Holy Eucharist on Monday, November 20, 7:00 PM
Papal Seminary Chapel
Introducing Jose Thayil: Fr George Karuvelil SJ
We have gathered with grateful hearts to celebrate the gift that Fr. Jose Thayil has been to the Papal Seminary community since 2006, and guided its destiny, as its leading light, since 2010.
Before coming to the Papal Seminary, Fr. Jose taught in the Regional Theology Centre of Patna from 1983 to 2004 when he was appointed to Bodh Gaya, the very place where Gautama Buddha attained his Enlightenment. He was appointed, not to go and sit under the Bodhi tree and meditate, but to establish the newly planned Centre for inter-religious dialogue and social work, and a mass Centre for Catholics. Then in 2006, at the request of the then Provincial of South Asia, he was appointed to Papal Seminary as the Moderator of Philosophers, and professor of Moral theology in JDV. In April 2010 he was appointed as the Acting Rector of Papal Seminary and, then, as Rector in December.
Today we express our gratitude to God for the many personal gifts and qualities that Fr. Jose has brought for serving our community. Of the many gifts I shall mention only three. Today’s first reading from the letter to Colossians mentions many qualities. Among them day are ‘humility, meekness, patience’ and ‘bearing with one another’. If I put these together into the modern slang, I will say ‘Fr. Jose is cool’. And I mean it, literally. There have been occasions of high storms in the community, but through such tension and turmoil, he has managed to keep his cool. I am sure that it is ‘peace of Christ that rules’ his heart that has given him such inner strength. As the rector of the house, he has had to do this every now and then, whether it be matters concerning participation in the daily Eucharist or manual works or other things.
A third thing I want to mention is his creativity. Many of you may not know this, but as a young man he was earmarked for engineering studies. Although he never got to do it, he has always maintained those interests and used them for the service of this community. You can see its effects in the solar panels that have come up in the campus or the poultry that was started, or in the steam cooking facilities installed a few years ago.
A Brief Profile of Rev Fr Thayil SJ as prepared by Philosophy Students
Farewell Speech to Fr. Jose Thayil SJ: -Br Suhail Joseph
It is often very difficult to express the strong feelings and bid farewell to a person who deserves every word of appreciation. It gives me great pleasure to say that we must recognize, respect and appreciate all the valuable skills and knowledge our dear Rector has imparted to us the future priests and also thank him for all his efforts and hard work. Fr. Jose Thayil’s continuous and committed love for work, his distinctive and disciplined framework for our formation and his immense and active contribution for the Papal Seminary was not only noticeable but also appreciated by each and everyone during his seven years as Rector of the Seminary.
Being students of Philosophy we had privilege to approach the Rector whenever we needed him he was always there to listen to us. As the President of The Philosophers’ Students’ council I got few chances to sit and discuss few things with him. Father was very welcoming, open to our suggestions, and kind enough to encourage us to do the best that will benefit the community in the best way possible. We have always felt your hand over us the same way we felt that of our father at home.
Fr. Jose Thayil is a person who does not seek prominence but chooses to be simple. That is what has made him a great person today. Every person leaves a footprint in this world in their own way, similarly dear Father you have also left an impression of enthusiasm and hard work that will always be imprinted in our hearts. Determination and honesty are the ideals you have always promoted, your work has always reflected a plethora of values and that is what you are giving us as you leave this place. We understand at times it is a bit challenging to manage such a huge system but your way of life has taught us to be calm and patient.
Your absence will be greatly felt in the Seminary. Every Papalite expresses his love, appreciation and heartfelt gratitude to you dear Father for all that you have been to us and to this esteemed Home of Love. It is always difficult to say good bye but this is not the end of the journey, you have many more milestones to achieve and we Papalites assure you of our prayers and best wishes for your mission in future.
Br Suhail Joseph
Farewell, Dear Fr. Jose Thayil: Fr Mariapushpam Paul Raj
Life is a journey and not a destination and that is why it is filled with moments of farewells and goodbyes. People keep moving and they are moved from one job to another and from one workplace to another. To make an end is to make a beginning. So is also today in the life of Fr. Jose Thayil. As you are retiring as the Rector of the Papal Seminary, this very moment is also paving the way for a new start, probably not far away from the Seminary.
At such moments of saying goodbye, it is often helpful to draw on the many strengths of the past. The feelings are the purest and glowing when human beings meet and when they part and we are no exception to that. This is not to say goodbye but a thanks to you, dear Fr. Jose, a gratitude, not accompanied by pain and sorrow because it is over, but by joy and fondness that it has happened. Only in the agony of parting we look deep into love.
You are an unassuming and easy to relate superior and a human being. You made people feel at home in your company. Above all what attracts everyone is your simplicity. You have demonstrated concern for those under your care and have promoted good working relationships among the co-workers, both from the staff and from the students, through your readiness to share and delegate. You maintained an emotional balance that is required of a good leader.
You were strict with yourself and lenient towards your subjects. You respected the persons and their rights. Defended the seminarians when there was pressure from outside. Remained open to suggestions and admonitions from your subjects. Without any predilection for any you have related to all as the father of a family. Compassionate towards people under your care knowing well that all of us are imperfect instruments. You have drawn from each one not what you wished but what they could. You were hardly seen anger or scolding, but we could always experience in you affability and calmness. You have a broad mind and big heart. You listened to us and remained open to us.
We cannot have our friends and favourites always around us. Someone will always leave. Certain things will always pass. Only for a short while this and that, he and she is given to us in this life. Every one of us has to go when the time is ripe. However, the end shows how it has been all along. What we feel now for you, dear Fr. Jose, only reflects how you have touched us during the past years.
“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from” – said once T.S. Eliot. “Every bend on a Road is not an end to it” said one of our seminarians recently. As we now part ways, herewith begins also a new relationship between you and us, a relationship of a different quality, by way of cherishing the beautiful past we were privileged to share with you. Thank you and wish you the choicest blessings from above, good health and satisfying ministry with heartening encounters ahead! Ad multos Annos!