From Our PDNL

20 January 2012 This Friday turned out to be sad day for the Diocese of Palayamkottai, because of the sudden and unexpected demise of her Nightingale, Rev. Fr. S. Joachim.

Fr. S. Joachim, the Benjamin of his family was born on 06 November 1939 at Ettiathidal of present Sengudi parish in the District of Ramanathapuram. He was ordained on 08 December 1966 for the Archdiocese of Madurai. He started his priestly ministry as assistant priest at Veeravanallur. From there he was sent to Athoor as assistant priest. On seeing his capability and dedication, the late Archbishop Most Rev. Justin Diraviam appointed Fr. S. Joachim as his Secretary and later promoted him as Parish Priest of Chidambarapuram.

This appointment paved the way to the young and energetic priest Fr. Joachim to become a priest of the Diocese of Palayamkottai, when the Diocese was created in 1973.

Fr. S. Joachim served as Parish Priest of Chidambarapuram, Kamanayakkanpatti, Uthumalai, Velayuthapuram, St. Xavier's Cathedral, Singamparai, Shanthinagar, Sankarnagar and finally Veeravanallur, the place where he started forty-five years ago his priestly ministry. Wherever he worked, he won the hearts of people and dedicated himself to the growth of his flock.

Besides, Fr.S. Joachim simultaneously served the Diocese through various Offices, such as Secretary of the Commission for Liturgy, Superintendent of Schools, Vicar Forane of Palayamkottai and Vicar General. In all these assignments he proved himself to be a zealous and committed servant.

"I shall sing always the Glory of the Lord" was the motto of late Fr. S. Joachim. He sang the Glory of the Lord wherever he went and whenever he had the occasion. His singing will ever remain in the memory of people

Fr. S. Joachim was very simple and humble. Indeed, he too had to face hardships and difficulties in his pastoral ministry. He encountered these with sheer simplicity and humility.

He was a man for every person and available in every need. He devoted himself especially to the sick, neglected and discarded.

He was a man of commitment. During priests' meetings and gatherings he used to function as "time-keeper", in other words "bell-ringer". Though a very ordinary job, he performed this with deep commitment and joy.

He was very much devoted to the Most Blessed Sacrament, a great devotee of Mother Mary and he lived till his last moment a faithful son of the Mother Church.

For a few weeks, Fr. S. Joachim developed some complications and was hospitalized for a day. Medical observation reported no imminent danger. On 20 January 2012, Fr. S. Joachim had an appointment with a Urologist in Tirunelveli. As he was coming to Tirunelveli, the Lord, the Divine Doctor called His faithful servant Fr. S. Joachim to the Eternal Abode.

Requiem was celebrated on 21 January 2012, by His Excellency A. Jude Paulraj at St. Xavier's Cathedral and the deceased Fr. S. Joachim was laid to rest in St. Antony's Shrine, Palayamkottai.

We miss Fr. S. Joachim, but we believe that we meet again in Eternal Bliss.

Rest in Peace!

Fr. Viannyraj.

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