The Shepherd with his flock; Mar Joseph Pamplany visits Adivasi community

The Shepherd with his flock; Mar Joseph Pamplany visits Adivasi community

Thalassery: Archbishop Mar Joseph Pamplany of the Archdiocese of Thalassery visited the Adivasi (indigenous) community; ushering in memories to the older generation. A bishop visiting the Adivasi hut, conversing with the inhabitants, and sharing his something which the millennials must have heard off only from their grandparents. The visit fondly reminded all of a generation that battled the wilderness and rugged mountain terrains to sow the seeds of the goodness of the gospel. The community that has flourished there is the fruit of this strong-willed community of faith.

The Church Fathers of the yesteryears remained close to the soil and the common man. Development however, ripped today’s generation of this closeness and waning relationships. Yet there are those who did not abandon their closeness to the soil and the common man. It is just that such relationships remain unknown to the outside world.

Decades ago, the Catholics who came to the Malabar region, selling all their possessions, were welcomed by those of other religions with open arms. During those times they shared from the same portion of food, made room in their huts, shared and knew each other. Tides have changed; those good old times are conveniently erased from everyone’s memory.

However, Mar Joseph Pamplany's visit to the Adivasi village has once again aroused in the community, the lost spirit of love and sharing.

The visit brought light and comfort to those living in isolation from the community. Mar Pamplany visited Maniyan Moopan, a senior member of the tribal community who had resided with the migrant farmers for long periods of time. The visit also brought in an awakening to the whole society.

When Mar Joseph Pamplany arrived at the Karikottakari Rajeev Dhashalaksham Colony, the happiness that dawned on those children of the forest was like the joy experienced by a sheep at the sight of their shepherd. The tender embrace of the Archbishop with Maniyan Moopan and his gentle sharing etched an unforgettable experience in the hearts of the villagers.

Maniyan Moopan, aged 99, is the oldest member of the tribal community in Karikottakari. He has been residing in Karikottakari from the early days of the migration. He has since accompanied the migrant people and Karikottakari towards the current times. Maniyan Moopan, who is quite familiar to those of the new and old generation is the son-in-law of a Karuppan Moopan, a senior member of the tribal community.

Although old age has afflicted him with a congenital disease, he stepped out to receive and welcome the Archbishop wholeheartedly and with much joy.

The Archbishop's visit was in connection with his pastoral visit to St. Thomas Parish, Karikottakari. His unexpected visit garnered excitement and a unique experience to the Adivasi community.

The Archbishop, who has only been heard of by the community, was invited and warmly welcomed to every house in the colony. The good shepherd only returned after distributing gifts and sweets to Maniyan Moopan and other families; and praying for all of them, thus engraving a love for him in all their hearts.

Karikottakari St. Thomas Parish Vicar Father Anthony Punnoor, Assistant Vicar Father Rubel Martin, K C Chacko Master, Panchayat Member Joseph Vattukulam, Manoj M Kandathil, Sebastian Kallupuraparambil, V M Thomas, Appachan Ittiappara, Joseph Kalapparambil, Joseph Namatholil, Jaison Cherumthadathil, Mercy Arakkal, Lalichan Kurichikal, Baby Arakkal, Jithin Annie Thottathil and Nijil Alappattu also accompanied the Archbishop during his visit.

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