Fr Michael Goveas
(Birth: 28-09-1940 Ordination: 21-12-1966)
Retired Not Out
Fr Michael Goveas strides about swiftly, putting things in order for the day, before he settles down with a warm grin to speak to us. His witty response to our interview request, “So have I got the job?” sets the tone for the rest of our conversation. Currently, the Vice-Rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount, Fr Goveas has served in nine parishes. Devoted to Church activities at a very early age, the decision to join the priesthood was never a tough choice. A young Michael was further exhorted by the late Fr Rupert D’Silva – in the ninth grade – to discern his priestly vocation.
Instrumental in serving the Archdiocese for 55 years, he has brought the faithful to the fold through relentless efforts. Fr Michael prepared RCIA candidates from various linguistic backgrounds (English, Hindi, and Konkani) to embrace the faith. He was deeply involved with Sunday School and the Children’s Mass – his interactions with the little ones being much cherished. He also inspired children to serve the Lord during Mass by actively participating as altar servers. An enthusiast for music, Fr Goveas always makes sure that the hymns chosen for Mass are liturgically correct.
In times of difficulty, Fr Michael turns to the Bible verse, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13) He has also drawn inspiration from this Bible verse for his homilies. Along with describing his Silver and Golden Jubilee Anniversaries as memorable, Fr Michael also recounts this touching anecdote: while counselling and guiding youngsters, he came across a girl who had lost hope after failing her SSC exams. Today, the same girl – now a woman – is a successful school teacher!
A man of prayer, Fr Michael guards his time with the Lord jealously and likewise appeals to the laity and especially priests to be people of prayer. When asked about his message for the seminarians, he is emphatic, “Set an example of Christ to the people.” We are blessed to have priests like Fr Michael – a true advocate for Christ.