Servant of God Fr. Canisius

Servant of God Fr. Canisius was a prominent religious teacher in whom the qualities of holiness and wisdom were merged equally. He was born on May 12, 1914 as the son of Thekkekkara Pothaparambil Lonappan and Maria at Anandapuram in Thrissur district. God’s will in its fullness – only that was the maxim that led them. Father Canisius also followed the same. He took his first vow in the CMI Congregation on November 24, 1935 after his primary education. He completed the primary steps of ascetism (sanyasam) at the Kottakkal Monestry. He became a priest on 21 December 1942. He did his higher studies at Kandy in Sri Lanka and Rome. He took his doctorate on the Holy Bible in 1952. He is the first learned man from India who took a decorate in Bible. Fr. Canisius’ discipleship under eminent teachers and their examples helped into grow in holiness, wisdom, humility and faithfulness. Servant of God Fr. Canisius was very actively involved in the services of the CMI Congregation. He was a seminary professor, rector, Provincial, Prior General, Vicar general and spiritual guide. He served in all those prestigious positions meticulously with a high sense of responsibility.

He visualized along the lines of the church and took necessary steps for the renewal of the church in the light of the Second Vatican Council. He took great interest in the cultural, educational, social and media related fields. Fr. Canisius made the mission activities meaningful and encouraged the church members to play acquire roles in all those fields. Fr. Canisius was a holy and spirit filled CMI spiritual director, a wise teacher, a deep devote of the blessed sacrament, an author, a man of prayer and a contemplator of the word of God. He was very gentle in his speech and behaviour. He has the epitome of gentiless in his speech and actions, kindness, love and service orientedness. We could sense divinity on his luminous face when he offered mass, when he has at the confessional while teaching, praying and at the time of recreation.Though old age and the discomforts caused by rheumatoid arthritis affected him very hardly, he accepted everything with patience and without any complaint. The words of Fr. Canisius even during his last days are heart thouhing “Everlasting praise to the divine artist who is kind enough to use even the last piece of this brush which is about to wear away.” Fr. Canisious entered the eternal rest of Jesus on January 29, 1998. His mortal remains are kept in the Ambazhakkat Monastery.