Died in Heart Hospital, Patna, on 17th February 2013.

Born:06-02-1953 in Mookkannur, Ernakulam, Dist., Kerala
Entered: 02-01-1975
Ordained: 30-04-1988      Final Vows:22-04-1997

His death came not just as an unexpected shock but as a terrible one. We will take many months if not years to come to terms with his absence. Just 11 days ago, when he began the Eucharist saying “I am happy to celebrate my shashtipurti (sixtieth birth anniversary) today” there was so much of gracefulness and contentment in his countenance. Who could have ever imagined that he was celebrating his last birth anniversary Mass on this earth?

At 8.00 am today (17 February 2013) Jose was going to begin a recollection talk to the CJ Sisters at Jethuli (on the outskirt of Patna). Till then there was no indication that he was sick or much less that he was going to have a massive heart attack. As he sat on the chair he joked saying that the sisters had comfortable chairs whereas his own wasn’t; so he changed his chair and got another one. No one could guess that the problem wasn’t with the chair but that he was fast beginning to feel unwell. Even after sitting on the second chair he indicated discomfort and asked for water, but before water could be brought, he collapsed. He was rushed to Kurji Holy Family Hospital, Patna where after preliminary medical aid he was referred to Heart Hospital, Patna. In the Heart Hospital his heart beat and BP kept fluctuating including a few times of total collapse; the doctors kept reviving him and put him on ventilator and maximum medical support. But, no human effort could save him. Doctors declared him dead at 4.15 pm.

Jose had served in formation as Director of Candidates in KR Bettiah in 1990-92 and Rector of Mission Home, Palai in 1992-94, in pastoral and administrative responsibilities as superior and parish priest in Sasaram (1995-99) and Ara (1999-2006) and in social action ministry as Director of the Rural Education And Development (READ) centre at Bettiah in 2006-2009. In the past four years he has been in the legal aid ministry, practicing as a lawyer and helping the poor to fight their cases. For almost a decade he has been functioning as one in-charge of land matters of the Province. In all these ministries Jose exhibited exemplary dedication and hard work.

His simplicity, friendliness and jovial nature endeared him to all who came in contact with him. He was ‘a man without guile’ (Jn 1:47). His availability for service was legendry – he could be counted on to fetch anyone arriving by train at odd hours or formulate a legal document involving many hours of painstaking work. Anyone in need could meet him or call him on his mobile at anytime of the day or night. At the root of it all was his depth of faith in God, love for Jesus and loyalty to the Church and Society of Jesus. Jose was indeed a servant priest – he served all without counting the cost and served with a smile.

May Jesus, whom Jose served so faithfully on this earth, receive him for eternal reward in heaven.

(All members of Patna Province should offer one mass for the repose of his soul and members of St. Xavier’s community two masses)

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