The Rector Major, Rev. Fr. Angel Fernández Ártime, has appointed Rev. Fr. Mathew Thonikuzhiyil (Joyce Francis) SDB as the New Provincial of the Salesian Province of Bangalore. Fr. Joyce is the seventh provincial of the province that was erected in 1979. He is the Rector of Don Bosco Cultural Centre, Vennala, Kochi, for a second term from 2013.
Born at Teekoy (Kottayam Dt. Kerala) on 10 October 1963, Fr. Joyce joined the Salesian aspirantate at Don Bosco, Mannuthy, in 1976. He made the first profession on 24 May 1982. Fr. Joyce did his philosophical studies at Yercaud and practical training and college studies at Mannuthy. Having completed his theological studies at Kristu Jyoti College, Bangalore, he was ordained priest on 3 January 1992. He has served as the dean of studies at Don Bosco Bhavan, Mannuthy, and Don Bosco, Aluva. He was the Rector of Don Bosco, Vennala, from 2000 to 2006. From 2007 to 2013 he served as the Novice Master at Mount Don Bosco, Padivayal.
Fr. Joyce has a licentiate in Spiritual Theology from the Salesian Pontifical University (Rome).
Announcing the news, Fr. Thomas Anchukandam, Provincial, states that endowed as Fr. Joyce is with gifts of nature and of grace, particularly that of a paternal heart, the new provincial will prove himself a true father to the confreres. His experience as Rector-cum-Novice Master, his knowledge of matters Salesian and his acknowledged love for Don Bosco and the Congregation will also facilitate a truly Salesian animation of the Province.
The prayer is that God may bless Fr. Joyce with good health and the gift of discernment to lead the Province with vision, wisdom and courage.