Notice: Undefined offset: 12 in /home/ on line 63
Don Bosco India -
Reserved Area

News 2014 � November

Join 360° view forum
Join 360° view forum
Previous  |  Next
Printable View Print News   Mail to Friend Mail to Friend  Comment on News Mail to CASTILINO Vincent

Fr John Lens calls it a (good) day!

By Castilino Vincent
View actual size | Download Photo
Hyderabad, Nov. 29. 'Be good and don't forget to breathe!' was the cheerful message spread around by Fr John Lens SDB of Hyderabad Province, to everyone he met all along the 93 years that he spent on this earth. Fr Lens, as fondly called by all who knew him, left for his eternal 'good' yesterday, 28 November 2014 at 11 pm. The Salesian Province of Hyderabad, along with all those dearly loved by him, will collectively pay homage to the mortal remains of this man who gave nothing but his best to God and the Salesian world,  on Monday, 1 December at Don Bosco Philosophate, Karunapuram, at 2.30 pm.
Fr John Lens, the only foreign missionary in the Salesian Province of Hyderabad and the senior-most confrere of the Province, breathed his last on Friday night. He was the confessor in the novitiate at Manoharabad for the past 17 years.

He suffered a massive heart attack and collapsed in his room before confreres discovered him missing for prayer which was something very unusual. The Novices broke open the door and rushed him to the hospital where he was declared dead.

For a man who was born in Borgerhout, Belgium, and went on to make war planes for Hitler during the World War II, life would have been a different saga if it were not for God's call. When God called him, he left all of it and entered the Salesian Society making his first Religious Profession in his hometown the year India won her Independence. Two years later, in 1949, he found himself in Goa, India doing his practical training (Regency) as a young missionary.

The next three years he spent in Shillong for his theological studies. Soon after his ordination, on 1 August 1953 he was posted at Poonamalle. Having worked also in Kotagiri, Katpadi, Negombo (Sri Lanka), and Tirupattur, he reached Andhra Pradesh in 1975. And all along he made India his home!

From 1975 when the Salesians were offered a Parish, St Teresa's Church, Sanathnagar in the city of Hyderabad, he stayed put offering God and his best to all those who approached him. He also served two separate terms as the Rector of the aspirantate in Gunadala, Vijayawada, before retiring to the novitiate as Confessor. However, 'retirement' was only from a portfolio... he never stopped working, never stopped doing all he could.

Those who knew him personally - that would be practically the whole of the Salesian Province of Hyderabad - would vouch for the fact that he was a man beyond comparison. His tireless enthusiasm, even in his last days, would put any youngster to shame. His love for Don Bosco was very tangible - in his dealings with confreres, young and lay people alike, in his words, writings and attitude.

Fr. Lens was indeed a true son of Don Bosco. His most passionate hobby was to make Don Bosco known, besides the million other things he kept himself busy with! His pen, opened envelopes and pieces of used paper, and his computer were the most used means for the same. He had a real knack of narrating events and stories. Boys and confreres would hang on to his lips, especially when he spoke of Don Bosco's life and deeds. After meals, during recreation, he would be the most sought after person - that too after he had successfully led them all to a visit to the Blessed Sacrament.

As all those close to him, feel his absence here on earth, we are glad to have a sure intercessor for us in heaven. What he did here on earth, he will continue doing from heaven... leading us closer to God.
Previous  |  Next


More News in OBITUARY

Father Thattil Chacko Passes Away
Arthur Lenti, Author of Monumental Work on Don Bosco Dies
Novice Master Father Samuel Mondol Passes Away
An Ardent Missionary, Father Joseph Abraham Passes away
Rector, Founder of Salesian College Youth Centre Movement Dies
Rate this
Current Rating
News posted by

BIS is the information service of the Salesians of Don Bosco in South Asia.
The information available on the site is posted by the online registered Salesians in the South Asia Region and are approved by their respective Province BIS Coordinators.

This site is best viewed with Mozilla Firefox and/or Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 + at a minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768


Are you a friend of Don Bosco?

RSS Feeds RSS Feeds

Classification :