We have lost a great personality Rev. Fr. Immanuel Jesuthasan OMI on the 23rd of September 2019.
He was always a man of prayer and discipline. The demise of Fr. Jesuthasan OMI will surely create a vacuum in the Province. As a priest he was always very faithful to his Lord Jesus Christ. He was a man of sincere faith. As religious he was always obedient to his superiors. Until his last days he was always at the disposal of the serving Provincials. He was very sure about his Oblate vocation and life. His sonly devotion to Mother Mary, the patron of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate should be taken as a good model, which our Founder always appreciated.
As formator, he was very sincere to his duty. He was always there in the formation house, to an extent that his motor cycle battery very often died out of power. He was for sure a formator loyal to the Oblate spirituality. He emphasized on Sunday Liturgy, Breviary, Adoration and Rosary. He was very much careful with the popular devotions and was not much supportive due to its emotional nature. As a writer he is incomparable. He is very witty and man of very deep and sufficient knowledge. He types very fast but only thing he uses his computer as a typewriter. His book are numerous. Mostly they are Biblical for he was a biblical scholar. He has the art of writing which will take the readers as if they watch biblical films. His class notes are very elaborate and detailed. Surely his notes will live many more years to come. He has also contributed many book to the government educational system and curriculum. Many of the advanced level students for the last five decades are enjoying his graceful biblical knowledge. He was very good in English and Tamil at the same time. That is why he was appreciated as a good preacher and orator, but when he speaks he speaks very little and with sober voice.
Fr. Philips Emmanuel Jesuthasan, OMI was born on the Christmas day in 1940 at Puloly, Point Pedro to V. Anthonipillai Phillips and Francisca Phillips. He had his early education in the R. C. School, Puloli, and Sacred Heart College, Karaveddy. He continued his studies at St. Joseph’s Juniorate, Kohuwela. In 1957, he entered the Sacred Heart Novitiate at Kaluthara and made his first profession in 1958, August 8. Having been enthused with new blessings he continued his philosophical studies and theological studies in the National Seminary, Ampitiya. He was honoured twice with golden medals for the highest score in the National Seminary. He was ordained deacon by His Lordship Laudadio, SJ, the Bishop of Galle, on 20th June 1964 and was ordained a priest by His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Cooray, OMI on 21st December 1964 at St. Lucia’s Cathedral, Kotehena at the age of 24.
His first obedience was to be the assistant parish priest at Kayts. His one year pastoral exposure moved him to the preaching band at Amala Utpavam where he served for 10 years. Meanwhile he was sent to Manila for a Diploma Course in Religious Education at the EAPI (East Asian Pastoral Institute). After having returned from Manila he was appointed Co-Pastor at the Co-Cathedral in Batticaloa. Having served three full years in Batticaloa he was appointed Rector of the Juniorate at Columbuthurai from 1979 to 1987. He was transferred to the Preaching Band at Thodarpaham, Jaffna. There he served seven full years from 1987 to 1994. He read his both MA in theology and Licentiate in Biblical Studies at the University of St. Paul, Ottawa from 1994 to 1996. Having completed his studies successfully he was appointed professor at the National Seminary and the member of the staff in the Oblate Scholasticate, Ampitiya from 1997 to 2002. In 2003 – 2006, he was appointed as the Director of both Pre-novices and Gnanodhayam, Mannar. In 2006-2009 he was appointed Superior of the De Mazenod Scholasticate, Columbuthurai, Jaffna. From 2009 to 2011 he was moved to Amala Uthayam, Trincomalee. In 2012 – 2016 he was again appointed as the Director of Pre-Novitiate, Gnanodhayam, Mannar. In 2017, since his health condition deteriorated he was transferred to Amala Utpavam. In 2019, when his health improved he spent few months at Thodarpaham to reestablish the Oblate Archives. Knowing his health condition he expressed his desire to get back to Amala Utpavam, after spending few days he was admitted to Jaffna General Hospital where he died on 23rd of September 2019.
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