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PLACKATTU FAMILY -MANIMALA

Fr Xavier P.J

 

 "THAT ALL MAY BE ONE"
 

            Fr Xavier Paitutharayil celebrated  Golden Jubilee of his priesthood on 27.4.2009 at Sneha Deepam, near Vellore, Tamil Nadu.  Following is a brief description of his life and times and how God helped him during these years to carry out the mission among the most deprived of His people.

 

               Fr Xavier was born as the third child of his parents.  His father’s name was Joseph and Mother Mariam.     He had two elder brothers (Outhakuttichayan and Kunjuvarkychayan) (both deceased), and has one younger brother (Thomachan)  and a sister (Mariamma, called as Pennamma).  The village and parish he was born is Puthukary, St. Xavier’s Church in the present Archdiocese of Changanassery. He  had his early studies in an elementary school near his home.  He had to go to three other schools to complete my studies.

The schools he studied are: .

 

            After his  studies he wanted to become a priest.  And by chance the father of one of  his  classmates and neighbors  had the address of Late Arch Bishop Louis Mathias S.D.B. of Madras and he gave him the address.  He wrote to the Arch Bishop and he replied immediately welcoming him  to join the Archdiocesan Seminary at Ponamallee.

 

            Msgr. Mora S.D.B. directed him to meet Very Rev. Joseph Thaiparampil who had come to Kerala for selecting candidates, and thus  he joined the Seminary in Yercaud on 16th June 1949.

 

            The fatherly love and guidance of V. Rev Fr Mora  S.D.B, the rector and later on the guidance of V. Rev. Fr Mauri S.D.B. helped him  to continue his seminary training. The saintly life of V. Rev Fr Valloggia S.D.B. had a great influence in the moulding of his life and of the seminarians of Poonamallee.  He  remembers them gratefully in his life.

 

            Though Fr Xavier had joined the seminary for the Arch diocese of Madras in 1952,  upon the creation of  Diocese of Vellore, the seminarians were given the opportunity to select the future  mission field.  Four of them viz. Fr A.T. Thomas, Fr Jose Lawrence, Fr C.M. Peter and Fr Xavier opted for Vellore Diocese.

 

            The seminary studies were completed in April 1959 and as per the custom of the seminary, they  were ordained on 23 April 1959 and all the twenty  celebrated their  First Holy Mass in the Seminary.

 

            The first appointment  of  Fr Xavier was as an Assistant to V. Rev Fr Thomas George at Pathiavaram.  He  had known Fr Thomas  in the Seminary as he was in the last year of his seminary training; and had one month regency with him as well.  Fr Thomas  was very kind a very zealous missionary.  He was very kind to him and helped him to visit the villages and give the sacraments to the people.  Pathiavaram Parish had many sub stations in those days and the priests used to go to the villages carrying the Mass kit.  In those days  sub stations  could not afford vestments and missals. 

 

 

The catechists of Pathiavaram must be praised for their cooperation in this regard.  They were Mr Arputham, Mr Maria Soosai and Mr Bosco.  May their souls Rest In Peace.

            

In the month of November 1959,  Fr Xavier was transferred to Wandiwash Parish under the zealous Missionary V. Rev Fr Francis Schooz S.D.B.  He was all for the missions who wanted masses to be celebrated every day in the villages.   He always provided the conveyance and encouraged to learn riding  two-wheelers and  any body could use the vehicles in the Mission centre. What magnanimity!  He also taught us how to make contacts with benefactors and support the mission work.

 

            After a few months, in June 1960  he was sent back to Pathiavaram as Assistant to Fr. Gnanaprakasam, who gave him full responsibility and the opportunity to visit the people and care for their needs during the almost five years of  his stay in Pathiavaram. 

 

            In September 1964 Thirumalai, a substation of Pathiavaram was made into Parish and  Fr Xavier was appointed the First Parish Priest of St Dominic Savio Parish, Thirumalai.  He worked hard to bring up the parish, but fell very sick becoming  a frequent visitor to Chetpet German Hospital. 

 

            Dr Maria Aschoff who knew Fr Xavier  from the time he was at Pathiavaram asked the Bishop to transfer him for health reasons.  Arokiamadha Church, Vellore was without a resident Priest.  Most Rev. David Marianayagam S.D.B. who knew Fr Xavier well and loved him, appointed  him as the Parish Priest of Arokiamadha Church in November 1969.

 

            V. Rev Fr Theo Andreas S.D.B. who was the Parish Priest of Arokia Madha Mission had a dream to build a church in honour of Arokiamadha (Our Lady of Health).  But he fell sick suddenly and  had died on 08.01.1968.

 

            Fr Xavier took up the unfinished dream of V. Rev. Fr Theo Andreas S.D.B.   His native Parish in Germany and his friends as well came to his aid.  The Church of Arokiamadha was built and blessed by His Eminence Cardinal Lourdu Samy on 22.12.1976.

 

            During these years the mission saw many progress. In June 1972 the Franciscan Sisters of St Joseph, St. Thomas Mount started their convent in Arokiamadha and started teaching in the school helping the parish by starting tailoring school and Typewriting School for girls. 

         

  

 At the request of the State Housing Board at Sathuachary to start a school, the Mission bought the land at Sathuachary and the work was entrusted to the Sisters of Holy Cross Charnood  whose missionary zeal was known to Most Rev Anthony Muthu, who was the Bishop of Vellore.

           

            The mission was also fortunate to acquire some more lands at Rangapuram and the Sisters of St. Clare, a cloistered congregation with 24 hour Eucharistic Adoration was invited and their Monastery was blessed on 10.08.1979.  This Monastery is in memory of the Silver Jubilee of the Diocese .

 

            Sathuachary Mission was developed and it became a  Parish in November 1982 and Fr Xavier was again the first Parish Priest of the place. The Providence of God and the protection of our Lady, Help of Christians and St Joseph helped  to expand the mission work to Veppoor as there were many Christians  who came from other Christian villages to work in tanneries.

 

            Lands were purchased at Veppoor and small building was put up.  Seeing the need of the place, a school was started at Veppoor.  Today it is a full fledged Higher Secondary School.

 

            Veppoor was made into Parish in 1996 and again Fr Xavier was the Parish Priest.  Holy Cross Sisters came to help in the school and the parish.  The convent was blessed in 1997 and a new Parish Church was built and blessed in 1999.

 

 The main thrust of Fr Xavier’s mission has been  to educate as many children as possible.  In the year 2003 he was 75 and he retired from active ministry.

 

            After his active service, Fr Xavier stays at "Sneha Deepam” Retreat Center, Alumelumangapuram, near Vellore.     He believes  God has been good to him; his superiors were good to him and also the people with whom he worked were too very supportive.

 
P.T. Mathew
P.O.Box 329, Doha, Qatar
Mob:+974 5242538

             

 

 (Rev Fr Xavier is the maternal uncle of the writer)

Note: Sneha Deepam at A.M.Puram also houses a Pallative Care Unit for the poor in coordination with Christian Medical College, Vellore.