Donnerstag, 7. August 2014

ധ്രുവദീപ്തി //Autobiography Journey of a Missionary Priest- My formation / Rev. Fr. George Pallivathukkal


A collection of the experiences of fifty years 
of a Missionary Priest in 
central India.

Fr. George Pallivathukal

(... During the last year of our High School in 1953, a German Divine word Missionary priest from Indore, Fr.Zimmerman S.V.D. came to our school and addressed us inviting us to Indore.We were a class of 50 students, 32 boys and 18 girls. Of these 17 boys went for priestly studies and 13 girls joined convent....)(continuation from part

chapter III-

My formation begins-

With my background as narrated above it was but natural That I offered to become a priest to serve in the Missions. I shared my intention with T.C. Joseph, the secretary of the parish Mission League. He too was thinking in the same way. Both of us shared our intention with the parish priest Fr. Abraham Thekkemury. He first asked us to join our own diocesan seminary at Changanassery. When he realized that we were firm in our decision to join a mission diocese he consented. Since we were not sure which diocese to join Fr. Abraham advised us to join the St. Joseph's Mission Home, Pala. Mission home functioned as a minor seminary for those who were desirous of going to work in the missions. While staying and studying there we could choose the diocese or the religious congregation we wanted to join.

The next day we went to the Mission Home,Pala along with Fr. Jacob Kanjirathinal the Manager of our school and met the Rector Mgr. Jacob Vellaringattu. Fr. Jacob Kanjirathinal had a private talk with the Rector and we had lunch together and returned. It was an amazing encounter before we joined the seminary. We were grateful to the lord of the Harvest for simplifying our entry into the seminary making it tension free.

One year in the Mission Home.

On the first of July 1953, after completing our matriculation, both Bro.T.C.Joseph and I joined the Pala Mission Home. Just half an hour before me another person had joined the same institution for priestly studies who providentially became my life long companion. He was Bro. Joseph Thoyalil. Today, 59 years after our first meeting, we are together and supporting each other.

Those days St.Joseph's Mission Home and the Good Shepherd Minor Seminary for Pala diocese were functioning together under the same staff. besides Fr. Rector Mgr. Jacob Vellaringattu we had as our Superiors Fr. George Vayalil M.S.F.S, Fr. N.M. Varkeyachan Nedumgottil and Bro. A.K. Augustine to teach various subjects. Bishop Sebastian Vayalil of Pala diocese used to come regularly once a week and give us one hour talk on priestly spirituality.

Latin was a tough Language. Many brothers could not cope with the study of the Language and soon became drop outs of our seminary. Br.T.C. Joseph was one of them. English was given much importance. English was the spoken language of the community. We owe much to Bro. A.K.Augustine, a committed lay person for his painstaking efforts to impart and inculcate in us a love for learning this language. Life in the Mission Home was not easy at all. Food was very frugal. Remarks were hurting and humiliating. Only aperson who had a strong desire to become a priest could survive there. But today when we look back we can see that the Lord was then preparing us for the tough life of the Missions in the future.

In the Mission Home, Vocation promoters from various diocese and religious congregations used to visit and address us. On the 1st of January 1954 two priests from Jbalpur, Fr. Meesters O'Praem, Rector of the St.Augustine's Seminary, Jabalpur and Fr. Joseph Thaliath visited the Mission Home and spoke to us. Fr. Meesters said that thea would welcome any one who had an average intelligence, a good stomach and a sense of humor. Six of my companions, including Bro. Joseph Thoyalil, decided to join Jabalpur. With the permission of the Vice Rector, Fr. Vayalil I went home and called my friend T.C. Joseph Thazhathedam to come and meet the priests from Jabalpur. He too was accepted for Jabalpur. I was still undecided. Mgr. Vellaringattu persuaded me to join the Patna Jesuits. Fr. George Vayalil was asking me to join the M.S.F.S. I do not know why I was inclined to become a diocesan priest. My companion from Jabalpur, T.C. Joseph, was writing to me often giving me news about Jabalpur and inviting me to join them.

I choose Jabalpur.

God had a plan for me. He had destined Jabalpur for me. When I completed my first year Minor Seminary course in the Pala Mission Home, I sent an application letter to Mgr. C. Dubbelman the Prefect Apostolic of Jabalpur along with the recommendation letter of the Rector for admission to his Prefecture. Jabalpur was not a diocese in those days. By return Post I received the reply from Mgr. Dubbelman admitting me to his prefecture. Jabalpur was my first and the last choice.

Rev.Fr.George Pallivathukkal
I arrived in Jabalpur on the 3rd of July 1954, the feast day of St.Thomas, the apostle of India. That was an auspicious day to join a Mission diocese to continue the apostolate St.Thomas had started 2000 years ago in our land. Two days later, on the 5th July 1954 Jabalpur was declared a diocese and Mgr. Conrad Dubbelman O'Praem was appointed the first Bishop of the new diocese. When we seminarians went to greet the newly appointed Bishop he said that we, the new seminarians had brought this blessing to the diocese. Welcoming us Mgr. Dubbleman said that " from now on Jabalpur diocese will be your new home." He was very fatherly and had much concern for us seminarians.

I did the second year of my minor seminary course in St Augustine's Jabalpur. Here teaching was serious at all. In the Mission Home,besides the Latin grammer which was a very tough subject, we had to study the writings of Cicero, Julius Caesar and the summary of the sacred writings etc. in Latin. By the end of the first year of minor seminary course we could converse in Latin. The seminarians after the second year had to face competitive exams for admissions in the pontifical Seminary, Alwye, Papal Seminary, Kandy, Sri. Lanka, and Propaganda, Rome. In jabalpur we were given a Latin grammar book meant for beginners in Cambridge Schools. Studying this book was like a child's game for me.

God had other Plan

In June 1955 six of us from St.Augustine's Jabalpur were sent to the Major Seminary at Ranchi, Jharkhand. Bro.T.C. Joseph my childhood friend and companion was one of them. Bro. Joseph Thoyalil spent only a few months in the minor seminary, Jabalpur and he had gone to the Major Seminary a year earlier. So he became my senior in St.Albert's.

God had other plans for Bro.T:C. Joseph. He had to leave the seminary a second time while he was in the first year of Philosophy because he had damaged his left eye while playing Basket Ball. Not to have both eyes was an impediment towards becoming a priest according to the old canon law. His dismissal brought much sorrow to us, especially to me. He went home and got married and had two children. He got a job in our parish High School. He died of a paralytic stroke in his late sixties. By divine providence I was at home when he died and the lord gave me the privilege of conducting his funeral rite and of laying him to eternal rest.

തുടരും -  ധ്രുവദീപ്തി

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen

Hinweis: Nur ein Mitglied dieses Blogs kann Kommentare posten.