by Elias Frank
Rome, Dec 16: Fr. Pius James D'Souza ocd, Carmelite priest from Agrar (Bantwal), belonging to Karnataka-Goa province, made his Carmelite Order and the Konkani Kutam in Rome proud with his brilliant work, titled “Stronger than Death, Intimations of Afterlife in the Book of Psalms.”
On 15 December 2009, Fr. Pius defended his doctoral thesis, an exegetical work in Biblical theology, in the Pontifical Gregorian University. Prof. Bruna Costacurta, “the devil's advocate!”, as it was her job, praising Fr. Pius said: “One needs courage to take-up this topic and you had it.” His Moderator, Prof. Gianni Barbiero sdb, was all praise for his student; appreciating the work he said: “The type of work has not been done, it is a pioneering work, therefore, the entire work merits to be published”.
The tall Fr. Pius stood even taller with his knowledge and ability to defend his stand, quoting texts in Hebrew and Greek. The debate lasted a little over an hour; the fully packed hall was all ears.
Fr. Pius has worked for seven years to come to this moment; four years for licence (Masters) in Scripture studies and three years for the doctorate in Biblical Theology. In his long stay in Rome, apart from being an active member of the Konkani Kutam, Fr. Pius has also made friends far and wide. His friends from northern Italy, Scotland and Boston USA, travelled all the way to be with him in his moment of “suffering” and triumph. The Carmelite priests, with their numbers, made everyone present known how much Fr. Pius is loved and popular in their Order.