BRO. MATHEW MAMPRA, S.J. (PAT) 75/49
13 July 2009 at 8.40 pm at Holy Family Hospital, Patna
|BIO – DATA:
Born: 9 Feb 1934, in Kodupune, Kerala
Entered: 30 July 1960, for Patna Province
Bro. Mathew Mampra was like St. John Berchmans: he did ordinary things extraordinarily well. After his initial training, he was put in charge of the tailoring room and winery at XTTI (1969-72). Mathew had a serious and stern countenance, so the young novices and juniors approached him in fear and trembling. However at a closer acquaintance, they came to realize that he had a warm heart, and would usually do his best to satisfy their needs. He got his first apostolic assignment as sub-minister at St. Xavier’s in Delhi. He showed a deep religious spirit in his prayer life, daily Mass and common exercises. As a model of dedicated service, Mathew moved easily to the work of sub-minister and kitchen manager in Vidyajyoti Theologate just across the road (1973-76), and later in the same work (1987-92). In between these two stints at Vidyajyoti, Mathew worked at Khrist raja in Bettiah (1982-83), at St. Xavier’s in Patna as Minister (1983-87) and later at St. Michael’s (1993-2001).
His health was never robust, and he suffered from chronic asthma. It seemed that he was ready, in 2001, to lead a semi-retired life at XTTI. He had the job of sub-minister and again in charge of winery (a job that he carried on every year for a few weeks). He was not asked to do more than his failing strength would allow. But he did it all thoroughly, and kept up his service to the community. He continued to be a model for the younger men in the novitiate and Juniorate, and a friendly companion to the members of the staff. From time to time, when his breathing problems became too severe, he would spend a few days in Holy Family Hospital on oxygen. He also had acute heart problems, but due to his asthma, treatment for this ailment was not possible.
He had a fall in his room after he got up from his short afternoon nap on 10 July 2009 at 2.00 pm. An X-Ray in Holy Family Hospital showed a fracture in his right collar bone. But on 12-13 July midnight his condition took a turn for the worse when the level of oxygen absorption into his body system took a dip. At 8.40 pm on 13 July 2009 he died a peaceful death.
Looking back on the life of this devoted Jesuit Brother, one does not find any startling or striking achievements. But his daily fidelity to the Jesuit way of life, and his spirit of hard work proved to be concrete example of how to be a “contemplative in action”. Finally the Lord called him, probably with these consoling words: “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”