Fr Aloysius Joseph Thoppil was born in Chullimanonor, Kerala, to Mr Joseph Thoppil and Mrs Alice Joseph on January 13, 1963. He joined the Novitiate on June 7 (1988), studied Philosophy at Satya Nilayam, Chennai (1992-1994) and theology at Vidya Jyoti, Delhi (1997-2000). He was ordained on December 29 (2000), and completed his Tertianship in Hazaribag (2004).
He was a versatile person and wore many hats in religious life; an all-rounder – pastor, educationist, pioneer, builder, minister, Director of hostels, Superior, Pastoral Coordinator, Consultor, etc. He loved to hold recreations and humorous with his many friends and acquaintances. He was rustic to the core, unchanged and relentless maverick. He developed his own philosophy and truly lived by it. He was a zealous religious priest with a deep conviction. As Consultor he demonstrated care and concern for the well-being of the members, institutions in the Province and the Society of Jesus at large.
He loved the poor and stood for justice; He saw Christ in the poor and worked for their upliftment. In collaboration with many well-wishers he built concrete roof structures for the poor families of Bharathapuram, Narasanayanipalem of Vinukonda Mission. As an ardent devotee of Mother Mary, he built many Marian grottos, a few churches, and renovated many others.
He loved his students and took great care of them when they fell sick. Many students remember him for the extra mile he walked with them. He loved the Society and its members. He had no attachments to anything or anyone, led a simple life, and spent the minimum on self. All who know him are touched by his trust in divine providence, and strong faith in God.
On September 28 he was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital, Guntur, for breathlessness. He went into coma and suffered multiple organ failure due to hypoxia. He was kept under observation in the ICCU. On October 1 around 10:55 am he breathed his last while a dozen Jesuits were praying for him after Fr. Provincial administered the Sacrament of the sick. What a blessed way and a blessed day to commend his soul to God, on the Feast of St Theresa of the Child Jesus, Patroness of the Missions!
- Koppala A Stanislaus, SJ