Hope to see you in Heaven !
(A Tribute to my brother Priest of Jesus Caritas)
Sudden and shocking breaking news was received that Fr. Thomaiar Susai (India) slept in the Lord on Friday 25 July in the hospital in Yangon, Myanmar. He was later taken to Bangalore and buried at Sacred Heart Priests Cemetery on 29 July.
Fr. Thomaiar was one of the 26 Priests from Jesus Caritas Fraternity of Priests who had come together from 6 countries to go through a deep experience of spirituality of Little Bro. Charles (1858-1916) by exercising Month of Nazareth (July 1-23, 2015) in Myanmar. During the last week there was one week Retreat. On the last day of Retreat he had a stroke on 21 July. He was admitted in a hospital nearby city in Mandalay. Later he was shifted in Yangon for better treatment. He was taken good care of by brother Priests. Finally after having received Sacrament of the anointing of Sick by H.E. Archbishop Most Rev. Charles Bo he breathed his last.
First time I met Fr. Thoamiar was in June 1992 during the Month of Nazareth at Baguio City (Philippines) organized by Jesus Caritas Fraternity of Priests in Asia. We took active part in all exercises and seeking the deep treasures of Spirituality of Nazareth. We prayed , praised and played together, did manual work went for exposure. We grow into brotherhood. . He always enjoyed and commented on my sharing and reflections. We always admired , supported and strengthen each other.
This experience was indeed my initiation into the life and Spirituality of L. Bro. Charles and way of life of JC Fraternity of Priests. And he was the first Indian Priest I met belonging to JC Fraternity of Priests. In fact he was Responsible for India.
My brotherhood with Thomaiar in Jesus Caritas Fraternity of Priests has been framed between two Months of Nazareth. And now our last meeting was also in the Month of Nazareth in July 2015 in Myanmar. We spent time together recalling our memories of JC General Assembly 1994 at Cebu City, Philippines. We remembered our senior brothers and friends some of whom have passed from this world and gone to the Lord. And we prayed for them
During this Month of Nazareth we celebrated his Birthday on 11 July 2015. He completed his 64 years of his life. We sang and swished him many happy returns of the day !! He was also main celebrant for Holy Mass on Feast of St. Thomas, his name’s Saint. Few weeks before he came to Myanmar for the Month of Nazareth he celebrated his 37 years of priestly ministry on 5th. June. He has pastorally served in 10 Parishes. He was recently ministry as Parish Priest of Holy Family Church in Ramamurthy Nagar in the Diocese of Bangalore, India. Who knew that after these celebrations and going to Myanmar his Parishners will no longer see their Parish Priest celebrating his priesthood among them.
Thomaiar was a simple person. He lived a simple life style. He was man of few words. He was an active and reflective listener. A deep silence on his face could be observed most of the time.
A day before the first Desert Day he gave some reflections on the spiritual dimension of Desert and prepared us to go through this important spiritual exercise. We reflected on the value of silence and solitude and prayed the prayer of Abandonment. And it was in this spirit of Prayer of abandonment that he must have quietly surrendered his life to the Lord.
His death during Month of Nazareth and at the end of one Week retreat was proved to be an intensive spiritual preparation for Christian and priestly death. After having reflected deeply on the spirit of listening to God in silence and solitude he entered into his communion with the Lord. Yes indeed Our souls are restless until they find rest in you O God.
He spent the last days his life in Myanmar among his brother Priests. My heartfelt thanks go to our brother priests of Myanmar and Archbishop and Cardinal of the Archdiocese of Yangoon. During his last days before his death He was taken good care of both bodily and spiritually.
My condolence for the family of Fr. Thomaiar. I express our solidarity with Most Rev. Dr. Bernard Moras, Archbishop of Bangalore, Religious and Clergy of the Archdiocese of Bangalore and with the Priests of JC Fraternity in India and also the participants of Month of Nazareth in Myanmar.
Priests and Pascal mystery are closely connected. Priest who celebrates mystery of Christ’s Passover in the Eucharist ought to live daily and finally in his death the same mystery of Eucharist. He celebrates the mystery of the Passover of the Body of Christ and he has to reinact the same in his own body, daily and especially in his death.
I had to leave Month of Nazareth half way and had to come back. When we were bidding farewell to each other Fr. Thomaiar, with a smile and shine on his face he invited me to come to India. And I promised him that I will see him in Bangalore. I had no opportunity to bid you farewell from this earthly journey dear Thomaiar. I promise you that you will always be remembered. Through our prayers for each other we will bring heaven and earth closer. And I hope to meet you in heaven. There we will celebrate mystery of the Resurrection and Eucharist in its fullest sense.
Fr. Emmanuel Asi