We are approaching yet another historic moment in the Jesus Youth Movement. God willing, Deacon Thomas Pulickal (popularly known as Timmy) will be ordained as the third Priest for the Jesus Youth Movement on 6th June 2020 at Mar Thoma Sleeha Cathedral in Chicago.

Dn Thomas was born in New Jersey a few years after his parents, Joseph and Tessy, migrated to the U.S. from India. When he was eighteen, his family moved to McAllen, Texas, where his parents are presently settled. He has two sisters Marina and Theresa, who are both married and blessed with children and are very active in the Jesus Youth Movement.

Dn Thomas was an active member of Jesus Youth since his foundational encounter with Christ when he was fourteen. Growing up in the movement, he received much by way of deep friendships and the accompaniment of elders. In college, he studied Mathematics and has a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and worked for a few years as a software developer in the consumer electronics, defense, and financial industries before he experienced the Lord calling him to become a priest. At the age of 26, he began taking steps towards leaving the professional world and setting out in a totally new direction.

As an active member of the movement, he served the movement in various capacities, as the National Youth Coordinator, US National Coordinator, International Council member, to mention a few. As he has so beautifully expressed, ”All these times, my heart was sure that the charism of the movement, while having already produced great fruit, had still much to offer the world. I desired to be part of that, as a priest. I also thought about how thankful I was for those priests who were spiritual fathers to us as young people and families growing in the movement, building us up as disciples of Christ. These generous priests did so by extending themselves above and beyond their ordinary duties. But I also learned that there would have to be some priests who are specially dedicated to this purpose and to the ever-unfolding discovery of all that Jesus Youth is meant to be in the living Body of the Church. In the end, by God's grace working through my bishop's blessing and the movement's support, I was grateful that I could one day serve both the movement and the diocese as a priest, as my own particular way of living out my fervent love for the whole Church. As these details were worked out, I also completed my Masters of Arts in Philosophy from Holy Apostles College & Seminary, which has helped me a great deal in my ministry and personal life. The Lord has been generous, gentle, and merciful with me at every turn, and I am now overjoyed as I enter into the vocation for which I am sure that I was made. ”

Dn Thomas currently lives at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Florida, where he has received from God's goodness the choicest blessings of spiritual growth, genuine brotherhood, and practical orientation for priestly ministry over the last few years.

The Ordination date was finalised in January, but there was a suggestion that it be postponed by a few months because of the pandemic. We also suggested the same since we were not sure even his own family members would be able to attend the ordination. But it was Dn Thomas who took the initiative to make a request to have the ordination on the same date. To use his own words, “In lieu of the pandemic, it seemed the natural choice to postpone the ordination by a few months. This way, we could celebrate the liturgy with due solemnity, while all who have supported me (in countless ways) could share my joy by being physically present. Yet, in prayer and discernment, I was led differently. I felt that the hope-filled response I should make to the crisis in the world was to become a priest for the world, to serve as His priest, in whatever way I can, as soon as I can. My bishop, Mar Jacob Angadiath, honored my discernment and so blessed and confirmed it as the Lord's will. For this reason, my ordination on June 6th will be a private ceremony, with only around 10 persons in attendance, though I am certain beyond doubt that I will experience the spiritual accompaniment of countless others around me. In fact, I already do”. Praise God!

Dn Thomas expresses his gratitude to the movement: “I am thankful beyond words. I did not take these steps alone, not even one. There were incredible and saintly people (though perhaps they do not know it!) who carried me along by their way of being Christ to me. I thank all for the prayers of intercession at this important moment in my life. Glory to God in the highest!”

Fr Vinod Madathiparampil and Sunil Nadarajan from US along with the team for the formation of seminarians and Priests accompanied Dn Thomas in his journey of formation to Priesthood. We sincerely thank all those who contributed to his formation. Dn Thomas will be ordained by His Excellency Mar Jacob Angadiath, incardinated to the St Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Chicago and will be made available for the mission of the Jesus Youth Movement.

This is one more milestone in the evolution of our movement, which shows we are growing in ecclesial maturity and bearing lasting fruits! Let us thank our Lord for this blessing!
It is also a proud moment for the Jesus Youth of America too. We are seeing the first fruits of the Jesus Youth ministry in US through Dn Thomas who got initiated to the movement locally there. They were expecting around 500 Jesus Youth from all over America to join the ordination and continue with a two day conference. But His plans are different and they will all join the ordination in spirit. We express our sincere gratitude to the Jesus Youth of America for gifting us such a wonderful young man to be fully dedicated to the service of the Church and the movement.

Let us keep Dn Thomas in our prayers. There will be a live streaming of the ordination and felicitation ceremony on June 6th, starting from 10.00 am (Chicago time).

On behalf of the Team for Priests and Seminarians in Jesus Youth Movement,

Fr Thomas Tharayil
Priests in charge of Priests and Seminarians

Manoj Sunny

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