I always found something unique in the company of Augustine and we became good friends in the Society. Augustine came across as a confident and fearless person. He had earlier worked in a government office. Was it this experience that gave him that fearlessness? Perhaps it could also be due to his firm unshakeable faith in Mother Mary. He enjoyed human company and would be the centre of any gathering. He would take me to visit his friends and I was struck by how he would be so comfortable there. Although we hardly agreed on any issue, we enjoyed each other’s company. His assessment of people was perceptive and his intuition defied my logic and experience.
He was an excellent preacher who left a powerful impression on his congregation. The manner of delivery was so good that listeners would long after remember not just the content but also his actions and mannerisms. The best part of his ministry was when he was at Manor just after his ordination. It was there that he began conducting youth camps. He was at the peak of his personality, and had a great influence on many a young person, building up their faith and personality. He was also well known for retreat preaching in English and Marathi. His father was a creative story teller and evidently Augustine inherited something of his father’s quality. Unfortunately, his accident at Talasari broke him and after that he was not his usual, bubbly self.
He had repeatedly told me that he wanted to preach at my funeral. God did not give him that privilege. I will miss my friend for many years to come. It was a chemistry I cannot explain. He lived a happy life and made many people happy.
- Joseph Pithekar, SJ