//Fr. Mathew J. Moolel, SJ (MDU) 1932-2023

Fr. Mathew J. Moolel, SJ (MDU) 1932-2023

Born on 2nd August 1932 in Changanacherry, Kerala, Fr. Moolel had his schooling and completed his Intermediate studies as a university rank holder in Thiruvananthapuram. He entered the Novitiate in 1951. Years of formation followed. After completing his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at the University of Göttingen, Germany, he worked successively as Lecturer and HOD of Chemistry, Loyola College, Chennai (1973-88), Principal of St. Joseph’s, Tiruchirappalli (1988- 91) and Sikkim Government College, Gangtok (1991-94).

A heart patient since 1994 under medication, he continued to work in dialogue ministry at Aikiya Alayam, Chennai (1994-96) and Thozhamai Illam, Kanyakumari (1996-2000), taught and served as Spiritual Guide at Vidyaniketan – the South Indian Common Juniorate, Thiruvananthapuram (2000-2004). Even after a triple bypass operation in 2004, he continued to provide pastoral services at the Shrine of St. John de Britto, Oriyur, for 10 years, and served as a confessor at St. Mary’s, Madurai, till he reached Beschi Illam infirmary, Dindigul, in 2019. The end came on 19th February 2023. On the following day, at his funeral Mass, were present fellow Jesuits, alumni, staff/retired staff from Loyola Chennai and St. Joseph’s, Tiruchi, close relatives from Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

An erstwhile student and fellow staff member stated that Fr. Moolel was a “student-centric” teacher who taught the toughest subjects but made them simple for his students. He was very affable but at the same time he was a strict disciplinarian. Well versed in Malayalam, Tamil, English, Latin, Italian, French and German, he wrote not only scholarly articles and books, but translated them into Tamil, and published the poems of Kabir and Adi Shankara’s Baja Govindam.  A man of many parts, he was first and foremost a man of God ever willing to serve Him and His people in humility. May God reward him abundantly for his love and service.

M. S. Irudayaraj, SJ