Fr. Christopher Kerketta was born in Champa Village, Mahuadanr, on 13th May, 1953. He did his matriculation from St. Joseph’s Mahuadanr, when I was headmaster. The one thing that struck me about Christopher was his perseverance. He was not a brilliant student but studied hard to pass his matric. He wasn’t a brilliant footballer but played well enough to be a member of the school football team.
He entered the novitiate on 20th November 1976. He did not take his vows after two years but was told to wait so that Superiors could see if he was ready. He waited. He was permitted to take his first vows on 23rd May 1979. Other fellow novices who were felt ready to take first vows left later on. Christopher persevered!
After his ordination, he was posted in different responsible tasks, whether in hostel, school, or parish. He was an Assistant Parish Priest in Mahuadanr. People used to come to the parish looking for a priest for anointing the sick, village Mass, Baptism. Christopher was always ready. He used to conduct seminars, career guidance programmes, and retreats. His last transfer was from Kajarkilo parish to Bhurkunda in June 2020 as Parish Priest. He spent most of his time in giving Lenten retreats, and preparing children for First Holy Communion. At this time, he contracted Covid-19.
He was taken to Samford hospital, Ranchi, on 20th April, 2021, where he died on 29th April 2021. His mortal remains were brought to St. Stanislaus College Sitagarha cemetery the following day and laid to rest at 10.30 p.m. Thus we lost an excellent, hardworking, sincere, and straightforward man from among us, one always the same, persevering quietly, surely, smiling, and serving his people in many places in his quiet, unassuming way. Thank you, Christopher, help the rest of us to persevere on our way.
Bob Slattery, SJ