Fr. Thomas Athazhapadam, SJ (PAT) 87/68

DIED in Patna on 30 June 2011

Born: 20 Jan. 1924
Entered: 28 June 1943
Ordained: 21 Nov. 1955 in Kurseong

In Thomas Athazhapadam, Patna Province lost one of its stalwart and dependable pioneers. He came from a missionary family in Kerala, and was related to Frs. Jacob Ayiravelil and the Poovattil brothers, Philip and Alfred. He had six sisters, but no living brothers. Tom entered the Society in 1943 and did his novitiate and juniorate in Sitagarha. After that he followed the usual course of Jesuit training. He was a friendly and affable person and could work with any type of people, as shown by his assignments.

He began his priestly ministry as co-pastor in Barh, then went into school work as vice principal in Jaipur (1958-59) and (as first) principal of St. Xavier’s, Delhi (1960-61). He returned to Bettiah, where he had done his regency, and was minister and director of candidates there from 1962-68. From 1968 to 1972 he was rector at the XTTI novitiate. After a short pastoral assignment at Bishop’s House in Patna, he was appointed (as fourth) rector at St. Xavier’s, Delhi, 1972-78, and returned to Barh as pastor (1979-86), then as pastor in Gaya from 1987 to 1990. He became minister at St. Xavier’s in Patna from1991 to 1994 and was superior at Ara from 1995 to 1997. His services were loaned to Kolkata as spiritual director at Morning Star Seminary from 1998 to 2004. And his final assignment was a spiritual guide at the Fatima Retreat Centre in Patna from 2004 till his death.

Though his work was varied, Tom never complained. He accepted people as they were, and did his best to help them fulfill their mission.

Tom had periodic heart problems which took him to Kurji Holy Family Hospital from time to time. So his death came as a shock to us, though not unexpected.

- Jerry Drinane, S.J.

(All members of Patna Province should offer one Mass for the repose of his soul, and Kurji Parish and Fatima Mata Susamachar Kendra Community two. His funeral will be on 02 July 2011, 10 a.m. at X.T.T.I.)

R. I. P.



Main Celebrant: Most Rev. William D’Souza, S.J. Archbishop of Patna Archdiocese

A Concelebrant: Rt. Rev. Sebastian Kallupura Bishop of Buxar Diocese

Introduction: Fr. Joy Karayampuram, S.J., Provincial of Patna

Homily: Fr. Satyaprakash Francis Arisseril, S.J.,

Vote of Thanks (after Communion Service): Fr. Susai Raj, S.J., Socius to the Provincial

Funeral Prayers in the Chapel: Rt. Rev. Sebastian Kallupura

Funeral Prayers in the Cemetery: Fr. Joy Karayampuram, S.J.

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Relatives Present:

  1. Fr. Thomas Kunnumpuram of the Clergy of the Diocese of Changanassery – Elder Sister’s son
  2. Mr. Jim Thomas – Elder Sister’s son
  3. Mr. Joychan – Another Sister’s Son-in-law
  4. Mr. Milton – Youngest Sister’s Son-in-law
  5. Sr. Theresina (in Delhi) – Cousin’s daughter

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