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Parish campaigns for Indian priest to stay in Wales

By on Friday, 20 January 2012

An Indian priest has become so popular at a parish in north Wales that parishioners are campaigning to keep him there even though he has been ordered to return home.

One local has written to Pope Benedict XVI urging him to intervene, saying that Fr Joshy Thomas Cheruparambil CMI’s imminent departure has left the parish in shock.

Fr Cheruparambil, who is from Kerala, has learnt Welsh and celebrates a bilingual Mass twice a week.

He came to Bala, a town by a lake in Snowdonia National Park, five years ago and is now expected to return to India before Easter.

Alwyn Jones Parry, who is not a Catholic but has driven an elderly friend to Mass for four years, said in a letter to Benedict XVI that the parish was “very distressed”.

He said: “I can fully understand any branch of the Church wishing to have Fr Joshy serving with them as he could very well become one of the leaders of the Church, with his charisma, dedication and prayerful ministry.

“I understand that Kerala has a considerable number of new priests each year. This is in sharp contrast to the situation in Wales,” Mr Parry said.

“It is most difficult to find any positive reasons for this course of action… I am writing to your Holiness, in the hope that you will not allow damage to the Church in our area, and instruct that Fr Joshy remains in this parish, at least for the next few years,” he said.

In his letter Mr Parry said Bishop Edwin Regan of Wrexham had twice written to Fr Cheruparambil’s superiors in India asking him to be allowed to stay.

Fr Cheruparambil told the Herald: “If I am needed in Wales I will stay in Wales. If I am needed back home in India I will be back in India.”

Fr Cheruparambil is one of four Carmelites of Mary Immaculate in the Diocese of Wrexham. The congregation, founded in 1831, was the first indigenous religious congregation in the Catholic Church in India.

  • Cherus

    It is so heartening to hear someone is being appreciated for their hard work and dedication. 

  • Deesis

    If this priest is Syrio Malabar he really should not be in the Uk serving the Roman Rite.
    1/ Places like Africa and India are short of priests and given the langauge barriers/ culture it is best these continents be evangelised by indigenous clergy.
    2/ Many non Lain Rite clergy who come to the UK or Western Countries do so for lifestyle and econonomic reasons. Money is sent back to thie families and they sponsor their families to immigrate for economic reasons.
    3/ It would cause great resistance in the Syrio/malabe Rite if there was an influx of Latin Rite into their area.
    4/ There are formation and doctrinal difficulties with many IIdian clergy not understanding the norms of the Laitn Rite and  who are theologically syncretists with layers of Modernism.They do not “get” Western culture.

  • Bengalqween

    I agree with Deesis. Where does he actually want to be! He makes no sense to me. He should be with in his own rites. Let me tell you something Latin Rites RC. We are near enough thrown out their churches in India! Not even allowed to come and pray before the Blessed Sacrement because we are western! And you can tell Holy Father who loves his flock and will listen-they have their own system of sainthood and do not care for Rome in the slightest because they have power through money. You can compare them to Bollywood stars. Each one cares for name fame and money. They are free to break vows of chastity because to them it is ‘only human’ make money and therefore poverty and they listen to no one as far as I am concerned if they do not listen to God.

  • Water22224

    Reach for your wallets people