Fr. Joseph Rayappan D’Silva was the 7th of 12 children of Rayappan and Vareeda. He studied in St. Joseph’s Primary School, Leo XIII Middle School, and graduated from New High School, Nellimood, TRV. He joined St. Raphael’s Minor Seminary, Kollam, India, and thereafter joined St. Joseph’s Apostolic College, Aluva, India. He was ordained a priest at St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Trivandrum. He served as parish priest of St. Anthony’s Church, Kamukincode; Diocesan Director of Catholic Charities for 3 years; parish priest of St. Matthew’s Church, Kollencode before coming to USA. He served at St. Sylvester’s Church, Staten Island, NY, until he joined US Army.
In January 1979, he joined Army Chaplaincy; had his Basic Training at Fort Wadsworth, NY; and served in the following Military installations: Fort Sill, OK; Osan, Korea; Youngsan, Korea; Fort Dix, NJ. He did his Advanced Course at Fort Monmouth, NJ, followed by one year of Clinical Pastoral Education at Fort Benning, Georgia; served at Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso, TX. He did his CAS3 at Fort Leavenwworth, KS; served at 3rd Armored Division, Frankfurt, Germany; Fort Stewart, Georgia; Gulf War; Fort Monmouth, NJ; Warner Barracks, Bamberg, Germany, and Fort Eustis, VA from where he retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
He has a Master degree in Education from St. John’s University, Jamaica, New York. His awards include: Army Commendation Medal (3rd award); National Defense Service Medal (2nd award); Southwest Asia Service Medal (w/2 bronze Service Stars); Army Service Ribbon/Overseas Service Ribbon (w/num3); Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia & Kuwait); Meritorious Service Medal (6th award); and Legion of Merit and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
He is survived by his brother, George D’Silva; nieces Eusalia, Lucy and Sindhya; nephews Benedict, Sebastian, Thomas and Justin and their families.