25 Years of Priesthood: Fr. Showri Rayalu Kalva
Friday, Jun. 26, 2020
Diocese of Salt Lake City
Fr. Showri Rayalu Kalva
VERNAL — Fr. Showri Rayalu Kalva is administrator of St. James the Greater Parish in Vernal. This year he is celebrating his 25th priesthood anniversary.
Born in Kethepally, India, Fr. Kalva was left orphaned at the age of 8, along with his younger sister. He and the other street children would collect food that other people would throw out.
“As it became difficult to find food for my sister and myself, I began working with a family to care for their water buffaloes,” Fr. Kalva wrote in a personal vocation story that was published in the Aug. 17, 2018 Intermountain Catholic. “That job helped me to pay for both food and education for us. I met Sister Monica while I was working one day. She visited families of the parish, especially looking for children who needed help. While she was visiting, she asked the owner about me while I was tending to the animals. Sr. Monica decided to take my little sister and me to the convent to join other orphans who had been brought there. She helped provide food and an education until my graduation.”
“As a child and orphan, I was on the edge of getting lost in the wrong way,” Fr. Kalva added in a recent interview. “But I had a sister to care for, and God called Sr. Monica to make sure I had an education and support when I felt his calling to serve.”
Fr. Kalva attended St. Xavier High School at Sulyaped, Loyolanagur, India, then went on to Andhra Loyola College at Vijayawala. Subsequently, he entered St. John’s Regional Seminary in Hyderabad, where he studied theology. Following that, he studied philosophy at St. John’s Seminary in Kondadhaba.
On March 10, 1995 he was ordained a priest by the Most Rev. Innaiah Addagatla for the Diocese of Nalgonda.
“My first Mass on March 11, 1995, was in India,” he wrote in the vocation story. “The inspiration to help other orphans with and for my priesthood hit me deeply while doing my individual prayers after that Mass. … By these and other actions, I have discerned my true calling is to serve God’s children.”
Following his ordination, Fr. Kalva served in various positions in the dioceses of Nalgonda and Kurnool, including as parochial vicar and pastor.
From 2005 to 2007 he served as parochial vicar in Camden, N.J. In 2013 he arrived in the Diocese of Salt Lake City, where he was appointed administrator of St. Helen Parish in Roosevelt and temporary parochial vicar of St. Patrick Parish in Salt Lake City.
In 2018 he became the administrator of St. James the Greater Parish in Vernal, where he is now pastor.
His priesthood ministry has been dedicated to serving all of God’s people, he said.
One of the challenges he has had is that English is not his native language, but as time has passed in the Diocese of Salt Lake City, he has acquired a good sense of the language.
“I never thought that I would become a priest, but now by the grace of God that I got the vocation, my journey has been wonderful,” he said.
Looking forward to the years to come, Fr. Kalva said that he has enjoyed serving the faithful in Utah.
“It is important to follow your call. God is always calling us and, most important, he always listens our needs. ... I am so happy that God has chosen me to be a servant,” he said.
Being in Vernal has been a joy for him.
“I have enjoyed my time here. ... I always ask the Lord to give me good health, so I can keep serving his people,” he said, adding that he is looking forward to the years to come.