With serious cardiac and renal problems complicated by diabetes, Fr. Charles Michael passed away on 25th May 2022 after having spent about seven weeks at Beschi Infirmary, with frequent hospitalizations at St. Joseph and Vadamalyan Hospitals, Dindigul.
Fr. Charlie, as affectionately called by his Jesuit companions, joined the Society in 1969. As part of his formation, he did his PhD in Botany and his main ministry already as a regent, and subsequently as a formed Jesuit, was teaching botany either at St. Xavier’s College, Palayamkottai, or St. Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli.
Along with his regular teaching, he was entrusted with various administrative responsibilities like Hostel Warden, Vice Principal and Controller of Examinations in both the colleges, Secretary of St. Xavier’s College and Administrator of St. Joseph’s School of Management (JIM) Tiruchirappalli. While teaching Botany at St. Joseph’s, he was also the Programme Director of the Anglade Institute of Natural History, Shembaganur, and he organized environmental awareness programmes for the youth and college students. Whatever duties and responsibilities he was entrusted with, he was discharging them diligently. He was a disciplinarian and duty conscious person, and his availability in the work place was very much appreciated by all.
Sharing the happy memories of Fr. Charles at his funeral on 26th May, Fr. Henry Jerome said: “I was doing my regency at St. Joseph’s College when Fr. Charles was the hostel warden. In the community, he was always joyful and hilarious. Wherever he was, there would be noise, laughter and happiness. I did not understand when students used to tell me that Fr. Charles used to be very strict, because he was very much relaxed in the community. For him, community was his strength. He would fall back on community for support, whenever problems cropped up.” May he rest in peace!
Arockiasamy Xavier, SJ