Tribute to a Missionary –Fr.Francis Kalampadan

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Witness through Suffering

It is amazing to know that God chooses and uses weak, ordinary men and women to accomplish his purposes for his kingdom. It’s not about great men and women of God but a Great God! He is never failing.

The life of a missionary is not glamorous, it’s full of hardship. I think that when it comes to serving Jesus it requires a lot of sacrifice. Some of these sacrifices are very easy. Some are much more difficult. Sometimes God will ask you to sacrifice your family and friends and that is a little bit more difficult. The term sacrifice seems so harsh and strong.

Fr.Francis.K.O. passed away unexpectedly on 24th May 2013at the age of 79 while he was in Palghat, northern part of Kerala South India. I believe, Fr.Francis is celebrating in heaven today with others who have gone before him.

He narrated his life story when he visited me on a holiday before he passed away.

I request all of my readers to offer a special prayer to God on behalf of all the missionaries you know, and the thousands you haven’t yet met. As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:14-15)

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Life of “Fr K.O”

Fr.K.O.Francis (Fondly called Fr.K.O.) was a great missionary, who spent nearly 25 years in various north Indian states as a lay missionary-“brother” and 30 years spent as a priest in different parts of the subcontinent.

His life was full of hardship and misery, illness and poverty.

He was born in a middle class family on 22nd July 1934, last of the 10 siblings to his parents, in a village called Nedungapra. Our great grandparents, The Kalampadan (Kalambattu) family were migrant from the south, Arakkuzha and nearby places.

From very early days he was very prayerful, highly spiritual and used to serve in the village church as an altar boy. After completing matriculation and 2 year Latin study, he joined the OCD (Order of Discalced Carmelites) as a novitiate in 1954. But ill health did not allow him to complete the novitiate.

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Suffering with joy

Fr.Francis always found joy in his suffering, like St Paul said “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.”( Is there any lacking in Christ suffering?-subject to debate)

There was no end of suffering in his life. He used to get very severe pain from stomach ulcer, and vomiting bile. He was taken to the Catherine Booth Hospital, in Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, which is a Salvation Army Hospital. (It is named after Catherine Booth, the wife of William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army.).

An American surgeon by name Dr Noble operated him under local anesthesia which took 5-6 hrs. But later found the operation was not successful, indeed done wrongly.

He went back to his village and recuperated and after one year went back to the OCD in Thakkala to repeat his novitiate again. Unfortunate, after 8 months he became ill again.

He was taken to Holy cross mission Hospital at kottyam near Quilon.The German doctors who examined him advised a redo surgery, meaning opening his abdominal wounds again. They gave only fifty percent chance of survival. So he was not keen to undergo the operation. Stayed in the hospital for 2 months and got better by medications. Dr Rogan, the German doctor treated him reassured him that he can get back to an active life, than a contemplative life.

Since he was rejected by OCD as he lost two chances of completing novitiate, he felt frustrated.

1958-He took a train to Raipur (MP) to join the Pallotine order (order est. by St Vincent Pallotine).It was early days of Pallotine missionary work in India, there were only 3 members when he joined.

Their missionary activity involved not only evangelization but also humanitarian work, especially among the poor and disadvantaged, promoting economic development, education, health care and in orphanages. Fr Francis was no stranger to hardship. Yet in the midst of hardship, he heard God’s call and continued his life’s call.

He lived a life of hunger, disappointment and frustration. A typical day for him combines a dizzy schedule of visiting villagers and the sick, to attend to parishioners’ needs, preparing people for baptisms, weddings, and funerals.

Six months after joining there, he became ill again, went back to Kottyam, the doctors again advised redo surgery, but he was not keen, got treated by medicines, and got better. Went back to Raipur, and continued his mission work for a long period of ten years under late Fr.Hunold. He was involved in mission work in 80 villages, traveling by foot or at time on some one’s bicycle back seat. Living among the poor, the oppressed and the overburdened low caste villagers.1968, Fr. Hunold had an accident and went back to Germany.

He always wanted to become a priest but his health prevented it, so what left is to become a” brother”. This was not what he wanted. He felt empty even though his health had become stable.

1968-He joined the CMI (Carmelites of Mary immaculate) fathers in Raigarh (MP) to continue the mission work. His missionary work involved traveling in rural villages, staying with the poor, teaching them about the good news, and prepares them for baptism- (mass baptism took place those days). He spent another eight years of the missionary work with CMI fathers. Most of villages were very poor and had no electricity and running water, most of the time he commuted on foot miles and miles sometimes thru jungles.

1973-Got typhoid and the stomach illness flared up. Taken to St.Johns Hospital Bangalore, they gave only 10% chance of survival after the operation. He didn’t get operated.

1974-He goes to Hazaribag in Bihar, meet Sr. Collet a matron in a government hospital, thru her contacts with Sr. Segrid, was then taken to Dr.Sr. Frederic in Holy Family Hospital in Ranchi. There he underwent the second major operation.

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Life of Missionary-Divine Providence

1975-He reaches Banaras (Varanasi), Bishop Patrick sent him to Nagpur seminary for completing his studies-2 year Philosophy, 4 years of Theology, which he completed.

1981-At last he becomes a Deacon, which last only one year. Priesthood was at hand, eventually.

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Coming home for Priestly Ceremony-

He comes back to his native village Nedungapra after 24 years (he left Nedungapra in 1958).All his family, brothers and sisters thought he was not alive.

But disaster struck him again, while he was in Kerala on a visit to prepare the priesthood ceremony. He had massive internal bleeding from a burst stomach ulcer and admitted unconscious in Little flower Hospital Angamaly.He was again, 3rd time undergone a major operation by Dr George Jacob and the surgeon removed 2/3 of his stomach and while in hospital he received 18 pints of blood transfusion. It was a miraculous escape from death.

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Ordination as a Priest

1982-15th April-Priesthood ceremony took place in the village church_Nedungapra.His ambition of life was fulfilled. He became Fr.K.O.Francis, fondly called “Fr K.O.”

1982-2000-Spent his life as priest in the Diocese of Varanasi, served as a diocesan, spiritual director in various parishes and seminaries in North India-Nagaland, Jaunpur (UP,) Andaman Islands etc.He built nearly 12 churches in different parts of north India.

2001-At the age of 66, because of his ill health ,he requested Bishop of Varanasi to come back to Kerala for better medical treatment and to lead a not so hectic life. The permission was granted and from year 2000 onwards, he served in various places in Kerala-Kanjoor,Chalil,Elavoor,Ettumannoor,Divine centre, Muringoor, Chalakkudy and a spiritual father in Palghat, where he died after a silent heart attack..

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“The biggest reward for me is the presence of God in my life as a Divine Word Missionary and in the lives of the people I served…” Fr Francis. His mission was endless and diverse.

FINAL FAREWELL

(Fr.Francis  passed away unexpectedly on 24th May 2013 at the age of 79 while he was in Palghat, northern part of Kerala South India. I believe, Fr.Francis is celebrating in heaven today with others who have gone before him.)

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“All Christians must follow God sends us all hardships

out of infinite love. Do not try to escape suffering”.

St.vincent pallotti

 

Spiritual Industry in India-Dangers of Kundalini Yoga

 

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Some of the recent events happening in India regarding the commercialization of Spirituality prompted me to write this article. Like education, medical service, and other industries the spirituality has become a corporate entity, as part of a modern corporate culture. Many people from India and the West are looking to India as a spiritual hub where one can see god, get bliss, and Mukthi-Blissful Beatitude.

There were plenty of god men and god women who came and gone in India, but sad thing is they still exist and exploit, cheating the innocent God seeking people. These guys make a good living selling spirituality and succeed .The good thing for them is spiritual industry doesn’t need any investment, only some gimmicks to mesmerize and hypnotize the innocent people.

This happens in all religion, not only in Hindu or Christian religion, may be much less in Islam and Budhism.Recently I have come across an young catholic priest who underwent a charismatic retreat and became crazy-Maniac and psychotic. He is now under treatment by my psychiatric colleague. He was not ready for the awakening, unprepared, the fear and repentance brought out by the charismatic preachers led him to the “Holy Hell”.

These god men and women give a bad reputation for Indian Spirituality-Hinduism in particular. There is no place for god men and god women in Hinduism. Look at the teachings of Sree Sankaracharaya, Swami Vivekananda, Sree Narayana Guru, Chattambi Swamikal and many spiritual leaders of this country.They never promoted god men and god women concept in India. When someone approached Sree Naraya Guru and asked the way to find out God, he asked him to take a mirror and look at yourself!!!! What a great thought. God is in you and me. If you cannot see God in your neighbor who is in hunger and pain, and preach lot of the “so called spiritual” theology and philosophy, it has no meaning.

One must understand a real Yogi or Sanyasi live a humble and simple life, never go for any luxurious living, making no cult, not commercialization by building colleges and other establishments to make even more money.

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God Syndrome

This happens in all religion. Once these guys get some power they change altogether, they live a life of gluttony and sexual immorality. When they get money and power the ruling politicians along with “devotees” follow them for their benefit. I have seen God syndrome not only in Hindu religion but also in Christian religion. Once a person becomes a priest bishop or cardinal, they behave as they are brought to this world from heaven as god men. I think life and teachings of the new Pope Francis is worth a model for these priests, bishops and cardinals.

Recently a newly elected cardinal sat for “feet washing-Paada Pooja” ceremony by some Hindu priests. This unbelievable.

Let us examine why this phenomenon happens-

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Kundalini Activation-Dangers

I have been a student of Kundalini Yoga for the last 40 years, in a scientific way. I must say it is not a cult. It is a science. One can see the science of kundalini yoga in almost all religion but in different names. The Jewish kabalistic teachings are worth learning in this context. I have explained in several of my articles, the scientific aspects of Kundalin yoga system, which is only a part of the autonomic nervous system, plexus, and centers in our body. There is nothing occult or mysterious. Those who know about potential of this science, they either use it for selfish motive or to make money and cheat others. There are few genuine teachers, I accept.

About Kundalini Yoga Centres

According to Tantric yoga, kundalini energy rests like a coiled serpent at the base of the spine (Os Sacrum-Sacred bone). When this dormant energy flows freely upward through the seven chakras (energy centers) and leads to an expanded state of consciousness, it’s known as a kundalini awakening.

For some, the experience can be blissful and filled with feelings of love and a sense of the interconnectedness of all things. For others, it can feel more like a maniac or even a psychotic, where practitioners go through altered sleep cycles, changes in identity, or depression. This discrepancy has led many Westerners to fear the coiled serpent resting in their spine, ready to strike.

The prana or untapped energy of the human body, which can be stimulated through the awakening of the seven chakras in the body, is called kundalini. This energy is present at the base of the spine. Once it reaches the crown chakra, complete enlightenment is said to be achieved. Kundalini yoga is thus the practice of achieving physical, mental and spiritual discipline for the mind and body by stimulating of the kundalini.

Kundalini Yoga employs pranayama or breathing exercises, visualization, asanas and mudras along with chanting and meditation to awaken and then raise the kundalini.

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Energy Centres

There are different energy centres in our body; you may call them by any name. There are seven major energy centres worth mentioning. Mooladhara, Swadistana, Manipura chakras-basic chakras (Perineal, Pelvic and Solar Plexus-all part of our autonomic nervous system) which are related to the primordial functions of the body like eating, sleeping, having sex etc.

Then comes the Anahatha or cardiac plexus which is related to emotions of unconditional love one can emit. The vishuddhi Chakra in throat-Laryngeal plexus-controls the creativity of a person.

The sixth chakra-Ajna chakra (Third eye-Nazarene chakra) corresponds to the pituitary gland which is the master gland in the body.

Sahasrara Chakra-Correspond to the Pineal Gland in the Hypothalamus which is the spiritual gland- a pathway to the higher dimensions.

Kundalini Awakening

A kundalini awakening is when energy flows freely upward through the chakras and leads to an expanded state of consciousness. Once the lower three centers are activated spontaneously or by intention, there is explosion of basic drive energy like a bomb, difficult for ordinary humans to control. The kundalini activation is dangerous if not fully understood or uninitiated. If awakened abruptly or before the body and mind are fully prepared, it can make you crazy-people call this maniac or psychotic. Strange body movements, contortions hissing sounds are produced by these people. Seeing these phenomenon, the devotees fall on their feet calling them god men and god women.

Some Symptoms of Kundalini Activation

• Involuntary jerks, tremors, shaking, itching, tingling, and crawling sensations, especially in the arms and legs

• Energy rushes or feelings of electricity circulating the body

• Heart palpitations

• Intense heat (sweating) or cold, especially as energy is experienced passing through the chakras

• Visions or sounds at times associated with a particular chakra

• Emotional purging in which particular emotions become dominant for short periods of time.

• Depression

• Pressure inside the skull and headache

• Bliss, feelings of infinite love and universal connectedness, transcendent awareness

• Involuntary suspension of breath

The spiritual manifestations can be even more bizarre. People who have experienced a kundalini awakening have testified to terrifying experiences, such as being visited by spirits who at first appeared friendly but then became hostile and abusive.

Summary

Once the kundalini activation take place, our body and mind should be prepared to cope with it. It can very dangerous if you have a spontaneous Kundalini activation not knowing its impact on your system. One should be in a spiritual level to handle it. Otherwise It will effectively leave you “mad’.. If you do it gradually and your mind is prepared it will be ok. Just be very careful and do your own research Kundalini about kundaini activation.

Moral

Like donkeys we don’t realize the fragrance of musk is inside ourselves, like the donkeys we humans are searching for God…never find it anywhere, it’s inside you “Here I am”…

Good luck.

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