Kazargode: 12 June 2017
Fr. Thomas Kalapurackal, sdb, presently ministering with the Mising tribal community of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh was today honoured in his home town of Palavayal, in Kazargode District of Kerala. He was awarded by the pastor and parishioners of St. John’s Parish, Palavayal, for his 33 years of ministry in Northeast India, especially among the Mising tribal community. A plaque and a shawl were presented to Fr. Thomas in the presence of about 800 people.
The pastor of the parish, Fr. Thomas Pattamkulam, mentioned that, “it is a matter of pride for the parish of St. John’s, Palavayal, to hear about the excellent missionary work done by Fr. Thomas, and especially to hear about the number of local, national and international awards he has received. The awards are particularly praiseworthy because they were given for his work for marginalized people, for serving the poor.”
The coordinator of the parish council and Sunday School Headmaster, Mr. Tom Vattoth, gave a short life story of Fr. Thomas, and elaborated on the number of awards received by him in various forums. He said, “Fr. Thomas is so near, yet so far. He is from our church, but works about 3000 km away in Northeast India. We hardly see him, except when he comes for his home visit and that too with young people of Northeast India.”
In his thanksgiving address Fr. Thomas said: “I stand in the middle, as Pope Francis mentioned, in northeast India, looking at the periphery, serving those who matter most, the under privileged. I was anointed at my priestly ordination, with the sacred chrism in this parish, and sent to the periphery.”
At the conclusion of his address to the parishioners, Fr. Thomas knelt in the middle, asking the people to pray over him.
Fr. Thomas was ordained in St. John’s parish, on the day the new church was consecrated, on 26 December, 1983.