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May his soul rest in peace

Br. John Damascene OFM Cap

Br. John Damascene was born on 07/03/1930 at Cheruvally, Changanacherry, Kottayam District, Kerala.  Son of pious parents Mr. Devasia and Mrs. Mary Kallookullangara, the young John got rooted in Christian life.  With a firm determination to be a follower of St. Francis of Assisi he joined the Order and made his first profession at Monte Mariana, Farangipet on 22/05/1952 and final profession at Kottagiri on 22/05/1955.  He was ordained a priest on 22/03/1958. In the course of 65 years of the prayerful and graceful religious life Br. John was a source of consolation for many.  He was a man whose heart throbbed to help others. Most of his life was devoted for preaching and contemplation.Whenever we think of him, it is his simplicity that comes to our minds.

The Ashrams he served in various capacities are Calvary Ashram (Trichur), St. Thomas Ashram (Kavalam), St. Antoney’s Friary (Quilon), Gethsemeny  Ashram (Changanacherry), Assisi Ashram (Bharananganam), Bethleham Ashram (Elanjipra), Loreto Ashram (Moovattupuzha), St.Thomas Ashram (Kavalam), Nazareth Ashram (Aluva), Paduva Ashram (Perambra), Amalagiri Ashram (Payyannur), Portiuncula Ashram (Kattappana), Sevasram (Kannur).

In his true Franciscan simplicity his requirements were few in all through his life. That simple, self-denying, moderate, and non-demanding spirit continues to reign in his life until his death. He is a lover of regular observances - always punctual for prayer and meditation. These characteristics, together with a habit of hard work, rank him among the vanishing species of our older, austere type of friars. When Br. John was visited by sister sickness he was put in severe pain and affliction. He was bed ridden for a year. On the sick bed he showed tremendous faith in God and received consciously the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. In the midst of pain, but with firm faith in God he breathed his last on 24th August 2017. His death was as serene as his life. We become aware that it was lives like these that have deposited such a weightage of witness and commitment to Religious life through the past centuries which has become the strength and manure of history. Beyond all the odds, we value the commitment that Br. John has shown throughout these Years of Religious Commitment

When his mortal remains were kept in mobile mortuary at Sevasram very large number of priests, religious including Bishop Rev Dr Alex Vadakkumthala, visited and prayed for him. Then his mortal remains were taken to Vimalagiry Ashram, Pattaram. There was a large crowd of people comprising of priests, religious, relatives and friends of Fr. John. Msgr Alex Tharamangalam officiated the funeral Mass concelebrated by Br Stephan Jairaj (Vicar Provincial of Pavanatma Province), Br. Kurian Chirapurath (Guardian, Sevasram), Br. Davis Vithayathil (Councillor, St. Thomas Province), Br. Sebastian Chundakattil (Councillor, St. Joseph Province) and many more priests. The funeral oration was given by Br. Cyril Thomas. After the liturgical service in the chapel his body was laid to rest in the cemetery. 

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