00 noon and laid in state for the people to pay their respects, in spite of frequent heavy showers. There was a steady flow of people throughout till 4.00 pm. when the Mass began. The people who piled past could be as many as five and six thousand. There were more than 100 Diocesan Priests for the Funeral Mass. The presence of the Carmelites too was robust. The pre-Philosophers from Xellim, some Theology Students from Mangalore, as well as Friars from almost all the Teresian Communities in good number were in attendance. There was the Libera Me Domine sung in Latin, there was the Office of the readings celebrated in common, there was the Vigil of the Friars around the coffin, there was In Paradisum sung in solo.

The Archbishop Patriarch of Goa, the Most Rev. Raul Gonsalves, presided over the Eucharist, Auxiliary Bishop Felipe Neri Ferrao paid his tributes by visiting the Community in the morning hours, Fr. Thomas Aquinas, Rector of Rachol Seminary preached the Homily, Fr. Patrick Lobo gave the Obituary, the Carmel Choir lead an Animated Liturgy, the Carmel Youth helped very much in the smooth organization of the function, Fr. George Santhumayor expressed the gratitude to one and all, and finally the Funeral Rites at the grave were conducted by Fr. Provincial. His mortal remains were laid to rest in the Cemetery at Margao Monastery in a grave dug out in the laterite stone, on the top of the hill.

His living room could not be any simpler. There was not a thing that one could say superfluous there. His very few clothes mended many times, his age old but tidy sandals, his neat but ascetic bed, are a witness of his loftier riches of human life that lie beyond the boundaries of the world. There were the hand written Sermon Notes from his first year of his Priesthood showing the diligence of his Ministry of the Word; there were the old copies of the Diocesan Bulletin Amcho Sevadhorm on Pastoral Matters; there was the life of Bl. Fr. Joseph Vaz printed in the 17th Century in Portuguese. The only curious thing in the room, 6 time-pieces and clocks all giving perfect time, speaks volumes of his punctuality and disciplined life; the Breviary and the spiritual reading book of John Powel on the table show his rich and up to date spiritual intake and deep commitment to the priestly obligations and the devotion to the Church. His generosity for the poor was proverbial as his accountability for every penny he handled or received.

Once professed as a Carmelite, he showed himself a man of unflagging zeal outside the Monastery and relentless fidelity to observance, inside, especially for the hours of Prayer and Meditation. After a day full of activity he was to be seen kneeling down in Prayer quite often with eyes closed deeply absorbed in communing with God. Even when he had the added responsibility of governing the Margao Community, he would rarely allow himself dispensation from the acts of the Community, especially the hours of mental prayer. It appears that it was from prayer that Fr. Antony acquired his inner energy for the fulfillment of his commitments.

One would easily miss those slow rhythmic silent steps of a tall towering personality moving along the corridors of the Monastery always on his way either to the Chapel, or to the Confessional, or to Spiritual Counseling, or to the Preaching Ministry, or to give the Viaticum of the sick. There cannot be a life better lived in our times where the only value is for a life on the platform under the beaming focus lights.

His long life of 59 years as a Priest, 52 silent years as a Carmelite lived away from the scenes of power and pomp, and 90 years as believer in Christ have been totally a gift for the Church. There has not been a Pulpit in Goa from where Fr. Antony has not gently but courageously invited his listeners to the feet of Jesus and animated them to put on Christ. The Church in Mangalore, Mysore and above all in Goa owes him a lot for the spiritual vitality. His Ministry of the Word of God was vibrant, his love for the Eucharist has been marvelous, his contemplative life has made him to grow up and above the rest of us, thus making him truly a son of St. Teresa and beloved disciple of Jesus entrusted to the care of the Bl. Mother. He had the image of Our Lady of Sorrows, the Last Supper and the picture of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel occupying special place in his Cell.

He had a passion for the people and wanted to serve them in whatever way possible. Whenever there were disputes in family, people would come to him to get his advice; later he would visit the family and would give his simple advice which certainly may not be like that of trained Psychologists. But it had ready acceptance because it came from a holy man. Towards the end of his life Doctors had suggested him to slow down his ministry and take some rest. But his love for the people and that urge to communicate the Word of God to the people made him to attend to their needs even at the neglect of the advice of his Doctors.

Fr. Silva's first Sermon was delivered at the Feast of the Ascension at the Church of the Holy Spirit, Margao. It moved everyone present there including his brother. Fr. Silva indeed gained fame as a good Preacher. His simple and practical Sermons touched many a life, and his words are still stored deep down in all those who revere him. It was precisely this Great Love for the Word of God and his desire to make it known and understood by people that he arranged the Bible Classes for them at Margao's Monastery for many years. And rightly so his parting words were "I am going, Jesus is with you, give Him to others".

His often repeated phrase last days had been, "Jesus Loved us so much that he has chosen us to be His disciples. We must proclaim Him to all peoples". There was a whisper heard all around on the Funeral day saying, "We have indeed lost a Holy Priest on earth and but gained a powerful Saint in Heaven".





  • Created by: Eman Bonnici
  • Added: 23 Jan 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 33164142
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Fr Antony Silva (5 Dec 1912–13 Aug 2003), Find A Grave Memorial no. 33164142, citing Carmelite Teresian Monastery, Margao, Goa, India ; Maintained by Eman Bonnici (contributor 46572312) .