Born in 1951 in Mudianur, a village bordering Tamilnadu and Karnataka, Thomas had his early schooling in the village school. Fr. Patrick D’Mello was then the missionary there. Thomas was one of the boys he used to take with him to market or to mission stations. Thomas was first sent to Mangalore to do his ITI. When Fr. Patrick was transferred to the Papal Seminary, he took along some of these school dropouts and found jobs for them in and around Pune.
Being the youngest in the group, Thomas was kept at the Papal Seminary. Fr. Lionel Mascarenhas took a special liking for this young man and began special classes in English for him. Thomas worked devotedly at Fatima School and at the Papal seminary.
His vocation germinated there. He joined the Karnataka Province to be a Brother on January 3, 1979. He had his usual Jesuit formation with special accent on skill formation, first at St Aloysius ITI, Mangalore, then in Patna and Belgaum. With limited skills but effective qualities he moved around the Jesuit communities in Karnataka doing his best. He showed a desire to work in the Northeast, was transferred to Jakhama in 1992.
Thomas worked at Jakhama and Phesama as administrator and managing boarding houses most of his 25 years in the Northeast. He had a special love and concern for the poor. He saw to it that the domestic staff, the drivers and the gardeners were well paid. He loved the poor children in the hostel who cooked their own food and helped them to cook well. He had a special love for his friends as well. When his co-novice, Francis Serrao was made a bishop, he celebrated it in the community.
Diabetes haunted Thomas for over 40 years. Eventually when it affected his vision and kidneys, he opted to return to Karnataka where he was looked after with tender care On February 1, 2020, Thomas went back to his Creator and Lord.
- Hector D’Souza, SJ