Bengaluru: “A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth”. (Ecclesiastes 7:1)
BY C V Joseph
Fr. Joseph M. Abraham passed away on November 2 at 04.15 a.m. at St. John’s Medical College Hospital, Bengaluru. He was born on August 05, 1949 in Bangalore and was ordained on December 21, 1975. “With deep sorrow, I condole the death of our beloved Rev. Fr. Joseph Abraham, a senior Priest of our Archdiocese, who died on Friday, November 2, 2018,” stated Archbishop Peter Machado of Bengaluru.
His parents were the late A. D. Abraham and the late Irudayamarie who had 11 children (10 Boys and 1 Girl), and Fr. Joseph Abraham was the eldest child. He did his initial studies at St. Louis Boarding and later at Joseph’s Indian High School, Bangalore. After his high school studies, he decided to become a priest. He did his Minor and Major Seminary Studies at St. Mary’s Seminary, Bangalore, and Papal Seminary, Poona, respectively. He was ordained a Priest on 21.12.1975 at Sacred Heart Church, Bangalore, by the late Archbishop Packiam Arokiaswamy, the then Archbishop of Bangalore.
Last year he was diagnosed with colon cancer and was taking treatment for it.
He served the Archdiocese for 43 years at the following places: St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Cleveland Town, Asst. Parish Priest (15.01.1975); St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, M. TH. (29.06.1977) St. Mary’s Orphanage, Director (1979 June); St. Mary’s Seminary, Mysore, Prefect (15.06.1980) St. Rita’s Church, Kanakapura, Parish Priest (15.07.1983); St. John The Evangelist Church, J. C. Nagar, Parish Priest (15.07.1984); St. Mary’s Basilica, Shivajinagar, Parish Priest and Rector (1991 June) Our Lady of Fatima Church, Jalahalli, Parish Priest (15.06.199); Archdiocese, Dean (2001 January); Our Lady of Victories Church, Champion Reefs – K.G.F. Parish Priest (2004 June) K.G.F. Deanery, Dean (01.01.2005); St. Mary’s School and P.U. College, K.G.F. Manager and Correspondent (01.06.200) St. Anthony’s Church, Uttarahalli, Parish Priest (15.06.2010); Divine Mercy Retreat Centre, Uttarahalli, Annamabetta, Director (08.06.2012); Paalanaa Bhavana & Divine Mercy Retreat, Director & continued as Director of the Retreat Centre (17.06.2013) Ascension Church, Da Costa Layout Parish Priest (19.06.2015) on Leave and was Sick from 2017.
Fr. Joseph Abraham was known for his simplicity, spirituality, humility, obedience, hard work, and dedicated service. He was a very friendly and jovial person and spoke well of others at all times. As a committed priest, he was very much interested in his pastoral work and was spending most of his time praying before the Blessed Sacrament and also praying over the sick and hearing confessions in the parishes he served, and also in other places within and outside the Archdiocese. He was a great and powerful retreat preacher and a charismatic leader, who had preached a number of retreats to Bishops, Priests, Religious and lay faithful in different parts of the Archdiocese, State and the Country. He was a guest preacher at many conventions, seminars and animation programmes that were organized by different parishes, institutions, dioceses and various organizations. Since his sermons and spiritual talks welled up from the depth of his spiritual life experience, many were touched by them and people were spiritually enriched by experiencing inner healing and total transformation in their lives. Fr. Abraham was ever ready to offer Masses and to administer the sacraments to the sick within and outside his parish. He frequently visited the sick in their homes and at hospitals to give them courage and strength to bear their sickness and pain with Christian faith, hope and equanimity. As he was known for his spiritual direction and counseling, many couples and young people were going to him for guidance and counseling. He had a great love for the needy and the poor and those who were in distress. When people approached him for help, he never sent them away empty-handed, but gave them whatever help he could.
Fr. Abraham had a great devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and he had encouraged the parishioners to have the Sacred Heart Picture enthroned in their homes and to consecrate them and their families to the loving Heart of Christ. He took keen interest in promoting the First Friday Devotion in the parishes he served as Asst. Parish Priest and Parish Priest. It is indeed a coincidence that he died on the First Friday of the Month.
It was also a well-known fact that Fr. Abraham had a great devotion to Mother Mary. And therefore he was posted to the Marian Shrines and Parishes in the Archdiocese to promote the Marian Devotion which he did by organizing Conventions, Rosary Recitation and forming Study Groups.
Fr. Abraham never failed to pray for the Dead and the Holy Souls in Purgatory. It is providential that he died on All Souls’ Day that the date of his death would always be linked with the Holy Souls. Although he was sick and taking treatment for his colon cancer, we never thought that his end would come so soon. His death is a great shock and loss to all of us in the Archdiocese, said Archbishop Machado. But God’s plan for him is different. ‘So let us resign ourselves to God’s holy will.’ At his death, Fr. Abraham has repeated the words of St. Paul: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
“In the death of Fr. Joseph Abraham, we have lost one of the exemplary and dedicated priests of our Archdiocese. We shall continue to pray for the repose of his soul in gratitude for all the services that he had rendered for all of us in the Archdiocese. On behalf of all the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese, I wish to express my heartfelt sympathies to his relatives and friends, especially to Rev. Fr. John Abraham and his other priest-brothers. May the Lord grant all of them the strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss with unshakable Christian faith, Archbishop further stated.”
His Funeral Service and Burial will take place on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at 10.00 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Church, Richmond Road. The mortal remains of Rev. Fr. Joseph Abraham will be kept for public homage at Sacred Heart Church on November 6, 2018 from 09.00 a.m. onwards.
“Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord; and let the perpetual Light shine upon him. And may his soul rest in peace.” Archbishop Peter Machado prayed.
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