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Fr. N. A. Joseph SDB passes Away
By Louis Kumpiluvelil SDB  - 5 Comments
Chennai, Feb. 22. With deep sense of sorrow, the Salesian Province of Chennai announces the passing away of our dear confrere Fr. Joseph Neendicherry, better known as Fr. N. A. Joseph, at 5.30 a.m. on 22 February at Lourdes Shrine parish, Perambur, Chennai. He was just a month short of 84 years, in the Diamond Jubilee year of his religious profession and Golden Jubilee year of his priestly ordination. The funeral services will be held at Lourdes Shrine, Perambur, on Monday 23 February at 9.30 A.M.
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Born on 19th March 1931, in Veliyanad (Ramankary, Kerala), the fourth of a family of eight children, he joined the Salesian aspirantate in Tirupattur in 1947. He made his first profession on 24 May 1955 at The Retreat, Yercaud, where he also completed his philosophical training. His theological studies were done at Sacred Heart College, Mawlai, Shillong and at Mount Don Bosco Kotagiri. He was ordained a priest on 20 April 1965 by Bishop Anthony Padiyara of Ooty.

As a newly ordained priest, he worked for a year at St. Joseph's Home, Katpadi, and then had a short stint at Periakodiveri, near Sathiyamangalam, in Ooty diocese, before beginning his trail-blazing ministry in Sholurmattom, in the Nilgiris, in 1967. Through a well-planned and systematic process of evangelization and social services, in just two years, the number of Catholics in this mission doubled, sub-stations multiplied and new life was pumped into every sector of the parish and the Catholic youth organizations such as Sodalities, YCS, and YCW were bubbling with life.

In 1973, his transfer to St. Francis Xavier's, Broadway, Chennai, as parish priest, was a big shock to him - to move from the remote hilly terrain in the Nilgiris into the heart of a throbbing metropolis was not easy for him. But challenges never frightened him, only stimulated him to greater action. And that was seen in his six years of fruitful ministry in this great parish. Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of his pastoral skills and Salesian inventiveness were best seen during the ten years of service as parish priest of the Risen Christ Church, Peravallur, Chennai.

From 1990 to 1993 he was the Rector and Parish Priest of St. Mary's Co-Cathedral, on Armenian Street, in George Town, Chennai. At the same time he was given the additional responsibility of being the Spiritual Director and mentor of the Sisters of Maria Auxiliatrix (SMA), soon after the death of their founder Fr. Anthony Muttamthotil SDB, a task that he carried out with distinction till 1997.

In 1997, while serving as Director of Christ House, Ennore, Chennai, Fr. N. A. Joseph suffered stroke that left him partially paralysed for the rest of his life.  The same year he was transferred to Lourdes Shrine, Perambur, where, though no longer mobile, he continued his pastoral services, especially in hearing confessions and counselling people from his wheelchair. It was indeed an inspiring sight to see him going about his tasks, with great regularity and joyful enthusiasm.

Always a valiant missionary, a zealous pastor and an abiding friend to the down and out, we are proud of you Fr. N. A.!

Comments


JoshiJoseph India
says:
March 24, 2015

Fr NA Joseph has been instrumental in educating hundreds of youngsters from poor families, I am one among them. He has been particular to go to those families and help the children to come out of their vicious circle of poverty through the powerful tool called 'education'. He had followed up very closely on their path to freedom and was a guide to many, keenly appreciating their success and motivating them to come out of any failures. Thank you father for all your love and support. We miss you. Rest in Peace. Regards, J Joshi Head - IT Security & QA ING Vysya Bank Bangalore


JoshiJoseph India
says:
March 24, 2015

Fr NA Joseph has been instrumental in educating hundreds of youngsters from poor families, I am one among them. He has been particular to go to those families and help the children to come out of their vicious circle of poverty through the powerful tool called 'education'. He had followed up very closely on their path to freedom and was a guide to many, keenly appreciating their success and motivating them to come out of any failures. Thank you father for all your love and support. We miss you. Rest in Peace. Regards, J Joshi Head - IT Security & QA ING Vysya Bank Bangalore


Antony EARATHARA India
says:
February 25, 2015

From Sr. Maria Pettayil FMA, (Provincial Superior of Kolkata): "Condolences and assurance of prayers. May the soul of Fr.Joseph rest in peace. - Sr. Maria


JohnM United States Gilbert
says:
February 23, 2015

Fr. N.A. would always be remembered for his Christ like life, where helping the downtrodden and reaching out to people and spreading the love of Jesus was the focus of his life. A very exemplary priest in this day and age !!!


Emmanuel United States San Mateo
says:
February 22, 2015

Fr. N.A. Joseph is the founder of Kalvi Poonga Matriculation School, in Salipet, Kanniyambakkam, Ponneri D.T.





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