This is how God used me for 19 years of my child and adulthood in my native village with my parents, brothers and sister, and for the last 25 years in His vineyard of St. Pauls.
I was born on 13th of February 1956 as the first child of my loving parents Mr. Rayappan and Mrs. Maria Packiam. I grew up in a loving family with two brothers, a sister and my parents in a small village in the state of Tamil Nadu, South India. My parents were illiterate but they educated all of us even though education to children in that village was rare. After completing my high school, I remained at home helping my father in cultivating the land. It was indeed a very hard job for me but I enjoyed being with nature.
In the evenings I used to be a leader of a prayer group and pray with all those who were interested in prayer. I also used to conduct the funeral services for the dead in the village named Arianellore at the out skirts of Dindigul Town.
Mr. A. Lucas, the head of the village, really admired my behavior and placed me in-charge of the village Church. He also inspired me with his simplicity and kindly nature. We used to talk about the saintly persons who lived and died for others. I came to know that these kinds of noble thoughts would work out only when I wholly dedicated myself to God.
St Pauls offered me many opportunities to learn and educate myself both spiritually and academically. It was only in the monastery that I learned the English language as well as many other values in human life including Spirituality of Don Alberione, the Founder of the Pauline Family.
On June 30, 1979 I was initiated after four years of rigorous training into the Religious Life. After that, I was sent to Allahabad a small city on the banks of rivers the Ganges and the Yamuna in North India. Focusing on the gospel of Jesus, I was given additional training to understand and live the word of God in my daily life.
In 1982 transferred back to Bangalore I was asked to look after the young candidates to Religious Life who had just joined. I became one among them in praying, playing, working and resting; giving them inspiration and guidance to live and love Jesus all through the day in all that we had done. Being with the young,
I learned to be humble of my seniority. They always tried to find in me something of the Lord Jesus, who chose them to be His own, that they could imitate and follow.
In 1984 back to Bangalore, I was given a short course on Biblical studies in the St. Peter's Seminary, Bangalore. After the completion of the course and spiritual studies, I was promoted to be a permanent member of the monastery by committing myself to the Lord for all my life. After a couple of years I was transferred back to Mumbai to do my apostolic activity in the Examiner Bookshop of the monastery. Later I was appointed as the diffusion in-charge of the Better Yourself Books and St Paul Publications. During that time computers were widely introduced in India and I could make use of them to computerize our
Though I wanted to specialize in computer applications by doing a course on computers, the Spirit of God inspired me and lead me to the Vidya Deep, a Theological Institute affiliated to
Dharmaram College in Bangalore. There I was putting my heart and mind to study theology and Religious sciences. In fact I enjoyed being a student at the age of 38 for the three years intensive course. It contributed many things and changed my life totally.
I came to know that God dwells in every human being; to love God is to love humans here on earth. It is only in loving human beings that I can love God. My prayers life is nothing else but a conversation with God and listening to Him attentively. It is an examination of my conscience in relation to my fellow beings here on earth. As Jesus came on earth not for himself but for others, I too must be a person for others that the other may find in me a drop of honey and I in them. I decided to live and die for others as Jesus himself has showed by his own life by
dying on the cross.
After my studies I was transferred to Jorhat in the north East part of India where I met many people all over Assam for a whole year moving around with Mobile Unit. Though the place was filled with a terrorists group named ULFA who used to kill many people and loot their valuables, I liked to be there experiencing a new way of life in the community of three members.
In 1987 I was transferred to Allahabad where I am today. In 1998 I joined for a diploma course on computers and obtained an Advanced Diploma in Computer Applications. Allahabad is a holy
city on the banks of the rivers Ganges and Yamuna. These rivers are very holy for Hindus. In this city most of the people are Hindus and Christians are hardly 0.1%. It is really worth living in this part of India radiating the light of Christ to the millions who do not know Him.