Fr. Neiman D’Souza

Slight hiccup can’t derail path to the priesthood

By  Peter Ash, The Catholic Register
  • May 16, 2014

TORONTO - A conversation with an atheist convinced Fr. Neiman D’Souza to become a man of God.

Born in Kuwait, D’Souza moved to Toronto with his family as a child, beginning his journey towards a closeness with God.

“I actually became an altar server at Chinese Martyrs' Church (in Markham, Ont.),” he said. “I mean how could you beat a 2 p.m. English Mass, five minutes away from your house?”

D’Souza was an optimist. As he served at the altar, his relationship with God developed and led him towards the priesthood.

“After high school I made a plan,” which involved majoring in philosophy and psychology at the University of St. Michael’s College, said D’Souza. “My plan was to get my undergraduate in four years, hit up SAS (St. Augustine's Seminary), get formation done in five (years), and then I would get ordained by 28.”

But his plan got somewhat derailed at the start of his post-secondary life until an inspirational conversation with a co-worker at Staples Business Depot.

“An atheist co-worker of mine asked me what I wanted to do with my life,” said D’Souza. “I told her about how I once flirted with the idea of priesthood. She said I would make an awesome priest. She was right, maybe I should think about priesthood, and how I should not lose hope.”

So in 2006 D’Souza entered Serra House and completed his undergraduate studies achieving a degree in Catholic theology at St. Philip’s Seminary in Toronto.

“That was where the wheel to serving began,” said D’Souza, 31. “And I was soon committed to the life of prayer and community. There I learned so much about my faith, priestly fraternity, my diocese and the joy of the priesthood.”

On May 10 D’Souza’s interesting ride towards the priesthood ended as he was ordained, just five years later than he had planned.

He is assigned to St. Patrick’s parish in Markham.

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