FR. ALFRED T. POOVATTIL, S.J. (PAT, 89/64)
Died in Patna on 28 July 2012
|BIO – DATA:
Born:3 April 1923
Entered:26 February 1948
Ordained: 20 March 1959
Minister, St. Xavier’s, Godavari, Nepal: 1961-62; Parish Priest, Latonah: 1962-72;
Father In-Charge, Chenari: 1972-73; Parish Priest, Chuhari: 1973-1975;
Parish Priest, Samastipur: 1975-76; Parish Priest, Marpa: 1976-78; Minister,
St. Xavier’s, Delhi: 1973-79; Legal Affairs, St. Xavier’s, Patna: 1979-80;
Parish Priest, Shahpur: 1980-83; Parish Priest, Darbhanga: 1983-86;
Father In-Charge, Siwan: 1986-87; Father In-Charge, Barauni: 1987-90;
Minister, Atmadarshan, Patna: 1990-1992; Father In-Charge, Bhairahawa, Nepal: 1992-1995;
Superior, Ara: 1996-97; Father In-Charge, Hajipur: 1998-2001;
St. Xavier’s, Patna: 2002-2003; Spiritual Director, Morning Star Seminary, Calcutta: 2003-2007;
Spiritual Director, Regional Theology centre, Khaspur: 2007-2008;
Spiritual Director, Gurukul, Muzaffarpur; 2008-2009
Among the pioneers and pillars of Patna Province were the two brothers, Frs. Philip and Alfred Poovattil. Fr. Philip died in 1989 after a life of service, mainly at Khrist Raja in Bettiah. His brother Alfred was the ever available pastor and administrator who was ready to go and serve wherever there was an urgent need. One trait they had in common: they were very hospitable and genial with all those they met.
Alfred’s heart was in pastoral work, as can be seen by his many assignments, and even in his last weeks of life among us, he asked repeatedly to be sent to a parish or a mission station. He had a deep love for the people of Bihar, so far from his birthplace in Kerala. In his younger days, Alfred was healthy and robust, ready to travel to distant places and fill in wherever he was needed. He was a good administrator, alert to the needs of the people or Jesuit community. And, he had such a friendly nature that he seemed to be at home in the great variety of places where he was posted.
In his last days and weeks he was restless to be back in the pastoral work that he loved. It was hard for him to accept inactivity, but he had no choice as his body grew weaker. But his spirit was always strong and apostolic. He had a keen sense of humor and could smile and laugh easily. We were fortunate to have him and Philip as our companions and members of our Province. And, we are sure that he continues to intercede for us before the Lord whom he served so faithfully.
May his generous soul rest in peace.
- Jerry Drinane, S.J.
[All members of Patna Province should offer one Mass for the repose of his soul; and the XTTI community two Masses.]