|Born||November 17, 1933|
|🏫 Education||Doctorate in Theology|
|📆 Years active||1958 -|
|leadership in the Franciscan order|
Louis Mascarenhas is a Pakistani Franciscan priest, academician and educator.
He was born in Karachi, Pakistan, on November 17, 1933. He started school in St. Lawrence's Boys School in 1939, and then moved to St Patrick’s High School finishing in 1948. He joined the Franciscans on August 1, 1949, in Bangalore. After completion of his philosophy course in 1954 he returned to Karachi and completed his theological training and was ordained to the Order of Priests on January 5, 1958. He holds a Doctorate in Theology. Fr. Mascarenhas belongs to the Franciscan Custody of St. John the Baptist in Pakistan.
Fr. Louis then spent a year in the Middle East learning Arabic. Since 1962 he has been professor of Church History and Mission Theology at the National Catholic Institute of Theology and the Christ the King Seminary where he was also appointed for a period of six months as Rector by Cardinal Joseph Cordeiro in 1974. In 2012 he completed fifty years of teaching and formation work.
Fr. Mascarenhas has taught Church history, missiology and pedagogy of the oppressed in the country and abroad. Father Mascarenhas also used to help Abdul Sattar Edhi, a Muslim social worker in Karachi, and visited Karachi Central Jail regularly to provide medical and spiritual assistance to prisoners. He may be easily considered a pioneer and trend setter in the local church and particularly in the Order of Friars Minor. In 1974, after having taken care of the National Seminary through a difficult period in its history he asked to be relieved of his responsibilities at the seminary and in the spirit of the second Vatican Council and the Franciscan tradition, moved the Franciscan Novitiate out of the monastic setting in the Friary to a flat in order to live among Muslims as a witness and as a means to get a dialogue of life started with people of other faiths. That same year he was invited to become a member of the International Commission of the Order for dialogue with Islam.
In 1985, under his leadership the Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist became an independent Custody (formerly a part of the Dutch Province).
In January 1995 he was awarded a gold ring at the Graduates Christian Fellowship program as a token of appreciation for his exemplary life of service.
He has lived and worked among the Parkari Kohlis and pioneered a new mission station in Khipro, Sindh in 1996. He lived among the tribal people in Khipro, in a hut without electricity and running water for three years, where he set up a good school for the education of the poor.
Fr. Mascarenhas has served as Minister Provincial of the Custody of St. John the Baptist from 1985 to 1994. He has also served as Novice Director, Provincial Secretary for Formation and Studies, Director of post-novices, Seminary Professor, Franciscan Religious Formation Course, Provincial On-Going Formation Director, Secretary, Major Superiors Conference of Pakistan, Editor of Focus, (a theological periodical published by the Pastoral Institute in Multan and Provincial Archivist and Procurator of the Custody. For nineteen years he has been the National Coordinator for Pakistan of the Correspondence Course on Franciscan Missionary Charism and has also organized and started the Faith and Light Group, an association of families with physically and mentally challenged children.
He has been a visiting professor at the Theologie interkulturel in Frankfurt and at the University of Tilburg, Netherlands.
He was first elected as Visitator General to the Vice Province of St. Francis of Assisi in Papua New Guinea in 2002, and in 2005 to the Franciscan Province of San Pedro Bautista in the Philippines.
The Minister General José Rodríguez Carballo OFM in December 2007 appointed Fr. Mascarenhas as the Visitator General to the Province of the Holy Martyrs of Korea. He has also facilitated several chapters of women's congregations in Pakistan, including the Franciscan Missionaries of Christ the King, the Franciscan Sisters of the Heart of Jesus and the Daughters of the Cross.
In 1962 he assisted Cardinal Joseph Cordeiro at the Second Vatican Council. In October 2012 he spoke at a seminar titled Memories, Demands and Hopes, to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.
As of 2013 Fr. Mascarenhas still teaches at the National Catholic Institute of Theology and is bursar of the Franciscan Order in Pakistan.
- Portiuncula Friary
- East Asian Conference of OFM Website Accessed 2008
- UCANews February 8, 1995
- RELIGIOUS LIFE ASIA Vol. II, No. 3 • July–September 2000
- UCANews 19 October 2012
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