Alwinrex: Please share with our readers some information about you and your mission.
Fr. Jose Bennet: Dear friends... I am Fr. Jose Bennet, a priest in the diocese of Marthandam. Completed 10 years of priestly ministry with the grace if the Almighty. My mission is oriented towards bringing up small mission stations in the remote areas of our diocese and work for the betterment of poor and upliftment of the talented ones.
Alwinrex: Tell us about your call to the priesthood.
Fr. Jose Bennet : Early as an altar boy, I am very much inspired by my parish priests and sisters in my parish. The love and care received from the priests and nuns paved the way to seminary.
Alwinrex: What is your favorite prayer?
Fr. Jose Bennet: My favorite prayer is always the Rosary.
Alwinrex: Tell us about your parish and your parish development?
Fr Jose Bennet: I have been in charge for one main parish (Cherupaloor) and three sub stations ( Pervalzhikadavu, Mukkampaalai and Sankaralingapaarai). I have assisted by two other priests in two of the mission stations. I look after 2 of them.
Cherupaloor, the main station, where we have 125 staunch Datholic families, all are so loving and kind. They were very much interested in spiritual activities and it's a blissful community Recently we have constructed small adoration chapel in the church campus.. they are eagerly spending time with the Lord personally.
Peruvazhikadavu, a small faithful community with 35 families. This station was assisted by Fr. Sajin.It's really an amazing community with few number of staunch faithful. We are in the process of constructing our new church along with a community hall. They are sincerely praying and working for the completion of the Church construction works.
Mukkampaala, a small mission parish at hill top. We have 7 families in this mission. This mission station was assisted by Fr. Ignatius OIC. We have zealous families in this mission devoted in prayers and Holy Qurbano.
Sankaralingapaarai, a remote mission in the interior region of the district. It's truely a new mission with only 5 families. Those five families are really a staunch believing community only small in number not in the faith. They are much devoted to Mother Mary.
Alwinrex: What are your responsibilities in your diocese?
Fr .Jose Bennet: I am the director of the Malankara catholic Association (MCA) in our diocese. I have to look after lay people in our diocese those above 30. They are very much cooperative and supporting. They like to be guided by a priest in front. Feels so vibrant and active whenever we were collaborative in our endeavors.
Alwinrex: In my view I see in you the lofty qualities of love, patience, and morality. Is it because of the love you have for the Lord from your childhood that you have acquired these lofty qualities?
Fr. Jose Bennet: Yes that is true. I also believe that whatever I do... it's all because of the grace of the Almighty. I do everything first of all submitting everything before the Lord, Our God.
Alwinrex: Where did you attend seminary and where did you receive your academic training?
Fr. Jose Bennet: I had my initial priestly formation in our diocesan Minor seminary. After that I did both my Philosophical and Theological studies at St. Marys Malankara Major Seminary, Nalanchira, Kerala, India.
Alwinrex: What are your hopes for the future?
Fr. Jose Benne: I really hope for a better life situation for the poor and growth in living standard of the people by finding out and empowering their dormant strength.
Alwinrex: What are some of the major challenges in responding to the needs of the people that you help?
Fr. Jose Bennet: Major challenges that we face are lack of resources for the empowerment, lack of willingness to pursue their goal overcoming all obstructions. Fail to persevere until reaching the success point. Lack of true heartfelt spiritual as well as financial support for ones growth. Not interest in common good.
Alwinrex: Do you think/feel that the use of social media in our parishes can assist young people to think about knowing/loving/serving God through their ‘cyber-neighbor’?
Fr Jose Bennet : we should not solely depend upon it.. it a medium that's all. Very cautious measures should be made before making use of it. Though it brings us virtually near.. we should admit that it could not bring that much closeness, love, care same as that of the physical presence of the same person. We should also never be so hesitant in using the social media but the cautious measures should be in our mind always.
Alwinrex: Thank you very much for a great interview!