Fr. Viaguladasan Manickam, fondly called Fr. Vima Dasan, was born in Michaelpattinam on 23rd January 1938. He joined the Society of Jesus on 1st July 1957, and was ordained a priest on 15th March 1970.
After teaching in the Jesuit Juniorate at Dindigul in 1973, he went to Marquette University-USA and then to Chicago, to successfully complete his studies in homiletics and rhetoric. He returned to run Valar Mathi Juniorate at Tiruchi, which eventually metamorphosed into the South Indian Common Juniorate at Beschi, Dindigul.
He was never tied down to the job given by obedience. He combined it with preaching, writing and publishing books in Tamil and English. With his brother, he initiated the Moral Education series of Vaigarai Pathippagam. The textbooks from Standard 1 to Standard 12 are still periodically revised and used in Catholic schools in Tamil Nadu.
From teaching in the Juniorate (1979-1985), Fr. Dasan moved to pastoral ministry and worked in parishes in Malaysia (1986-1993) and England (1993-2004). In England too, he combined his pastoral ministry with writing. St. Paul’s, London, published his ‘Daily Spiritual Reflections’ and followed it up with ‘His Word for Today’ in 2000 (daily homilies for the two-year liturgical cycle).
Returning to the Province, he was successfully publishing ‘Andrada Arul Vakku’ – a monthly magazine from 2008 to 2016. He was a very powerful preacher both in Tamil and English. ATC, Bengaluru, published his Sunday Homilies (Cycles – ABC) titled ‘His Word Endures’ (2007).
Fr. Viaguladasan passed away on 10th January 2022 after facing complications from a fall he had on 28th November. May God grant him Eternal Rest.
James Thamburaj, SJ