In June 1978, Jesuraj and I arrived at Ahmedabad around the same time, as pre-novices. Introducing himself, he said, “I am Jesuraj.” I asked, “What does the name mean?” He replied, “Jesus, King!” True to his name, ‘Jesu’ was strikingly Christ-like and noble in character.
On April 16th, Jesu’s sudden death due to Covid shocked us, his novitiate companions, who shared golden memories of the 40 years spent in the Society of Jesus. Lancy D’Cruz said, “Jesu was my first roommate. He had an unassuming way of making me ‘feel at home’. I’ll never forget his simplicity, sensitivity and ability to reach out to others.”
Fr. Agnelo Vaz remembers Jesu for his humour and ability to entertain his friends. A diehard fan of Tamil superstar MGR, he would imitate him and do what he called a ‘murgi dance’ that had everyone in splits of laughter. He loved music and was a talented tablaist. He was also an ace sprinter who represented St Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad, in university athletic meets.
“Jesuraj was an excellent pastor,” says Fr. Ishwan Gamit. He added, “In all his postings—at Unai, Anand, Karamsad, Khambhat, Fulwadi, Pimpri, Kalol and Dhandhuka—he showed great love for his people and served them till the end.” Jesuraj’s pastoral qualities were corroborated by Fr. Hemant Dias, who said, “Jesu had deep trust in God. He believed that God would work wonders in people’s lives and thus helped them to surrender to God.”
After Easter, Jesuraj left to visit his loved ones at his native place – Soosaipatti, near Dindigul. Little did he know that his homecoming would climax in his heavenly Abba’s Home. We all miss him. But I remembered our first meeting and I heard The King welcoming him:“Aavo, dear Jesuraj, inherit the Rajya of the Raja whom you served so dutifully and beautifully!”
Francis Gonsalves, SJ