(The Author, Rev. Fr. George Pallivathukkal writes a collection of his experiences of fifty years of a missionary priest in central India and abroad. This sharing of his experiences will surely inspire many more people: Dhruwadeepti.)
ധ്രുവദീപ്തി // Autobiography:
Journey of a Missionary Priest-
Fr. George Pallivathukal
"It is a great privilege to be able to celebrate fifty years of one's priesthood. After crossing the fiftieth milestone on my journey as a missionary priest I look back with a sense of satisfaction and gratitude for what " the almighty has done for me" and through me during the past fifty years. Most of us do not know where the journey would end - where the path would take us. We think we know where it all began, but the memory recalls only a point, or up to a point. Beyond that deep into past, it goes blank. My journey has been quite challenging experiences. Challenges were from both outside and inside. The last part of my journey was quite turbulent. However I have never lost my courage. The challenges helped me to become stronger in my faith and in my priestly commitment"- Fr. George Pallivathukkal
My Early days -The Great Day
|Rev. Fr. George Pallivathukkal|
I was happy to be ordained on the 8th of September because that day was the Birthday of Our Blessed Mother as well as the death anniversary day of my own mother.I firmly believe that it was the intercession of our heavenly mother and the prayers and tears of my earthly mother that inspired me to become a priest. Therefore I do not believe that it was a coincidence that I was ordained on the 8th of September, a great day in my life, but it was in the plan of God. God has a plan for everyone. My mother died on the 8th of September, 1945 at 8'O clock in the morning.
I was very much attached to my mother. It was she who taught me to pronounce the name of Jesus as well as to have devotion to Mother Mary. She was a great devotee of Our Heavenly Mother. Her own name was Maryamma. My mother was the one who brought up my three sisters and me and was always with us until she died.
We hardly saw the face of my father because he was far away in the high ranges of Kerala, in a place called Vandanmetu, a "Malaria" prone area throunged with wild animals like elephants, planting and looking after cardamom estate, minting money for the joint family. It was a very risky job and none of his brothers wanted to join him to help him in the work. Occasionally he used to come home and we used to have fun great fun when he was at home.
He became a victim of Malaria and died on the 21st of November 1941. My father came home with high fever and he was treated for Malaria. Three days after he came home in the evening he was lying in bed and my mother and we four children were around his bed praying the usual evening prayers. After the Angelus he spoke to us sometime. To our surprise he told my mother not to worry and be courageous as she always has been and look after us if something happened to him. I was sitting on his bed and he was holding my hand and he told me to grow up like a good boy and not to worry Mummy.
After a few words of advice like this he told us to continue our prayers."You start the Rosary and I will join you silently because I am feeling sleepy", he said. I could see his lips moving till the end of the second decade of the Rosary. He was still holding my hand and his hand became loose. My mother signalled to me to let Daddy sleep and we continued the rosary and the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the other prayers which we used to recite every evening. After the evening prayer we wanted to receive the blessings from Daddy. We shook him. He was motionless. He was gone for ever leaving my mother a widow and the four of us children fatherless. I was eight years old then.
Life with the in -Laws and my mothers death.
After the death of my father we were brought to my paternal grand parents' house. The life there was not easy to put it in the mildest words. My mother lived only four years as a widow. That was a period much pain, tears and suffering for her. we children used to console her and wipe her tears in secret.
I would think in my mind that when I would take care of her and my sisters as well. But God himself had His own plan for my beloved mother. She soon became the Lord's property. God put an end to her suffering and called her to her eternal reward.
At that time I did not know so much of Bible to know that the widows, the orphans and the poor are the favourites of God. God is the defender of the defenceless and the consoler of his own favourites. He tells the widows "Do not be afraid for you will not be deceived, do not be ashamed for you will not be disgraced. you will forget the shame of your youth, no longer will you remember the disgrace of your widowhood. For your maker is to marry you, Yehveh Sabaoth is his name. Your Redeemer is the Holy one of Israel. He is called God of all the earth"(Isiah54,4-5). Any one who harasses and exploits a widow or an orphan or a poor man will face the wrath of God.
( തുടരും...ധൃവദീപ്തി ).
( തുടരും...ധൃവദീപ്തി ).