On 16 December 2013, the General Definitorium in Rome, during its session, elected him as the Definitor General to complete the six-year term left vacant following the appointment of former General Definitor Fr. Paskalis Bruno, OFM, as Bishop-elect of Bogor, Indonesia. Fr. Gabriel is the first from India to be elected as General Definitor.
Congratulations to Fr. Gabriel as he takes up this important new ministry of service to the brothers!
Fr. Gabriel was born on April 1, 1950 and entered the Order on May 30, 1968. He was ordained a priest on May 11, 1974. He speaks English and Italian, as well as the Indian languages of Konkani, Kannada, and Hindi. He also speaks limited German.
Fr. Gabriel studied Philosophy and Theology at St. Anthony’s Friary Bangalore, receiving his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Pune, India. He received his Lincentiate in Psychology from the Pontifical Gregorian University following studies from 1978- 1981, and his Doctorate following studies from 1981-1982. His area of specialization is indepth Psychology with special reference to integration of spirituality and Psychology. Fr. Gabriel is trained in doing intensive psychotherapy and psychological testing.
He has been teaching Psychology at the Franciscan Seminary in Bangalore since 1982, and has taught at the Redemptorist Seminary, St.Peter’s Seminary and at the Salesian center for Ongoing formation, CRI Brothers’ Institute—all at Bangalore and at Siddhi Vihar at Mysore.
Presently, besides teaching at St. Anthony Friary in Bangalore, Fr. Gabriel also serves as Visiting Faculty at:
• St. Pius X Seminary, Mumbai,
• “ Mater Dei Institute” for women religious ,Goa;
• National Vocational Service Center(NVSC),Pune,
• “ AVP Institute of spirituality” , Bangalore.
• NBCLC (National Biblical and Catechetical center), Bangalore
He conducts seminars especially for formators on psycho-spiritual integration and psychosexual integration. Fr. Gabriel was the main resource person at the meeting of Association of Major Seminary Rectors in September, 2003 at Shillong, on the topic, "Training for Celibacy".
On the International Level, he has conducted a Seminar for MSC formators at Jakarata (1991) and was one of experts at the Course for Franciscan Formators at Rome, 2001.
In the Franciscan Province of St. Thomas, the Apostle, India, Fr. Gabriel has served in the following positions:
1. Director of formation/ Magister of post-novitiate formation at St. Anthony’s Friary Bangalore ( 9 years: 1985- 1991, 1997-2001),
2. Dean of studies ( 7 years: 1982-1988, 2002-2003),
3. Provincial Secretary of formation and studies (6 years: 1992-2001)
4. Provincial Coordinator of Vocation Directors (3 years: 1991-1994)
5. Guardian of St. Anthony’s Friary, Bangalore (2002-2004)
6. Guardian and Principal of pre-primary school at Good Counsel Friary, Mumbai (2004-2007),
7. Vicar Provincial (9 years:1991-2000)
8. Provincial Definitor ( 2006-2009)
9. Guardian of St. Anthony’s Friary, Bangalore (2010—2013)
10. Vicar Provincial (2009-present)
Within the Order, Fr. Gabriel has served as:
1. The Executive Secretary of the Franciscan Conferences of Asia and Oceania for two terms.(1983-87); In that capacity edited “Eastern Exchange” and “The Pilgrim”, the contact papers of the Conference and organized the bi-yearly seminar meeting of the Ministers of the entities of both conferences, at Seoul and Jakarta.
2. Formation delegate of SAAOC 1998-2000
3. The General Visitator of the Philippine Province 1994-95
4. Member of the Commission for formulating the Ratio Formationis Franciscanae of 1993
5. Member of the Commission to formulate Ratio Studiorum of the Order, 2001
6. Recording Secretary at the Plenary Council of the Order at Bangalore,1988
7. Recording Secretary at the General Chapter of San Diego,1991.
8. Assistant General secretary at the General Chapter 2009, Assisi.