FR. ELISEUS RICHRD ASHISH, S. J. (65/47)
Died in Udayan Hospital, Patna on 30th January 2016.
|BIO – DATA:
Born: : 02.09.1950
Entered the Society of Jesus : 14.08.1968
Ordained : 21.04.1981
Final Vows : 08.09.1989
Asst. Pastor, Nawada; 1982-83
Dean of Studies, Minor Seminary, Dibra, Patna; 1983-84
Teacher, K.R. High School, Bettiah; 1984-1986
Hostel Superintendent, K.R., Bettiah; 1988-91
Minister, St. Michael’s, Patna; 1991-92
Headmaster, Ara Catholic High School, Ara; 1992-96
Vice-Principal, St. Xavier’s, Patna; 1997-98
Co-Pastor, Kurji Parish, Patna; 1998-2008
Writer, St. Xavier’s, Patna; 2008-2016
Deep interior life and quality contribution to Hindi Catholic literature are two major aspects of the life of Fr. Ashish and these two were integrated into a unified reality in him. His experiences of teaching Hindi to Novices and Juniors for two years in XTTI, a decade-and-a-half in education ministry and a decade in pastoral ministry were rich resources that nourished the two major aspects of his life.
One of his first works in Hindi writing was translating the book of a great spiritual master, Fr. Tony D’Mello, SJ - Wellsprings into Hindi as Jivanth Jal in 2008; this translation work called for a familiarity with the inner world of human persons in order to lead them towards spiritual liberation. Fr. Ashish’s 80-page Sant Paulus – Ek Parichay (Saint Paul – An Introduction), published in 2008, is a summary presentation of the theology of St. Paul in simple language which ordinary people can understand; this was the fruit of his deep research into the person of St. Paul and his theology. The assistance he provided to Fr. Jeorme Durack, S.J. in editing the latter’s manuscripts Yesu Samaji Dhanya Peter Faber Ki Jivani (Life of Jesuit Blessed Peter Faber, published in 2010) and Pavitra Hirday Ka Sacha Mitra – Sant Claude La Colomiere (True Friend of the Sacred Heart – St. Claude La Colom,biere, published in 2012) showed Fr. Ashish’s ability to delve deep into the lives of saints to discover and bring out their interior beauty. Fr. Ashish’s penetrating insights into the Bible (God’s presence and action in human and cosmic history) have found expression in his Hindi translation of the New Testament, which is in the press now.
In an affectionate manner it could be said that Fr. Ashish was like the proverbial coconut – hard on the outside, but soft, gentle, sweet and nourishing on the inside; may be the exterior hardness was a protection for the interior softness! He was a person of inner beauty, rhythm and faithfulness; hence, though some found certain aspects of his behavior difficult to understand, most of those who came to know him closely experienced God in Fr. Ashish – in his person, thoughts and relationships. Hence, through his formation, education, pastoral and writing ministries he has not only gathered many friends and admirers but served the Lord with exemplary dedication. Though diabetics and a few other ailments reduced his energy level in the last decade or so of his life, Fr. Ashish served God with filial devotion and impeccable loyalty to the Church and Society of Jesus.
He was admitted in Kurji Holy Family Hospital, Patna on 24 January 2016 after he had a fall on the steps at the entrance of St. Xavier’s, Patna at about 5.40 pm that day. Though he was conscious for a few minutes after the fall, soon he began vomiting, went into a coma and did not regain consciousness thereafter. At the suggestion of the neuro-physician, Fr. Ashish was taken to Udayan Hospital, Patna on 26 January 2016; the CT scan showed that Fr. Ashish had suffered a massive brain hemorrhage. The Lord welcomed His priest-servant into the heavenly abode at 9.25 am on 30 January 2016.
Fr. Ashish, you were a beautiful God’s ashish (blessing) for your family members, the Church and the Society of Jesus, the human and cosmic family while you were here on this earth; now that you are united with the Lord in Eternal Glory, continue to intercede His ashishes (blessings) upon us who are still on this earth.
(All the members of Patna Province should offer one Mass for the repose of his soul and members of St. Xavier’s, Patna two Masses)
Funeral Eucharist at 2.30 pm on 31st January 2016 in XTTI chapel, followed by burial in XTTI cemetery.