Fr. Packiam Fidelis Jeyabalan was born on January 28, 1948, at Karisalpatti of Dindigul Diocese, Tamilnadu. His parents Mr. Packiam and Mrs. Emily were teachers. He entered the Society of Jesus on June 15, 1964, and was ordained a priest on May 1, 1977. He died of massive heart attack on December 26, 2019, at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Dindigul. He was buried at the Beschi College Cemetery.
Fr. Jeyabalan was well-versed in Telugu, Tamil, Sanskrit, and English. He had MA in both Tamil and Telugu besides obtaining his PhD in Telugu. He had published books in English: Lessons for Life, The Wise Folly, Call of the Hill, You are Precious, Love Made Visible, Yours Faithfully and St. John – A Voice in the Desert. In Telugu he wrote Bible Kathalu, Jeeva Jalamulake Daham, Kristhu Jananam, Christmas Kathavali, and Veera Yogi Ignatius Loyola. He completed two manuscripts before his death and both were sent for publications.
He was the editor of ‘Bharatamithram’, a popular Catholic bi-weekly, run by the Andhra Pradesh Bishops Council (APBC) from 1994-1997. He was a lecturer in Telugu at Andhra Loyola College, Vijayawada from 1988-2006. He retired as the Principal of the College. He worked as Socius to the Novice Master, taught Telugu at South Indian Common Juniorate, was editor of ‘Thoothan’ at Beschi College, Dindigul, and was a well sought after retreat preacher till he died. Fr. Jeyabalan came across to his friends, laity and religious, as affable, loving, intellectual, talented and creative. He loved the person of Jesus, fought for values, was filled with the Ignatian spirit of Magis, and very straightforward. In the words of our Provincial, “His passing away is a great loss to the Jesuits of Andhra Province and the Church in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.”
- Lourduraj Ignacimuthu, SJ