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SPEAK UP Guwahati Province (ING)

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ANTHUVAN Maria Arul , Guwahati says,
The man who ``scootered`` his way to Heaven! Fr. John Med sdb (1916-2011): A Tribute by Francis Hembrom sdb
By Francis Hembrom sdb
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Guwahati, Jan. 28. A golden era of Salesian India has passed with the passing away of our dear Rev. Fr. John Med, who did not just belong to any Province, but belonged to India - Salesian India, to all of us.

For many a young confrere, perhaps, he was just a name we had heard about. But for the many senior confreres, he was that same Fr. Med, former Provincial of South India (which comprised the provinces of Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Tiruchy, Panjim and the Vice Province of Sri Lanka) who chose to come up to the Assam Mission in 1964. In 1959 The Province of Mary Help of Christians, Guwahati was created. With the creation of the Province of St. Francis of Sales, Dimapur in 1982, he continued to work in Manipur, pioneering the Senapati mission. His contribution has been immense. I do not dare speak of what I do not know but I do want to share a little experience that I had just a year ago!

Last year around this time I was preparing myself to make a trip to Northeast for `data collection` on Salesian Missions...I had also thought of interviewing a few Salesian ``elders``. One of those elders that I had shortlisted was Fr. Med. Hearing this, Fr. Peter Salew sdb of Dimapur Province vehemently urged me to first make a trip to Imphal to meet Fr. Med as he was `on a return journey`. I made an emergency trip, as it were, through the help of Fr. Samuel Elow sdb and camped at Chingmeirong, Imphal for two days.

I came, I saw, I met, I loved, ``he conquered!``  It was 21st February 2010! Cardinal Toppo was in the Salesian Campus for the Catholic Convention - a historic visit by the first tribal Cardinal.

``Love Jesus, Mary and Don Bosco!`` were his words when I introduced myself. Simple words but most profound from the lips of a man who spoke from his heart what he himself had lived for 77 years as a Salesian. I had a very lively and faith-filled conversation with him, interrupted with some witty remarks directed towards the two lovely young ladies assisting him.

Hearing of the presence of Cardinal Toppo for the Catholic Convention in the School Campus, he was overjoyed and said, ``He represents the Pope, pray for him.`` When he heard of the Eucharistic Procession we had through the town, his face lit up with radiance and asked for prayers, ``pray for me, tell the people to pray for me.`` It was a hectic day with his confreres visiting him in turns. Besides, many of his dear Christians from Senapati, Maram and other areas were queuing up to see him and get his blessing. He saw them and loved them! He blessed them all with his most affectionate and paternal ``God bless you`` and made a sign of the cross on their foreheads.

His proverbial serenity, Salesian cheerfulness, coupled with his pious disposition was indeed, hypnotic. I could not help thinking how much this feeble frame of a man had endured in the pretty long innings of his life! He had lived all the Seasons of his life to the full. May his reward be the crown of glory which awaits all of us. He has run and won the race. He has indeed, scootered his way to Heaven!

I salute this great Son of Don Bosco. May ``All You Hills`` - the famous hymnal that he compiled, continue to render praise to God by all tribes and tongues and peoples and nations. May he rest in peace. RIP.

Comments


Dominic Fdz India Kochi
August 29, 2014

Greetings from Dominic, who belonged to Dimapur Province (Sure many remember me...) now peacefully at Vaduthala and reaching out on this Bicentenary of the Birth of Don Bosco. This piece brought to mind how I met Fr.Med. A solemn venerable old man. God rest his Soul. Manipur Mission brings to Mind Chingmeirong, Kaupum Valley... But also Sad memories of Fr.Raphel Palliakkara SDB & Andreas Kindo who succomed to bullets (both of whom were close to my heart as we spent years together) and Fr.Jose. Well it also reminds of the days. Dear Father Superiors, Friends out there, the world has not improved a bit rather it is agonizingly on the wrong path. Can you be a Don Bosco, a candle in the darkness?????





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