Khrist Jyothi Province

FATHERS RESTING IN THE LOARD

  REV. FR. VARGHESE KOIKARA CST

Born 22/02/1943
Ordination 17/12/1970
First Religious Profession 17/5/1963
Slept in the Lord 03/06/2008

The third child of his parents, Varghese was born on 22nd February, 1943 at Olanad, Puthenpally. He was baptized on 1st March 1943 at St. George’s Church, Puthenpally. He has two brothers Pappachan and Thomas Paul and one sister who later became a religious nun, Sr. Jositta CMC. His parents, late Thomas and Elizabeth, were extraordinarily pious and devout Christians and it was only proper that they imparted the same spiritual nourishment to little Varghese from early childhood. Resolute and well-caring, Varghese was an exceptional child with high intellectual caliber and spiritual orientation. On completion of his elementary education in the year 1961, he joined the Little Flower Minor Seminary at Mookkannur on June 10th 1961 with an ardent desire to work in the vineyard of the Lord. He completed his Novitiate at the same place on 17th May 1963 and made his First Commitment to the Lord by solemnly professing the three Evangelical Counsels. For the next three years he stayed at Little Flower Major Seminary, Aluva as a scholastic and made his Final Profession on 17th May, 1967. His philosophical training was followed by theological studies at St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Aluva. After four years of theological studies deacon Varghese was ordained a priest on 17th December 1970. His first appointment was as procurator of Little Flower Major Seminary, Aluva where he served for six months. His planning and organizing skills invited greater responsibilities and therefore after six months as procurator he was appointed parish priest in the diocese of Trivadrum. He was well-liked by all the people in the parish and he served the parish for five years. Later on he was appointed superior of Mar Mathew’s Boys’ Town at Kozhippilly in 1977. In a short span of time again he was asked to serve the people of God as assistant parish priest at Our Lady of Dolours Basillica, Puthenpally, Trichur and later as parish priest of Our Lady of Lourde’s Church, Peechi in the diocese of Trichur in the year 1979. In 1980 he was made parish priest of St. Joseph’s Church, Arampilly. In the year 1981, Fr. Varghese Koikara ventured into the land of the Five Rivers. After a short period of language learning in Jalandhar he was appointed assistant Parish priest at St. Joseph’s Church, Ferozepur Cantt in 1981. He became the priest-in-charge of Canal Colony Station. He single-handedly built the St. George’s Church, Canal Colony and became the first parish priest of the parish. In 1985 he became the parish priest of St. Joseph’s Church, Ferozepur Cantt when the parish was entrusted to the care of the CST Fathers. He was the first CST parish priest and the 53rd parish priest of the parish at Ferozepur Cantt. In 1986 he was appointed in charge of the Moga station. He was the pioneering missionary at Moga. While being at Moga, he worked hard for bettering the living conditions of the lepers in Moga. In 1992 he was appointed Superior of Holy Cross Ashram, Danewala. Holy Cross School (Punjabi Medium) started by Fr. Varghese Koikara is a source of knowledge to the people of the villages around. After five long years of dedicated service at Danewala, Fr. Varghese was appointed Superior of Little Flower Ashram, Muktsar. In Muktsar he served in various capacities like Manager of Little Flower Convent School, Director of St. Mary’s Hostel, Director of BASPO, Director of Immaculate Mission Hospital etc. While at Danewala and Muktsar a number of National and International awards and recognitions came to the way of Rev. Fr. Varghese Koikara for his dedicated services for the cause of humanity. He was again appointed Superior of Holy Cross Ashram, Danewala in 2000. While at Danewala he miraculously survived from a major jeep accident and later on withstood a major heart attack. He underwent a bypass surgery at Escorts Hospital in Delhi in January 2001. In the year 2003, his service was requested in the desert land of Rajasthan. Thus he was appointed Superior of Little Flower Ashram, Ajmer. In addition to being the Superior of the Ashram, he was also the Manager and Principal of Igmenz Industrial Training Centre for three years. In 2006 he was appointed Parish Priest of St. Mary’s Church, Sikar and Manager of St. Mary’s Convent School, Sikar. In the first year of his service, while officiating a Sunday Eucharistic Celebration at Sikar he collapsed and was taken to the nearby hospital. On medical analysis he was diagnosed with kidney failure affecting both his kidneys. He was shifted to Durlabhji Hospital in Jaipur where he underwent prolonged treatments and dialysis. Though he was discharged from the hospital after over a month he had to undergo dialyses twice a week on a regular basis. Of late on April 10th he developed breathing troubles and was again hospitalized. He was discharged from the hospital on 22nd of April and was brought to Sikar as his condition improved. On 23rd evening the parish celebrated his feast in a festive manner with solemn Eucharistic celebration. However, as he developed breathing troubles on the same night he was again taken back to the hospital on 24th of April. He was frequently admitted to the intensive care unit and many a time recuperated miraculously from near to death situations. However, in the second week of May his lungs contracted pneumonic infection and his health deteriorated steadily due to which he had to be put on ventilator. On 30th May, though he was taken for dialysis, the dialysis had to be stopped mid-way due to unstable blood pressure. He was shifted back to the Medical ICU and his condition got worsened further. The unstable health condition continued and on 3rd June at 2.40 am his soul departed for heavenly abode. Fr. John Myladumpara, Rev. Sr. Rose Kudiyiruppil SABS were at his side as he breathed his last. Rev. Fr. Varghese Koikara is fondly remembered for his religious commitment, spiritual resourcefulness, pastoral dedication, social concern and his love for the people of God. All through his life he worked strenuously carrying out successfully and faithfully the various and manifold responsibilities entrusted to him. Thousands of people from far and wide thronged to him for spiritual advices and healing prayers. He was a powerful instrument of God for his healing ministry. Most of the people who approached him gained spiritual blessings and went back satisfied and happy. He was a man of prayer who could inspire the people with his way of life. The different welfare projects that he had taken up were all either for lepers or other sick and poor people. It is rightly said that God allows suffering in abundance in the lives of his beloved. It was a prolonged ordeal of extreme physical suffering that Rev. Fr. Varghese Koikara went through in the closing years of his life. Right from the time he met with a jeep accident and sustained a hip-fracture way back in 2000, he went through a series of illnesses ranging from cardiac problems to kidney failure. What amazes all of us all through his suffering years is his unassailable will-power and the resoluteness to cope with any situation in life. From his looks one would never recognize the suffering that he was going through. He was in deed a challenge to death in many respects. So we could well consider that the words of St. Paul would aptly fit to his character and life: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge will give me…” The Khrist Jyoti Province sincerely appreciates and thanks a number of people who have been with him and supported him during his period of prolonged illness. Though all the names would not be mentioned, it would be ungrateful to pass into oblivion the selfless support extended by the Rev. Fathers, Bro. Mathew Neeriankal, Rev. Sisters, the teachers of St. Mary’s School, the administration and Staff of Dhurlabhji Hospital and friends and relatives. We sincerely thank Rt. Rev. Dr. Oswald Lewis, the bishop of Jaipur for his personal care and interest while Fr. Varghese was admitted in Jaipur Hospital. May his soul rest in peace!.

  • Religious Seminar

    Religious Seminar from the part of Generalate is being conducted for our Fathers on 6th February 2020 led by Fr. Jacob Naluparayil MCBS. Let's all come together and revisit the spirit of Religious Life.

    Feb 06, 2020
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    Dec 05, 2019
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    Nov 20, 2019
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    Jubilee Celebration of Fr. George Alukka CSt, the Provincial Superior & Fr. Cyriac Kochalunkal CSt, the Msgr of Faridabad Diocese is scheduled to celebrate on 12th November 2019 at Jyoti Niwas Hanumangarh. All are cordially invited for the celebration. Please join us to thank and glorify teh Lord together with the Jubilerians.

    Nov 12, 2019

Fr. Jojo Varakukalayil CST

General Discipline and Formation