Father Maicaal Lobo grew up as the oldest of six children born to parents in a remote mountainous area of India where Jesuit priests had a summer vacation home. His father’s family helped around the home. Through these opportunities the proximity afåforded him, the future Father Lobo came to admire the Jesuits and was inspired by their lives of dedication and service.
Eventually, a discerned call to the priesthood took Father Lobo away from his family’s agricultural occupation. His five siblings are married.
After his ordination at Our Lady, Virgin of the Poor Parish by Bishop Basil Salvadore D’Souza on April 26, 1994, Father Lobo was assigned to be an assistant parish priest. He served in parishes in Udyavar, Modankaup-Bantwal, and Bondel. He was then appointed to serve a year as a parish priest at St. John Marie Vianney Church in Bambil. From 2000 to 2005, Father Lobo served as a lecturer, warden and principal at St. Philomena College, Puttur. He was the principal of schools in Hirgan, Karkal; Bejai, Mangalore and Kadaba, as well as a parish priest in Karkal and Kadaba for six years before coming to the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend at the suggestion of his friend and brother priest, Father Cyril Fernandes.
In 2017, Father Lobo arrived in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and began two months of service at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Fort Wayne. He then served as the chaplain of Our Lady of Victory Noll, Huntington. Last year, he became the parochial vicar at SS. Peter and Paul Parish, Huntington, and June 18 was appointed the new pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Monroeville.
He said, “I had a beautiful picture once of America, and I wanted to be among the people there. I had heard a lot of America. After living here for two years now, I feel I am blessed in so many ways. The people over here are very open and friendly. I feel a warm welcome by everyone. My favorite part about being a priest is the privilege of being chosen by God to be channel of His graces. It is a delightful experience for me to make Christ present to various people.”
He is thankful to God for giving him the talents to preach and teach. He considers his priestly life as an opportunity to expand his family with an “all-inclusive approach” where all are welcome. All newcomers in the church should feel welcome and encouraged to participate in its activities, and he said that priests need feedback from parishioners in order to prepare short and inspirational homilies that address their needs. Father Lobo also supports small Christian communities as a means to find close circles of friends, and to share faith and fun times in order to build a culture of service to the Church and to the community.
The priesthood presents a few challenges, as does any vocation. Father Lobo feels that the most challenging thing about being a priest is loneliness. He is also worried about the damage done to the Church by the sexual abuse scandal. And, he said, it is a difficult task to preach the Gospel values in the world of materialism and relativism.
Regarding his future years, Father Lobo simply said, “I am open to new things about life here. I will learn and I will grow. I want to be of service in whatever way possible. … in Masses, homilies, confessions and as I am directed.”
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