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Father Thomas Pamparel SDB Passes Away

By Louis Kumpiluvelil SDB
Chennai, Feb. 17. It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing away of our dear confrere Father Thomas Pamparel (P. M. Thomas) at 5.00 a.m. this morning (17 Feb 2016), at Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur. He was 85 years old. For the past twelve years, he had been confined to his bed, following an unsuccessful surgery to remove a tumour from his brain in 2004.
The funeral services will begin at 10.30 a.m. on Thursday, 18th February, in the college Indoor Stadium. Thereafter the mortal remains of Father Thomas will be laid to rest in the Salesian cemetery at Don Bosco, Tirupattur.

Father Thomas was born on 6 October 1930, of Michael and Annamma  Pamparel, in Thadanad, Palai, Kerala. He joined the Salesian aspirantate at Tirupattur in 1948 and entered the Novitiate at Yercaud in 1954. He made his First Profession as a Salesian on 24 May 1955. As a regent he served Sacred Heart College for three years as Lecturer in English before proceeding to Turin, Italy, for his theological studies. In Turin, at the Salesian Pontifical Athanaeum, Crocetta, he completed his Master's in Theology and was ordained a priest on 11 February 1965 in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, Turin.

After his return to India, he served Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur, as lecturer, professor and Head of the Department of English for 29 years. After retirement, he continued his services in Tirupattur. He is gratefully remembered for the unique initiatives he launched through the Literary Club and the Don Bosco Centre, reaching out to thousands of school dropouts in the numerous villages around Tirupattur, bringing them the benefits of education.

He was a Salesian for 61 years and a Priest for 51 years. He is the Salesian who has lived longest in the campus of Sacred Heart College - 54 long years! He was there when the College started in 1952 and one could say he and the college grew up together. Having been there so long, he had become very much a part of the landscape. Even in the last 12 years when he remained an invalid and confined to his bed, he somehow appeared to be in touch with everything going on in the campus. While his body was paralysed, his mind remained lucid all through. He bore his illness with exemplary patience and great cheerfulness.

An erudite teacher and a great storyteller, he will be long remembered by his students and all those who came in contact with him. May his soul rest in peace!
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