//Jose Panadan, SJ (GUJ) 1969-2024

Jose Panadan, SJ (GUJ) 1969-2024

Fr. Jose Panadan was an extraordinary human: a compassionate priest, an excellent teacher and a great Jesuit companion! He was called to his eternal reward on 13 January 2024 in Ahmedabad, at the fairly young age of 54 years (born on 26 June 1969 in Kerala). His untimely death, has left a deep and irreplaceable void in the hearts of many.

Jose was a shepherd with a listening heart and who smelled of his sheep. He was always there for the people: visiting the sick, administering the sacraments, encouraging the youth, sitting with the elderly. Long before the Church was talking about ‘synodal journey’, Jose in his own special way lived communion, participation and mission.

As a teacher, he challenged his students to think out of the box, to internalize a spirituality which was contextual and meaningful, to respond to the cries of the people. His doctoral thesis ‘An Ecclesio-missiological Investigation of the Ecclesial Paradigm of North Gujarat’ and his books, Mission in North Gujarat – the Way Ahead and Inculturation and Local Church, poignantly reflected his incisive theological thinking. In the Ignatian Year, he edited a magnum opus, Eight Day Ignatian Retreats for Various Groups, which was well received.

As the pastor at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Camels, Unteshwari, North Gujarat, he conceptualized and built a unique and emotive ‘Way of the Cross’. He was also entrusted with the renovation of the main Catholic cemetery in Ahmedabad – which he meticulously executed as a labour of love.

– Cedric Prakash, SJ