This Friday, June 26, at 9:00 a.m. (New York time) H.E.R. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, will ordain to the priesthood our dear brother Roland P. Pereira, 37 years old and a native of Puttur (India). The ceremony will be held in St. Patrick’s Cathedral behind closed doors, due to the restrictions imposed by the covid-19 pandemic, and the young Mexican Luis M. Silva Cervantes will also be ordained. The following is an interview with Roland by the diocesan newspaper, Catholic New York, in which he gives a picture of his life and his vocation as an Idente missionary.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Father Roland P. Pereira, M.Id
New Idente Priest at Home With ‘Simplicity and Humility’
By CHRISTIE L. CHICOINE
The intersection of creation and cosmology intrigues Father Roland P. Pereira, M.Id. “We should not be afraid of surprises” or of “not knowing” but, rather, welcome “a sense of awe.” At the same time, “We need God, we need a Creator to explain and give meaning and purpose to what we’re doing in science.”
The 37-year-old Idente Missionary priest, who has an engineering and computer science background, said the order’s charism of “simplicity and humility” resonates with him. “The focus is your heart,” he said. “How pure is your heart?”
He resides at Our Lady of Loretto in Hempstead, Long Island, a parish served by the Idente Missionaries. There he has served as director of youth and young adult ministry. He is also vice president of Idente Youth USA and coordinator of World Youth Parliament USA.
Our Lady of Loretto in Hempstead has been his home parish since 2014. Born in Puttur, Karnataka, India, he grew up in Bangalore.
He speaks four languages: Hindi; Kannada, the state language of Karnataka; Konkani, the mother tongue; and English. He is learning Spanish.
Leisure activities have included, ping pong, cricket, soccer and running. Running, he said, is “a battle of the mind” in the push for “one more lap” and provides time and space for “a dialogue with God.”
Among those who have been integral to his vocation is Bishop-elect Luis Miguel Romero Fernandez, M.Id., an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, whom he met India in 2011 when then-Father Romero was the provincial superior of the Idente Missionaries.
“We began weekly conversations that transitioned into weekly spiritual direction,” Father Pereira said. “He was instrumental in introducing me to the charism, then journeying with me all along until the point of entrance into common life in 2014 in New York.
“It did not stop there,” Father Pereira said. “Before my coming to New York, Father Luis Miguel was appointed pastor of Our Lady of Loretto Church in Hempstead. After my arrival in New York to our formation house in the Bronx, I was transferred to Our Lady of Loretto Church.
“Apart from the many virtues he has, the thing that attracted me to him was the fact that he was a biologist and a priest. Coming from a computer science background myself, this was intriguing.”
The eldest of three children of Charles and Lancy Pereira, he has a brother, Rohan, and a sister, Reanna. “I grew up in a normal practicing Catholic family. We went to Sunday Mass. I was an altar server. On a serious level, I began looking toward religious life in 2010, when I was 26 years old. The seeds though were sown early in my days in the youth group.”
He attended St. Joseph’s Indian High School and St. Joseph’s Pre-University College, both in Bangalore.
He entered the Idente Missionaries in 2014 and made final vows in 2019.
He earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree in computer science from Visveswariah Technological University in Belgaum, Karnataka, India, and masters’ degrees in divinity, theology and Catholic philosophical studies from St. Joseph Seminary, Dunwoodie.
Father Pereira will celebrate his first Mass Sunday, June 28, at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Loretto Church in Hempstead. Bishop-elect Romero, an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, will deliver the homily.