FR. CHERUBIM. C. SAH, S.J. (1928-2016)

Died in Kurji Holy Family Hospital, Patna at 2.30 a.m. on 10th November 2016

Born: 01.01.1928         Entered the SJ: 01.01.1950         Ordained: 25.03.1963        Final Vows: 02.02.1966

Fr. Cherubim was born on 1st January 1928 in Bettiah, a town in Bihar bordering Nepal. He was the eldest son among 7 siblings (4 sisters and 3 brothers). His parents Mr. Cajetan Elias Sah and Mrs. Veronica were devout Catholics. He passed his matriculation exam from K.R. School, Bettiah in 1948. When Fr. Vincent McGlinchy from Bettiah parish invited him to become a Jesuit, leaving his job as machine apprentice in Kanpur, he generously responded to the call of God and joined the Society of Jesus in 1950. After his novitiate at St. Stanislaus, Hazaribag (1950-52) and Juniorate (1952-54) in Manresa, Ranchi (6 months) St. Stanislaus, Hazaribag and, Fr. Cherubim studied philosophy (1954-56) in De Nobili College, Poona. He did his regency, teaching at St. Xavier’s, Patna from 1956-60. He was in St. Mary’s, Kurseong for four years of theology (1956-60) and he was ordained a priest in Bettiah on 25 March 1963. After his tertianship in St. Stanislaus, Hazaribag, Fr. Cherubim took his final vows on 2 February 1966 at K. R., Bettiah.

Starting his priestly ministry as a co-pastor in Sasaram (1965-66), he was appointed to his alma mater, K.R. School as the hostel superintendant (1966-68) taking over from Fr. Vincent McGlinchy, his vocation promoter. He went on to serve as a caring pastor and fantastic farm in charge in Mokama(1968-69), Marpa, (1969-75) Shahpur, (1975-78) Ramnagar, (1979-80) Chakni (1980-85), Siwan (1985-86), Bettiah (1986-87), Rampur (1987-92), Chapra (1992-93), Chanpatia (1993-94), Narkatiaganj (1994-96/97-98), Chuhari (1996-97) Darbanga (1998-2004) before finally moving to X.T.T.I in 2004 initially assisting in farm and spiritual ministries and eventually retiring to a simple life in the infirmary till his death in 2016. Out of his 40 years of active priestly ministry, he served mostly in the undivided Muzaffurpur diocese except a year each in Sasaram and Mokama and three years assisting Fr. Kenealy in Shahpur and substituting for Fr. D’ Costa for a brief period in Patna city. As a caring pastor he was so much for the people that he 'smelt the sheep' and endeared himself to his flock A gifted farmer, he turned everything green and profitable sometimes from almost ‘empty coffers’ He was also very fond of fishing, a passion cultivated from his childhood.

Fr. Cherubim Sah, affectionately called ‘Mama’, was a simple, humble, unassuming, loving, lovable and most of all an uncomplaining and cheerful person. He was deeply human and loved and cherished human company and endeared himself to any age group. Even from his death bed, he could call people by name. He was a just man who spoke straight from his heart. He was always youthful and positive – ‘hum jawan ba’ was his refrain when confronted with ‘hai old man’ He loved living life to the full, in a simple way, cherishing and relishing every moment without making much fuss. He enjoyed good food and drink, especially mutton ’kabab’ but always in the company of people. He flowed with life not turning bitter or making much of his disappointments and difficulties of a lonely life in remote places. He made up for his lack of higher education with voracious reading. His knowledge stretched from farm matters to literature and history. He enthralled people with his rustic humour that flowed from a wealth of Bhojpuri folklore, idioms and proverbs that came to him quite effortlessly. Fr. Cherubim’s life was faith animated. He was deeply spiritual without any show and devoted to his daily mass, rosary and divine office. He was a faithful religious and a loyal Jesuit ever willing to go wherever he was assigned. He loved his Jesuit family dearly and did his work quietly and lived his life cheerfully.

Fr. Cherubim was admitted in Kurji Holy Family Hospital with breathing difficulty on 8th November and situation turned bad on 9th evening and at about 2.30 am on 10th November, he breathed his last.

Dear Mamaji, we will miss you very much, but we firmly believe that you will be blessing us and interceding for us from heaven. May God welcome you to eternal life and perpetual joy!

All the members of Patna Province should offer one Mass for the repose of his soul and the members of XTTI, Patna two Masses)

Funeral Eucharist at 2.30 pm on 11th November 2016 in XTTI chapel, followed by burial in XTTI cemetery

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