An Epitome of Passion for Service | Daily News
Rev. Dr. Victor Silva:

An Epitome of Passion for Service

When I decided to write a short article on the occasion of Rev. Dr. Stanley Victor Silva’s 75th birthday which is a significant milestone of his life, little did I realize that how difficult it would be to summarize the distinguished and unselfish services of this legendary priest in God and compassionate human being deeply loved and endeared by people from all walks of life. As the saying goes, “Whoever renders service to many, puts himself in line for greatness.” So, Fr. Victor has provided continuous and sustained leadership of the highest calibre mainly to the church and the domains of spiritual formation and academia.

Rev. Dr. Victor Silva who hails from a devout Catholic family from Diyalygoda, Maggona was born on March 18, 1948. He received his education at St. Aloysius Seminary, Borella and St. Peter’s College, Colombo 4 until he joined the National Seminary in Kandy. Through the passage of time, he earned an array of academic qualifications from bachelor degrees, post graduate diplomas to Masters and the climax being his doctorate in Education.

Having served St. Peter’s and St. Joseph’s in different responsible capacities, and with the administrative skills he mustered, he was the chosen one to navigate the Ship of St. Joseph’s, the premier Catholic Institute at her 100th milestone in the new millennium to establish her potent credentials.

Taking up the mantle as the 11th Rector from his predecessor none other than much celebrated scholar Rev. Dr. Stanley Abesekera, Fr. Victor consolidated and enhanced the development of St. Joseph’s College by ably demonstrating his potential, resourcefulness and magnanimity focusing on various spheres such as religious, spiritual, academic, sports, cultural, technological and infrastructural aspects of this citadel of learning. Presently, he is the incumbent Director at Subodhi Institute of Integral Education at Piliyandala.

Indeed, Fr. Victor has dedicated his life to the betterment and maintenance of the standards of excellence in the schools and institutes that came under his surveillance. He walks the talk and leads by example. As a visionary in education, he always emphasizes the importance of better standards of English and technology. He firmly trusts that excellence in education is clearly implicit in promoting spiritual and human values, thereby producing knowledge, skills and aptitude to serve the society in body, mind and spirit.

His is a multifaceted personality. He is an author, composer, lyricist, musician, vocalist, communicator and above all a true diplomat and a humanist par excellence. His main strength and legacy, I trust, is the fragrance of his amiable and unassuming character.

Furthermore, as a Pastor to his flock of people, his role has been phenomenal and exemplary. He has tenderly and palpably touched many a heart. In other words, he has a natural knack of making a lasting positive impact on people with his striking characteristics of understanding, empathy, tolerance, optimism and a deep sense of forgiveness and compassion. It is truly creditworthy of Fr. Victor inspires people whoever come into contact with him, with his innate passion and concern to reach the loftiest levels. The writer can possibly vouch for the fact that Fr. Victor commands the unstinting support and active participation of teachers, students, parents, old boys and well-wishers in achieving and realizing the noble objectives of his mission in the service of people. For instance, he readily came forward with a multimillion project to take up the daunting task of securing the rehabilitation and rebuilding of the Diyalagoda Maha Vidyalaya in Maggona, which was badly hit by the enraged tsunami waves of 2004. As a matter of fact, he makes sure that everything mandatory and possible is done in order for the people under his guidance to grow in strength and quality wherever he yields his influence placing his trust in the fact that the key to leadership is influence not authority.

In fact, life has never been a bed of roses to Father Victor in these 75 long years. Notwithstanding many challenges, trials and even hard-hitting circumstances, undue criticisms in the form of storms, he has been able to forge ahead with his deep and abiding trust in the Lord, and that true sense of purpose. His greatness was meant to be shared with people irrespective of their diversity and differences. He never lets his great mission deter or hinder the forward journey and progress. As I have mentioned in several of my public speeches, Fr. Victor has always been a progressive, passionate leader. Nevertheless, though gentle in heart, he never hesitates to take some tough and unprecedented decisions for the overall welfare of the community.

As a concluding remark and wish, may I say Fr. Victor has always used his influence and resourcefulness to be of great service to all those who come within his gentle but steady purview. We thank Almighty God for his invaluable services and inspiring life and wish him His choicest blessings for a continued commitment to work and service.

Dimuth Fernando

(Academic Staff – St. Joseph’s College)


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