Fr. Ephrem was working as a psychological animator and therapist in ICTA, Kalamassery, Ernakulam, since 2015. A few months ago, he had published a book titled “OK, Not OK, Still OK!” which may be considered an epigrammatic statement of his philosophy of life. On the afternoon of 16th May, he concluded a five-day retreat and was planning for another from 23rd May. Unfortunately, on 18th May 2022, he suffered a cardiac arrest which seriously damaged his lungs and kidneys. And, despite excellent care, he passed away on 25th evening. The body was brought to Calicut and was laid to rest on 27th, in the Jesuit cemetery.
For 25 years, he was first a teacher and then the Headmaster in St. Joseph’s High School, Thiruvananthapuram, with short stints also in Loyola, Thiruvananthapuram, and AKJM, Kanjirappally. The secret of his success as an educator was having ‘solid learning and an effective way of communicating it’, as our Constitutions demand. On his retirement, St Joseph’s High School established an annual ‘Fr. Ephrem Basketball Tournament’. He was one of the early resource persons in the Province, on the Ignatian Pedagogy Paradigm.
Fr. Ephrem took a Master’s degree in Counselling and he started his second career — as psychological therapist and guide, first in SRC, Kozhikode, and then in ICTA, Kalamassery, for nearly twenty years. In that life, he was an unstoppable learner of new skills and new knowledge. Through his counseling, and especially through the workshop he developed on Self-esteem, he helped vast numbers of people to hold their heads erect and walk confidently on this earth. His unexpected departure deprives the Province of a precious resource, and leaves his family, clients and friends with a feeling of personal loss.
The author is presently associated with XISR, Digha Ghat, Patna.