I was born in South India, Kerala and was raised in a strong Catholic family. While this was my background, I can say that I was not particularly drawn towards prayer or the Church as a teen. Mass and religious education were very tiresome to me. After high school graduation, to the surprise of many, I made the decision to enter the minor seminary. When people ask me when I knew that I wanted to be a priest, my answer to them is that it was not a decision I made in a second. It took me some years of prayer and reflection. I must say, I had no visions, heard no dramatic voices, and experienced nothing mystical. What I experienced was a desire to be of service to others. And I believe that desire was placed in my heart by God. As I look back, I can say that my decision to enter the minor seminary was driven by that desire.
After spending a year in the minor seminary, we were sent to the North Eastern part of India for a year of ‘mission experience’. While there, I had the opportunity to see firsthand the missionary work of Holy Cross. I was inspired by the work of Evangelization carried out by the members of the Congregation of Holy Cross. It was there that I began to think seriously about my vocation to religious life and priesthood. After much prayer and reflection, I entered the novitiate in the year 2000. As I became more convinced of the call and the desire to serve, I continued my seminary formation and went on to complete my graduate studies. In the year 2006 I was sent to Canada to do Theology and I was ordained a priest in 2009. Since my ordination, I have ministered in Hospitals as a chaplain and presently I am serving as Pastor of Holy Name parish in Toronto.
It has been a joy to be a priest, to live my faith more deeply and follow Christ more closely. Life as a priest has given me great satisfaction and fulfillment. My greatest joy is to be with the people that God has entrusted to me, accompanying them in their journey of faith and being with them in all the significant moments of their lives. I am grateful to God for the gift of vocation to religious life and priesthood and for all the graces and blessings God has showered upon me. Please pray for me that I continue to have the zeal, the generosity and the willingness to humbly serve God and His people.
Father Jinto Puthiyidathuchalil, CSC