July 20, 2016 // Local

Father Danney Pinto retires after 55 years

Two open houses were held at both parishes in honor of Father Danney Pinto. The celebration at Immaculate Conception, Ege, took place on July 10, and the farewell party took place at St. John Bosco, Churubusco, on July 17.

By Phoebe Muthart

Father Danney Pinto retired on July 18 after 55 years as a priest. He has served as pastor at St. John Bosco Church in Churubusco, and Immaculate Conception Church of Ege. He originally came to the United States to serve for three years upon the request of the late Bishop John M. D’Arcy, but is retiring after staying for 20 years.

Father Pinto said that while he said it is “very rare” to serve two churches, he has loved the people he has gotten to know. “I will miss serving the people,” he said.

Born in 1938, Father Pinto grew up in Sri Lanka and traveled to England to complete his studies for priesthood. He became a priest in 1963 and before coming to his last assignment in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Father Pinto traveled and served in numerous parts of the world.

Father Pinto spent time in Italy, Israel and Jerusalem. “I know my Scriptures well because I stayed there one year,” he said of the Holy Land. Father Pinto also knew Blessed Mother Teresa very well, helping her to found a Home of Compassion in Nagoda, Kalutara, Sri Lanka. “I had a very good companion to work with,” he said fondly of Mother Teresa. “I knew her personally for three years. She was in my parish. She was in one rectory and I in another rectory.”

In 1995, Father Pinto moved to the United States and was assigned to two parishes. While at St. John Bosco and Immaculate Conception, he personally conducted five Masses on Sunday all by himself.

Father Danney Pinto retired July 18 from serving at St. John Bosco Church, Churubusco, and Immaculate Conception Church of Ege for the past 20 years.

During his tenure, he made improvements to the buildings with room additions and upgrades to the rectory. He also helped to implement upgrades to the sanctuaries with a marble altar and floor.

Parishioners fondly recall Father Pinto’s sense of humor. “Father would love to speak his native language to our children, who looked at him with wild eyes as if they understood what he was saying,” stated Deb Humphries, assistant to the DRE.

“I always loved how Father Pinto made the faith come alive with stories of his travels to Jerusalem and the Holy Land,” stated parish council member Toni Folds. “It helped to put into context the stories of the Gospels and the places where Jesus traveled because Father would explain it from his own travels.”

His retirement plans include moving back to Sri Lanka. “The Bishop there wants me back,” he said of his diocese in Sri Lanka, where he still has family — a brother and sister.

“Once I move back, I will serve the people again,” he said, adding he gets great satisfaction from meeting the poor people and helping them.

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