Fr. Tej Kumar Ekka, SJ, known as a ‘vaedya’ meaning ‘herbal doctor’, after healing numerous of different diseases like cancer, TB, diabetics, BP, etc., left for heavenly abode on 15th December 2018 at the Holy Cross Hospital, Ambikapur. His kidneys having failed, he was on dialysis for a few months. He was 62 years old when he passed away – 25 years a priest, and 38 years a Jesuit.
He joined the Novitiate at Boirdadar/Raigarh on 20th June 1980. From 1982-1983 he did his Juniorate studies at St Stanislaus College, Sitagarha, and his college studies at Hamidia College, Bhopal. He went on to do his Philosophy at Sacred Heart College, Chennai from 1985-1987. He completed his theology studies at Vidyajyoti, from 1989-1991 and was ordained by Bishop Victor Kindo at St Xavier’s Church, Pathalgaon on 19th May 1993. He did his tertianship at Sacred Heart College, Shembaganur in 1998 and took his final vows at Nirmala Ashram, Jhingo on 2nd February 2002. He was an obedient Jesuit. He humbly accepted all the appointments given by his Provincials. He was given various ministries – co-pastor in three different places for five years, pastor in four different places for eight years. He also served the Jesuit communities as assistant minister and minister. He was a good and friendly and courageous pastor. When he was the pastor of Kanchan Nagar, Naxalites came several times to attack him, but gradually he befriended them.
He was well known for administering herbal medicine. He was so compassionate to the sick that even from his sick bed he used to go in search of medicinal herbs for them. Patients from all over came to him for treatment. Fr. Tej Kumar will be remembered for his service to the sick, his friendliness towards his parishioners, sympathy for the poor, and his display of courage. May he rest in eternal peace!
- Oscar S. Tirkey, SJ