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  • Writer's pictureProfiles in Catholicism

An Interview with Father Lenoy Jose Tharakan SJ.



Gordon: When you received your vocation, with whom did you first discuss it and what was their advice?


Father Lenoy: It happened in two phases. After my SSC I’d desired to join and even went through discernment and was positive about it. However, my dad told me to see the world, understand things better, complete my graduation, and then decide. It was very good advice. I agreed and thus completed my graduation started working while in college and was totally carrier oriented worked for 10 to 12 yrs. Had the pull but way later in 2008 - 9 I had the clarity.

Gordon: Where did you attend seminary, what was your favorite course, and why was it your favorite?


Father Lenoy: Novitiate – Belgaum, Philosophy – Loyola Chennai. Theology – JDV Pune.


I enjoyed both philosophies as well as theology however philosophy a bit more than theology. Indian philosophy invoked my interest more than western philosophy.


Gordon: Why did you decide to be a Jesuit?


Father Lenoy: I was part of a Jesuit parish as a child. So was exposed to their work. Also since I wasn’t clear about my call within the call I saw more scope of works in the Society of Jesus thus it became a natural choice.


Gordon: At what parish do you serve??


Father Lenoy: Currently I am at St. Michael’s Church, Manickpur, Vasai road West.


Gordon: Approximately what percent of India is Catholic?


Father Lenoy: About 2.3% Christians I believe. That includes all denominations.


Gordon: Is there poverty in the people that you serve? If so, how do you try to address poverty?


Father Lenoy: We need to understand poverty in two ways a) Materialistic poverty. b) Spiritual Poverty. Thus there is definitely poverty No matter where in the world you are. The root cause of the materialistic poverty of the many is the spiritual poverty of the few who can make a difference but don’t have the spiritual richness to do so. Till this issue is not resolved there can be no permanent solution to materialistic poverty.


Gordon: What are the general literacy challenges in India?


Father Lenoy: I think today the challenge is not so much of literacy as much as it is of education. Many know to read and write but the question is how many know to make


Gordon: Thank you for a great interview.

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