Joe Mattam joined the Jesuit novitiate at Vinayalaya, Bombay, and took his first vows on 20th June, 1957. After studying theology at Kurseong, he was ordained a priest at Baroda, on 17th March, 1967. After his doctoral studies at the Gregorian University, he taught theology at Vidya Jyoti, Delhi, from 1973-1977. In 1978, he was appointed director of the first regional theologate in Ahmedabad. He was very innovative in designing the various courses. He sent the students to urban and rural parishes, and to temples and mosques, to talk to mahants and Imams. He sent the students to villages, to understand the culture of people, and to mission centres to listen to missionaries. He continued to teach theology in Gujarat Vidya Deep Seminary, established in 1998, to which the regional theologate was merged. He was a visiting professor in India, Bangla Desh, Myanmar and Nairobi. As an active member of the Indian Theological Association (ITA), he presented several papers at the ITA meetings. He edited two of the volumes published by the ITA: Hindutva, an Indian Christian Response and Ecological Concerns. He was one of the founding fathers of the Fellowship of Indian Missiologists (FOIM) and had edited nine volumes of the association. He had served as the President of the Association. He wrote several books and articles on theology. He published articles in VidyaJyoti, and New Leader, etc. He was loved by his friends, Religious and lay people alike. He was 85 years of age, 66 years in the Society of Jesus, 55 years as a priest, and went to his eternal abode on 29th May, 2022, at Vadodara. We pray that the Lord will give him eternal rest and that he may enjoy forever the beatific vision of God.
The author is Professor of Missiology and Administrator in Manresa Adhyatmik Sadhana Sadan (MASS), Sevasi, Baroda, Gujarat.