Fr. Antony Pappuraj was an excellent teacher, able administrator and friend of the poor. He joined the Society of Jesus on 10 June 1963 and was ordained on 16 April 1978. He pronounced his Final Vows on 15 August 1984. After Ordination, he was appointed the first Director of MAITRI – an organization of the CBCI to provide relief and rehabilitation to Sri Lankan repatriates who were bonded labourers in Kodaikanal. For two years he worked hard for the rights of the repatriates. Then, for four decades, since 1980 he rendered remarkable service in four colleges (St. Xavier’s, Palayamkottai, Loyola, Chennai, St. Joseph’s, Tiruchi and Arul Anandar, Karumathur) in various capacities. For more than 12 years he performed almost all key roles in St. Xavier’s campus including Rector, Correspondent of the School and Teacher in Management Institute in the last few months of his life. He organised the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of the college effectively, as Principal. He gave Joseph Institute of Management, Tiruchi, a facelift, with professionalism, efficient financial management and green initiatives. He involved himself with AICUF and supported Rural Uplift Centre, a Non-Governmental Organization in Nanguneri as its founder member, in fighting for the rights of thousands of poor unorganized women, innocent victims of domestic violence, dowry victims and poor Dalits, with legal assistance. He always had a soft corner for the first generation learners and the poor people in the neighbourhood. In November he tested COVID Positive with an alarmingly high blood sugar level and kidney problems. Despite being treated with utmost care in Apollo Hospital, Madurai, from November 4 to 12, he breathed his last on November 13, and at 6.15 pm on the same day he was laid to rest in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Madurai, surrounded by his Jesuit companions and a few relatives. May God grant him Eternal Rest.
- Britto Vincent, SJ