Fr. Anthony J. Grollig, S.J. (PAT) 88/63

Died Oct. 11, 2009 at XTTI, Patna

Born: 05 January 1921in Cincinnati USA
Entered: 1 September 1946; at Milford; Came to India: 1949
Ordained: 21 November 1955; in Kurseong

During his final months on earth, Tony Grollig spoke little, and was bedridden. This was not typical of him at all. He was a great talker, and loved to be in a community where he could tell his tales of village life and pastoral work. Likewise, he was usually not in one place for very long, but always on the move. He had his motorcycle for travel, and he took good care of it, usually taking it apart to clean each part carefully, and put it back together. He was a very good-natured person, with a ready smile and greeting for everyone. But above all, he was a priest of the people. He loved his parishioners, and their spiritual welfare was his first concern. He gave special attention to marriage cases, and there were many couples in the parishes where he worked who, through his efforts, had their unions regularized, children baptized, and reunited with the church.

Tony completed his B.Sc. in chemistry at Xavier University in Cincinnati in 1943. World War II was in full swing, and Tony joined the army and spent three years in the field artillery, south and western Pacific. After this service to his country, he turned his attention to the service of God, and joined the Society. After his juniorate he was assigned to India, and studied philosophy at Shembaganur (1950-52), had regency at Ara, theology at Kurseong and tertianship at Sitagarha. Then began his pastoral ministry, a work that he loved and continued for the rest of his active life.

He got his first experience of village work under the able guidance of Fr. Nick Pollard at Shahpur. With this as a background he became pastor at Maner from 1960 to 1978. Then he spent a year in the Better World Movement in Bangalore (1978-79) before returning to the pastoral apostolate in Kharagpur (1981-83), Latonah (1983-85), Chakhni (1985-86), Darbhanga (1987-89), Jamalpur (1989-90), and Phulwari Sharif (1990-98). By this time, Tony was getting on in years, and the provincial felt he deserved a rest. So he was assigned to the Jesuit community at K.R., Bettiah, as the librarian. Finally in 2002, Tony retired to XTTI, and for several years was a lively addition to the old boys’ club. His dear sister came to visit him just a few months ago, and her visit gave him a real boost. However his health gradually declined, and he rarely was able to speak, and remained confined to his bed. He passed away quietly in the afternoon of Oct. 11, and entered the eternal rest that he had earned by his long life of labour for the Lord. Patna has lost a great missionary, but his memory will continue to inspire us to greater service of the kingdom.

- Jerry Drinane, S.J.

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

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