Allow me to express my sincere sympathies to the Catholic Diocese of Georgetown on the passing of Father Joachim D’Mello SJ. It is fitting to acknowledge in appreciation of his relentless service in Guyana for about 18 years. He hails from India. He has been serving in the lengths and breaths of this country. People will remember him as a ‘priest for all’ or ‘a jolly-good priest’. He served as a priest in Rupununi for several years where he started honey-culture and carpentry.
He encouraged the people in Lethem to do the same. This was his unforgettable contribution besides being an inspirational pastor. As a director of Guyana Human Development Centre in Port Mourant, Berbice, Fr Joachim encouraged the students to take up vocational skills training such as cooking, cake baking, pedicure, computer skills and so on. He also persuaded the local boys to be trained in basketball and personally trained a team at the centre.
This centre trains school drop-out students in various skills and hence, they to take up jobs or start small businesses. In these small ways, he touched many hearts. Fr Joachim has also served in St Pius X Parish Church and Jesuit head-quarters in Queenstown. Most persons will relate to him as ‘a priest for all’ because of his service to all.
He also had a pleasant and soothing personality that won many friends. He preached with conviction. I have lost a good friend and I pay a tribute of gratitude for all the service he rendered to the people of Guyana.