Fr. Sebastian Thengumpallil, left for his eternal reward on 27th October, 2021. During a 35-year long ‘calvary experience’, that followed a severe attack of Guillain Barre Syndrome in 1985 at the early years of college studies made 60% of his body paralysed and put him on a wheelchair. It was a puzzling moment for him and the Society. The Society allowed him to pursue his priestly studies, and his companions rose to the occasion to assist him. Nothing could put an end to his passion for life and apostolic zeal. He lived a courageous life and transformed his suffering to empowering grace.
Hailing from Paippad in the Kottayam district, he joined the Society of Jesus in 1981. After the regular Jesuit formation, he was ordained priest on 28th December 1997 and pronounced his final Vows on 15th August 2002. The major field of his apostolic activity was Snehabhavan Special School at Kottayam where he was the Director from 2002-2018. Due to declining health, he moved to Kozhikode in 2018 where he remained until his final journey. Sebastian was an exceptional missionary on a wheelchair. By his way of life, he inspired numerous people. Fr. Sebastian was coordinator of the Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Programme for differently-abled persons. There were many creative interventions by Snehabhavan related with the rights and reservations of disabled, both in the state and local level by collaboration, networking and advocacy. Honouring his meritorious service for the underprivileged, he was awarded a DISABILITY AWARD 2019′ by CHAI and the Lilliane Foundation. Fr. Sebastian dedicated his life, particularly for the physically and mentally challenged. With great courage he lived his priesthood to the full. He was like an angel directing all who came to him, to the Lord. His smiling face amidst all sufferings helped the people around him to experience divine consolation.
Sony Thazhathel, SJ