//Fr. Aemilianus Lakra, SJ (MAP) 1936-2021

Fr. Aemilianus Lakra, SJ (MAP) 1936-2021

After his Tertianship, Aemilianus was appointed Parish Priest of Jhingo in 1972. He wanted to be with the people. From Monday to Saturday he moved from village to village meeting people, staying with them. This was his routine. Life with the people was his speciality. He had a knack for rapport building with the villagers. He was understood by the simple people. Even though his Catholics were Oraons, he met and stayed with all people of any jat or tribe.

After 14 years in Jhingo, he moved to Kodaura, from where he explored Pratappur and started it as a parish. There was nothing, but it was no problem for him. He could live anywhere, adjust to any situation, any hardship he could endure. A pioneering spirit involves all these. He loved Jesus and His Mission which he carried out. We can see this in Pratappur, Bagra, Kota-Kopra and Nimha. He created a new Mission Station in each of these places from scratch. In Pratappur, he experienced lack of money and hardship. He never complained.

Another quality he had, was that he could easily find land for the Mission wherever he went. That was the special ability he possessed. For example he found land in Pratappur, Bagra, Kota-Kopra and Manpur. In Kota-Kopra and Manpur he found non-tribal land. In Kota he found a Thakur’s land through a Malayalee Doctor from Burhar and negotiated through him. That surprised me, a simple man’s complicated ability.

After twenty years of work in the Gond Mission, he returned to Ambikapur in 2014. However he got a stroke which mildly crippled his right hand and leg. The rest of his life he spent in Lievens’ home in Namna.

Aemelianus was a spiritual man, voracious reader, prayerful, good confessor, communicator and a simple and humble missionary.

Antony Parapullil, SJ