Thursday, August 1, 2013

FR LUIS ARZA SJ - Fr.Pablo Gil

1921 - 2013

Fr Arza was certainly ready to obey the call of the Lord summoning him to come to the House of the Father. He had been purified by a long illness which limited his mobility, and what is more painful, prevented him from speaking. To make his Way of the Cross still more painful he had to suffer at the end a prostate operation that forced him to be bed-ridden till his death. The only human relaxation he received was taken for short rides in a wheel chair.

Fr Arza received his call to the Society of Jesus when he was studying theology in the Seminary of Pamplona. He joined the Society of Jesus in Loyola, and immediately after his vows he was appointed to the then Ahmedabad Mission. That is back in 1949. So he has been a missionary in Gujarat for nearly 64 years.
Fr Arza was particularly gifted for leadership which he exercised in various posts of high responsibility. After his ordination in Pune, he was appointed Spiritual Father of the boys in St Xavier’s High School, Anand. There he sowed the seeds of a vocation to the priesthood in a number of boys. He was Parish Priest in Dediapada, Rector in Anand, Principal in St Xavier’s High School, Surat, Principal of St Joseph’s in Baroda, Parish Priest in Valsad, Rector of Good Shepherd Seminary in Baroda, chaplain of the Shrine  in Baroda and Superior of Jeevan Darshan, where he was completely dedicated to the service and welfare of the retired and of the sick. He has left behind an example of what a real missionary should be.

While in Surat his contribution to the welfare of the adivasis is said to be an enduring monument to his zeal and love for the oppressed and the dispossessed. His six years of efficient service at St Joseph’s, Baroda have left an impression on all who benefited from his work. The clergy of Baroda still remember him with affection and gratitude for his fatherly guidance during his stint as the Rector of the diocesan seminary. His liberty and generosity as a genial host is still cherished by those who enjoyed his hospitality in Valsad.  Sevasi too has enjoyed his contribution in terms of making peace between rival groups and improving the conditions of the hostel, setting the accounts aright and making the farm productive. The Jeevan Darshan community was fortunate to have him as  Superior  cum chaplain in the Shrine of Our Lady  of the Forsaken.

Fr Arza was a man of deep spirituality. While he was in charge of the Shrine and of the Jeevan Darshan infirmary, I heard him often saying, that for him God as Father was what illumined and energized his whole spiritual life. God is my Father, he repeated over and over again. No wonder that he prepared himself so well through a long purification to go to the House of his Father.

His funeral was attended by a large congregation of priests, religious Sisters and laypeople. Bishop  Godfrey de Rozario, Bishop of Baroda, presided at the Eucharistic concelebration, assisted   by Archbishop Stanny Fernandes, Bishop Macwan  and Jesuit Provincial Fr. Changanacherry.

May he rest in peace.

Fr Pablo Gil SJ


  1. I am an ex-student of Fr Pablo Gil and would like to contact him. My e-mail address is:
    Charles Simoes

    1. Fr Pablo Gil is in Good Shepherd Seminary, Baroda.

    2. He can be contacted on the number: 0265-2357152