Fr. Marcel Benedict was born on 4th February 1946. He joined the Society of Jesus on 15th August 1971 at Vinayalaya, Bombay. He was ordained a priest in 1981 in his home parish, Sacred Heart Church, Darjeeling.
One remembers him as always smiling. He was a good teacher and a musician. He was characteristically kind to all, this in spite of the ill health that plagued him all his life. Towards the end, it was arthritis and heart problems that taxed his failing strength.
His apostolic works focused mainly on education and pastoral work. He was Parish Priest at St. Paul’s, Kurseong, St. Francis Xavier Church, Sakyong, St. Vincent de Paul, Hatighisa and St. Xavier’s Church, Gayabari. He was headmaster of St. Vincent’s School, Hatighisa and St. Peter’s Primary, Gayaganga.
It was his last assignment as the Chaplain of Navjivan hospital that brought the best out of him. This compassionate and sensitive ministry endeared him to the suffering. Everyone who came to the hospital revered him. Although unable to walk he offered the Eucharist daily in the hospital and visited the patients, comforting them. He was truly a man of God.
He died of a heart attack in his room on 21st March 2019. The nearly 15000 people who attended his funeral was ample testimony to the life of grace that flowed from this humble Jesuit priest. May his soul rest in peace!
- Shajumon C.K., SJ