Welcome

WELCOME TO MY BLOG CELEBRATE FAITH. SHARING MY FAITH AND PRACTICE

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Fr Vijay Kumar Prabhu - A Jesuit with a Large Heart and Deep Human Spirit

Fr Vijay Prabhu, SJ in a recent photo at FRH
There are many people who come into your life but very few leave behind indelible mark. This is because they have been exceptionally kind, gentle and generous towards you. You do not want such people to go away from this life so early. Because they are simply good. This is the case with Fr Vijay Prabhu (1940-2020) who left us today for eternity on this day of the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (15th September).
I
A gentle and generous leader
Fr Vijay was blessed with a tremendous capacity to be gentle and generous leader. He was exceptionally gifted with a unique capacity to be gentle with the Jesuits and others under his care. He touched many people with warmth and affection. Wit, humour, and wisdom would flow naturally in his conversations. Perhaps that must be the reason why everybody wanted him to be the superior or rector of their communities. Since his return to the province after serving as professor of philosophy and principal of our Jesuit Philosophate Satyanilayam in Chennai he took up responsibilities of greater importance of governance in the Society of Jesus. He never looked for positions in the Society instead they came in search of him. He was the Superior of Vidyaniketan, Dharwad, rector of Mount Saint Joseph, Bangalore, St Aloysius College, Mangalore, St Joseph's College Bangalore, Karnataka Jesuit Province Coordinator of Formation (PCF), Provincial of Jesuits of Karnataka and so forth. This shows the amiability and warm-heartedness of Fr Vijay. I believe that no Jesuit either young or senior felt inhibition or unease to speak to him when Fr Vijay held the position of governance in the institution. As a young Jesuit in 1990's I had a great hesitation either to visit or stay in some of our major houses with attached institutions as it contained persons who should be called pezzo grosso (big shots) who gave an impression that these houses are meant only for professed Fathers. Once Fr Vijay became the PCF and rector of Mount St Joseph things began to change rapidly. All the young Jesuits in formation found an abode in Mount St Joseph because of Fr Vijay's hospitality and kind welcome. 
II
A man of adjustments with positive attitude
Jesuit formation is tough but many superiors and persons in position make it even tougher unnecessarily. Fr Vijay was a different man. He was gifted with a unique talent of encouraging others. I believe that under Fr Vijay as superior of Vidyaniketan Scholasticate in Dharwad, the young Jesuits brought out a number of their creative works in the form of publication. Fr Vijay was all for new ventures, new initiatives and new enterprises. He believed in persons and had tremendous confidence in them. He took not only keen interest in their lives but also encouraged them. As in charge of formation, Fr Vijay sent me to Russia for my regency. Often I found his emails in my mail box encouraging and supporting in my life in a cold and ex-communist country as a missionary. In fact it was such a happy coincidence to see him and spend few days together in Rome in 2004 when he came to attend the new provincials' scola provinciali while I was doing my theological studies there. Fr Vijay had absolutely no problem with altogether out of box suggestions even though others might object. Certainly, he did not believe in being a mere "maintenance" superior or rector. When I was in dilemma as I was already applicatus to the Russian Independent Region and  in getting the permission to do my priestly ordination in my home parish than in Mangalore, Fr Vijay not only supported my idea but also did all the arrangements to see that priestly ordinations held outside Mangalore city are also valid!
III
A deeply spiritual man with a knack to give retreats 
I found in Fr Vijay a deeply spiritual person. Often I saw Fr Vijay at my door during my long recovery at the infirmary of Mount St Joseph saying, "Olvin it's tough for you but I am praying for you. Take courage." During his regular evening walks in the MSJ campus he would say his vocal prayers and rosary which could be heard if you are around him. Probably this must have kept him going in spite of his weak heart. In the last few years, Fr Vijay developed a number of health problems, yet he had others in his heart. He always saw how best he can be of help in spite of his debilitating health. During his stay in Mount, I found him busy preaching eight and thirty day retreats at Dhyanashrama to groups of priests, nuns and brothers. Thousands of people must have listened and prayed through his insights because of his great intellectual, spiritual and human depth.  People remember him for his friendliness, warmth and affability. He was always ready to give spiritual retreats at the newly opened retreat house Xavier Sadan in Mysore and at the reorganised Fatima Retreat House, Mangalore. I carry with me one insight that he gave in preaching Ignatian retreats. He said that we must always cultivate in retreatents a taste for the prayers of St Ignatius of Loyola. Very often retreatents get out of an Ignatian retreat without learning even a single prayer of Master Ignatius.

Fr Vijay, we will miss you greatly but your inspiration and life will certainly enable us to continue your legacy in our lives as Jesuits. May you Rest in Peace!

- Olvin Veigas, SJ

15 September 2020
The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

24 comments:

Unknown said...

May his soul rest in peace. Bethany Congregation has benefited much of spiritual wealth from him. Long live his values in our lives

Unknown said...

A very touching tribute...the good things you've said brought tears to me. I'm reminded of this very famous couplet,"God takes away for reasons divine; but memory lingers until the end of time."

Unknown said...

Was very soft spoken. Very welcoming and always gave practical and meaningful messages

jerry rosario said...

An inspiring tribute to Fr Vijay the great human, indeed. Fr Olvin has pictured him very well, drawing for us the lessons and sparks from Vijay's edifying journey of life. May his soul rest in peace: TAKE AND RECEIVE HIM,LORD. Given his godly nature, he may be already enjoying God's bliss and accordingly, we take him as our new intercessor.

Sebi said...

A loving Tribute you have placed in memory of a life beautifully lived and a heart greatly loved is very inspiring! "Where there is a deep grief, there is a great love." Father, every word you spoke of this noble man brought me tears that I have never shed for anyone till the date. "A person never die as long as he is remembered by someone."
Rev Fr. Vijay,a PEARL of Jesuits, you have left an incredible mark on everyone's heart, you begin to live in our hearts,in our lives, in our thoughts,in our prayers. You taught us to never give up. Please pray for us that we may be like you in everything. May you rest in peace Amen.

Unknown said...

An inspiring tribute to Rev Fr Vijay Prabhu. He was a polite and gentle leader. He had inspired many by his words and deeds. May his noble soul rest in peace

Rehana said...

Though I have not met Fr Vijay, your tribute helps me to appreciate the wonderful work that he did as a Jesuit. Thank you for this blog, Fr Olvin.
May Many more young people be inspired by him and may his soul rest in peace.

Filomena said...

Condolences on your loss Fr Olvin. Such good people and teachers live in our hearts and inspire us. May Fr Prabhu Rest In Peace and Jeep praying for us. God Bless!

Maggie said...

Oh heartfelt condolences dear Fr Olvin. May his soul rest in peace. You have had very good contact with very many saintly great priests. Fr Vijay Prabhu will be close to your society interceding all especially for you. Thanks for your information. Praying for his soul.

Mevis said...

What a beautiful description of his life
So much to learn

Joy said...

Fr.Olvin my deepest condolences to you!
Your thought provoking Tribute left me speechless! I can't imagine losing such a Godly Father. Fr. Vijay Kumar shocked all of us with his goodness. May his soul rest in peace Amen.

A said...

I knew him when he was in Manvi. Simple comforting and appreciative letters he wrote when we sent him our small contribution to help the poor there.
When he moved to Mangalore I missed him because after mass he would to his room passing the stairs and ubeoukd ve coming down and his loving greeting and with few words were so joyful to hear.

Orianna said...

Very nice tribute. I feel sad that in spite of being in mangalore, we cannot attend his funeral. May his soul rest in peace.
Every time we visited him his face used to light up. We have good memories of his visit to our home.

Anonymous said...

Dear Father
Thank you for the beautiful homage on Fr Vijay Prabhu. I understand that he followed Jesus in word and spirit

Joilin said...

My heart goes out to you and your society, on the loss of your Holy Priest. He was a wonderful man of God and good Samaritan to all. I'm so deeply saddened to hear about his loss. But I strongly believe that he is in heaven praying for us. Thanks for his goodness!

Magselen said...

Thank you for your sharing. A wonderful Jesuit with a deep human spirit. United in prayers. May he rests in peace

Anonymous said...

As I was in the North for all these years I do not know Fr. Vijay. Tribute is well written and by that we can know how saintly he was. May his soul rest in peace.

Vincy said...

Very thoughtful and inspiring Tribute that melted my heart. It's unimaginable to lose such a faithful and Godly person Fr. Vijay Kumar. I admire the way he ingnited passion in others through his simple life. Heartfelt condolences to you Olvin. May his soul rest in peace Amen.

Alex Samy said...

I heard about this wonderful man. I thank God for gift of Fr. Vijay to the humanity.Rest in the Lord. Enjoy the presence of God.

OVS1924 @gmail.com said...

A Tribute poured into much loved Rev. Fr. Vijay Kumar is very inspiring. It's with much sorrow and regret I extend my hearty Condolences to you Olvin. His dedication and commitment gave many, a Wing by which we can fly... He remains as a perfect poster of compassion and empathy for all whom he served. May his soul rest in peace Amen

Florine said...

Sorry to hear the demise of Rev Fr Vijay Prabhu a dedicated member of SJ. May he rest in eternal peace. Our heartfelt sympathies to the community on this irreparable loss.

Unknown said...

Saddened to hear that Fr Vijay Prabhu aj left for his heavenly abode. While working at SJBHS, I knew Fr Vijay as our Rector & later as provincial & always remember his smiling face and gentle & kind disposition. May his soul rest in peace.

Leesha said...

Fr. Olvin, it's an awe-inspiring Tribute to Fr. Vijay Kumar,the pearl of SJ. Tears welledup from my eyes to know the fact that we miss him forever. Life is eternal and love is immortal. The earthly losses are always heavenly gain. So heaven gains love inorder to sprinkle it down from heaven. All glory and honour to God. May his soul rest in peace Amen

Anonymous said...

Two sisters in this community know him... I am sure you will miss him a lot and the entire church as he was a good guide especially directing by retreats