Fr. Francis Kurien was born on 24th April 1953, at Karimanoor, Kerala. After completing his higher secondary education from St. Xavier’s Junior College, Trivandrum, he entered on 20th November 1970, the novitiate in St. Stanislaus College, Sitagarha. The usual formation followed and he was ordained on 20th March, 1983.
After his ordination, Francis Kurien was in all the apostolates of the Province at some time or other – social ministry, education ministry, pastoral ministry, formation ministry, and counseling ministry. In all these ministries, he held responsible positions.
He was Principal of St. Joseph’s +2 School, Mahuadanr, and Principal of St. Xavier’s School, Bokaro. He was the Province Coordinator for Education, Province Coordinator for Formation, Dean of Juniorate in SSC, Sitagarha, and Professor and Counselor of the National Vocation Service Center, Pune. For several years he was invited to conduct group therapy for the Holy Cross Tertians. With a wide experience of the Province’s ministries behind him, he was appointed as Provincial of Hazaribag Province in May 2010.
As Provincial, he took a number of steps to make educational institutions financially viable. Discernment for starting tertiary education in the Province was in process, and it was in his time that a final decision was taken to start St. Xavier’s College, Mahuadanr. His decision making was consultative according to the Society’s way of governance. He was a strong administrator, and he did confront Jesuits when necessary for the apostolate’s credibility.In 2020, he completed three years as a professor and counselor at the National Vocation Centre, Pune, and returned to the Province. He had hardly begun his new work as Dean of the Juniorate when he was struck down with lung cancer.
During his last illness, he retained his cheerfulness, patience, and courtesy. He spent his final days in the care of his Clarist friends in Holy Family Hospital, Koderma, and breathed his last there on 13th May 2021.
The author is currently the superior of St. Xavier’s Community, Hazaribagh and Asst. Province Treasurer.