Fr. Joy John Arackal breathed his last at 5.00 pm on 7 October 2023, at Jivodaya Hospital, Delhi. Hailing from Thuruthy, Changanassery, Kerala, as a teenager, he had an intense desire to become a priest to serve God in North India. “His heart was on fire, and his feet were on the move. He entered the Society of Jesus on 4 June 1965. After his ordination, he had an unquenchable thirst for working in Patna mission. Later, when Delhi Province was established, he opted to work there. Physically, he was short and thin, but in reality, he was filled with energy and zeal. He was a committed parish priest in places like Bettiah, Marpa, Latonah, Jaipur, and Bhiwadi where he nurtured the faith of the people. He was always available, understanding, and compassionate towards the needy. Through his simple and exemplary life, he made a great impression on the hearts of many people. He also served as an assistant treasurer at St Xavier’s Schools in Patna, Jaipur, Bhiwadi, and Shahabad.
As a zealous missionary, he went through many hardships in life but never gave up. Just a few days before his death, he used a whistle to communicate when he lost his voice. Such was his creativity to adjust to adverse situations. Towards the end of his life, Fr. Joy John wrote his biography titled Joy to the World, An Autobiography of a Jesuit Priest. He continues to live in the memory of many who came into contact with him.
– Britto, SJ