Father Israel Gonsalves, O.C.D.
Father Israel has traveled across vast oceans and continents to be with us. He is originally from Goa, India. Goa was evangelized by Saint Francis Xavier and is located along India’s southwestern coast. He now serves as Parochial Vicar at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Centennial, Colorado.
Father Israel is a member of the Carmelite Order, joining them in 1984 and professing his vows in 1988. Father Israel is the youngest of five children. His family had a hard life growing up because his father was killed when he was only eleven years old. A priest used to visit his family to assist when they were struggling and set a good example for him.
Father Israel got his first taste for the priesthood in the seventh grade. He used to help out at a nearby Carmelite monastery. It was there that he felt in his soul a deep desire to reach out and help the poor and orphaned. Because he himself had once been poor, he feels it is his turn to give back and help others in need.
Father Israel enjoys praying with small Christian communities, working on social projects, visiting the sick in nursing homes and helping orphans. In his own words: “I really enjoy meeting new people of all walks of life, poor and rich alike. I like connecting people. Even after I leave, the people I connect can remain friends. We are all one family in Jesus Christ, we just don’t know each other yet.”