Wednesday, January 18, 2012

THE FR. ANTONY SUSAINATHER WHOM I KNOW

I met Fr. Susainather for the first time in August 1959 when I reached Fatimagiri to begin novitiate. By the time he had been bed ridden for more than three years. Although eye sight and hearing were apparently normal he could not move any part of his body by himself. As regards speech he could produce some sounds, but was unable to articulate any word. Only Bruno his constant assistant could make out to some extent what he wanted to convey.

From August 1959 to June 1961 I was at Fatimagiri. I had the good fortune to help him occasionally, especially to take him out on a wheel chair and read out to him from current perioidicals to which he would listen attentively.

Though he was not able to help himself, I never noticed any sign of impatience or self pity in him. Even in that condition he had a good sense of humor. He would burst into laughter making inarticulate sounds when some funny incident or topic was brought to his notice. Fr. Susainather was stationed in a room adjacent to the chapel. One evening during supper time, when I was working in the sacristy I heard from him a loud cry as if from someone frightened. I rushed to his room to find out what had happened, but could not make out anything as he remained apparently in a frightful state: Did he have any frightful vision or experience? In the beginning of 1961 I was asked by the superior to go for my studies for the priesthood. When I shared with him my feelings of hesitation to comply with superiors’ wish, he strongly encouraged me using inarticulate sounds to go for my studies.

Having interrupted my studies in March 1962 I was again at Fatimagiri till June 1963. Although I was busy that year with my work as store – keeper, I had occasional chances to have a service for him. From 1963 to 1967 whenever I came to Fatimagiri Ashram for holy days I could be with him. His very presence was a source of encouragement for me. After completing my studies I was again at Fatimagiri from March 1967 till 8th June 1968, the day on which he expired. By then Fr. Susainather had become more weakened and exhausted.

On 7th June, in the evening, he was found to be sinking. The doctor from the local health center was summoned to his bedside. After examining him, the doctor said only God could do anything more for him. That night till about 11.00 P.M. I was by his bedside. Then I retired to my room for short while. When I returned to his room shortly after mid-night Bro. Lourdu Marian who was by his bedside said, he had already ‘gone’. Regrettably, I could not be with him when he breathed his last.

Even today, the memory of Fr. Susainather is vivid in me. The silent ailing figure of Fr. Susainather imperceptibly acted as the main agent in my Rosarian formation. May he rest in peace! May the Lord Glorifiy him on Earth!


Fr. Ephraem CR

Amalamika Ashram,


Saturday, January 22, 2011

A NEW SAPLING FOR THE PRESENT TIME


A Pre-destined Saint in Tuticorin,
Born on 18th December (1882), 
Baptized him Antony, 
Sure sign of future destiny.

Ordained Priest on 17th December (1910),

Possessed Christ very closer,
Transferring   to the Rosarian Chamber,
Simplicity of life greatly highlighted.

Tiring labour for the Church,

Message of Peace brings new change,
Deep faith in God as “Monk”
Moulded himself model to others.

Life in him illumined others,

Flocked near for spiritual guidance,
A man of prayer pointing out,
Thus two Ashrams came out.

Last day of his life,

Suffering for the conversion of two countries sake (India & Srilanka),
Peaceful death on the earth, (8th June 1968)
Vadakankulam for the rest.

People from near and far,

Come to his tomb begging for (Prayer),
Experiencing the way of life,
That called them to change of life.

                                                                                          Bro. F. Patrick CR.
                                                                                          R. T .C, Bangalore.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Centenary Celabration of Priestly Ordination


A BOUQUET OF  POEM 

Not long ago there was a priest living,
Who found more joy in nothing but giving,
Who had a charismatic gift for preaching,
This was augmented by his power of healing,
Far and wide went god’s goodness of to sing,
And he covered vast area as if he had a wing,
Pain and sorrow meant for him nothing,
But to those in pain he meant something,
When comfort and luxury was for the asking,
And fame, honour and glory came begging,
A Rosarian contemplative life was to his liking,
That is something really very strange and striking,
More than a decade of his life he spent in suffering,
In more ways than from others was he differing,
A man caring for all and none forsaking,
And in virtues not in one was he lacking,
His ordination centenary we are sharing,
Fr.Soosainather is that holy priest so caring.
Bro. Sagayaraj.J.CR
R.T.C, Bangalore.

The Suffering Hermit of God



Among the four hymns about the servant of Yahweh found in the book of Isaiah, the 3rd hymn stands supreme in content and verse. While chapter 42 of Isaiah speaks about the servant,  a light to nations, chapter 50 speaks about servant’s humiliation and vindication, chapter 61 declares about the servant’s deliverance, chapter 53 describes about the suffering Servant of Yahweh. This chapter perhaps is one of the dramatic description of the pathos of the servant of Yahweh.
Needless to say that it is a messianic prophecy of Christ’s passion and death. It may sound malo-dramatic with the pathetic servant. But the description is of the typical nature of the suffering Jesus from Gethsemany to Calvary. Hence, the 53 chapter of Isaiah is the description of the good Friday drama on Calvary. It therefore describes the suffering Servant of Yahweh in its fullest expression.
Many spiritual writers hold that the suffering servant of Yahweh is the model for many a saint and sage in his/her trials, difficulties, pains and sufferings. Those who suffered like Christ or deemed to be the suffering Servant of Yahweh. In this regard Fr. Susainather may be easily considered as suffering hermit of God in the foot steps of His Master the suffering servant of Yahweh.
To prove this statement we can enumerate or catalogue the sufferings both physical and mental found in the life of Fr. Susainather. For a span of 14 years Fr. Susainather was in the cauldron of cruciating pain. His wound in the leg caused by his fall from horse, his bed ridden life with paralysis, his loss of sight, the loss of the power of the speech and the ailment of strangulated herenia  and many other sufferings made him a suffering man. 
With all these pains, Fr. Susainather emulated Christ’s patience and his Christian patience was an echo of the words of St. James, the apostle, “Be patient therefore until the coming of the Lord.” (James 5:7) The book of Sirach observes “for gold is tested in the fire and those found acceptable in the furnace of humiliation”. Fr. Susainather was patient to be tested in the fire of sufferings and humiliations. He was very much smelted in the fire of tribulations and proved himself worthy and acceptable victim of the Paschal mystery. “He was like a lamb that is lead to the slaughter and like a sheep that before its shearers was silent, so he did not open his mouth”. (con  Is 53:7). Fr. Susainather never opened his mouth to utter  any complaint; never did he elamour for the removal of his sufferings. He was a  silent  because a suffering hermit in his cruciating pain and in his bed of suffering. This was the heroic patience of Fr. Susainather.The example of the suffering Servant of Yahweh because the way of life of the suffering hermit of God. 
Christ did not suffer for the sake of Suffering Servant. He suffered for a sublime cause, because for the reparation of the sins of humanity and the redemption of mankind. This concept was the cause and result of the sufferings of Fr.Susainather. Indeed he suffered in reparation for the sins of the world. The 14 years of the suffering  `for him, the 14 stations of the Cross through which he was able to expiate for his sins and the sins of many. This was the sublime ideal of Fr. Susainather’s suffering and the secret of his lashing endurance and patience. 
Would that we emulate this patience of Fr.Susainather in atoning for our sins.
Fr. Xavier Jothi
K.G.F,   Bangalore


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Important Events in the Life of Rev. Fr. Susainather CR




Date of Birth                 : 18th December 1882 at Our 
                      Lady of Snows Parish (Basilica), Tuticorin.

Date of Ordination                 : 17th December 1910

Assistant parish priest at 
St. Joseph Church, (Dindigul) : up to 1912

Parish Priest at Iyankavoo Parish, (Trichy) : 1912 to 1916

Parish Priest at Panchampatti, (Dindigul) : 1916 to 1921

Parish Priest at Uvari, (Tuticorin) : 13.01.1921 to 1931

Additional charge, Kooduthalai, (Tuticorin) : From 1929 

Parish Priest at Basilica of Our Lady of Snows,
 (Tuticorin)         : 1931 to 1936 May

Parish Priest at St.James church Manapad, 
(Tuticorin)                 : 1936 May to 1939

He joined in the Rosarian Congregation

Novitiate in Rosarian Congregation, : 8th September, 1939
Tholagatti, Sri-Lanka

First Profession                 : 8th September, 1940

Final Profession         : 8th September, 1943

Foundation of Fatimagiri Ashram
 at vadakangulam         : 13th February 1944

Foundation of  Pushpavana Ashram
at Manaparai          : 8th September, 1952

Death of Fr. at Fatimagiri Ashram 
in vadakangulam          : 8th June 1968 Saturday 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Short Historical Note on Rev.Fr. Susainather CR



Fr. Susainather CR has the dual distinction of being a diocesan priest as well as a monastic priest. During the period of his ministry people considered him as one of exceptional charism. People admired him and considered him a man of faith, a man of God and a holy priest.

He was born on December 18, 1882 in the parish of Sacred Heart Church (Later from 1923, cathedral), of Tuticorin in the Diocese of Tuticorin. On the 8th day, he was baptized with the name of Antony. (Later Susainather in 1943 in the Rosarian monastry). After his schooling, he had his priestly training at the papal seminary. Kandy, SriLanka. He was ordained priest on December 17, 1910 at Kandy by The Rt.Rev. Augustine Feisantier, the Bishop of Tiruchirappalli. After his ministry in various capacities in the Diocese of Trichy and of Tuticorin he joined the Rosarian congregation at Tholagatty, SriLanka. He made his first profession on September 8,1943.


During the 29 years of his ministry as s diocesan priest in 7 parishes with several substations, his activities of the spiritual and the material welfare of the people were rooted in his faith in God and his love of God and the people. He had great concern for the poor, the oppressed, the downtrodden and the low caste. In order to honour him, the Christians of the parish of Our Lady of Snows of Tuticorin have erected a statue of his in front of the Grotto in the church compound. Christians of Panjampatti in the diocese of Dindigul have set up monument of with his finger nail and a kerchief of his and pray there, and at Anthoniarpuram his photograph is kept in front of the church and at homes and they pray, at Karampadu his photograph is recently installed in the sacristy of the newly consecrated Church. People of Uvari consider him a holy man and consider the period of his mmistry as golden age of its history. Many of them visited him at the monastery of the Rosarians at Vadakankulam. Even now every year hundreds of Christians go on pilgrimage in large groups to his tomb at Vadakankulam.

In his contemplative life in the Rosarian Congregation too he was highly respected as an ideal monk by his confreres. His old age could not prevent him from taking pain to establish two great Ashrams in Tuticorin Diocese (Fatimagiri, 1944) and in Tiruchi Dioceses(Pushpavanam, ] 952). He was also the pioneer to establish a Rosarian Monastery for women at Amalivanam Vadagankulma in 1954.

He was quite earnest in all activities as a monk even in his seventies in spite of constant pain in .his knees due to a fall during the visit to a substation in his forties. Bishop Roche and afterwards Bishop Thomas of the diocese ofTuticorin were regular visitors every month and requested him to pray for the diocese particularly in times of problems in the diocese. Many priest, nuns and lay people sought him for confession and spiritual guidance. Even now many elders associate Vadakkankulam with him.

Thousands of people from all over the place even from neighbouring dioceses gathered at Vadakkankulam for the festivities of Our lady of Assumption on August 15 every year and most of them flocked to the monastery to get the blessing of Father Susainather. When he was paralyzed and remained in bed and in wheel chair, they went there to have his blessings. After his death, many visited his tomb there and prayed.

On December 15, 1955 Father Susainather had a fall and both his legs were swollen and thereafter he could not walk and he was to remain in a wheelchair and in bed. On December 17, 1960 was remembered the Golden Jubille of his ordination to priesthood. He received the Holy Communion from the Bishop during the special Mass. On May 31, 1968 he received the sacrament of anointing of the sick and passed away on June 8, 1968. 14 years he endured patiently his paralysed life and sufferings for the conversion of India and Sri Lanka.


His confreres confided in him and were vying with one another to look after him bedridden and regarded him a model of sanctity. Now there are constant visitors to his tomb at Vadakkankulam. Students and the youth having heard of him from their grandparents or parents, during the State Board exams or at the time of interviews for employment or any serious decision to be taken visit his tomb and pray for success in their endeavours. Sick people, medically not possible cases, addicts, alcoholics, also visit his tomb and pray for their cure.

Many believe that his mortal body would remain incorruptible in the tomb.