I came back from my morning walk and came to know that Father Amalraj Sebastian has passed away. It took some time for the sad news to sink in. There was some regret that I had not been able to pick up his phone few days ago. Normally I call him back; but this time with incessant rain and flood, I had failed to call him thus I was totally unaware of him being admitted in Pillar hospital in Vadodara. I missed therefore an opportunity to be with him in the hospital. An elder brother, a dear friend, a colleague I had worked with him is no more. I will miss him and i am sure many who have experienced his love, guidance and friendship.
Amal was physically challenged but that did not prevent him from working. He was a visionary & encouraged others to innovate in the developmental work. He cared for people who worked with him. He also appreciated the service rendered to him by people.
In the society we live in, it is our work, the post we hold that defines who we are. So we are constantly challenged to prove ourselves. But the true enlightenment comes in realization of our inner being. In my own conversation with Amal during the past few months, I picked up strands of such thoughts; a realization that it is in caring and being who we are to each other that ultimately help us achieve our life’s goal.
Amal had a deep interest in working with the youth. His contribution to youth ministry in the Church at large and in the Society of Jesus in particular is noteworthy. He was a mentor and guide to many of us who have worked with youth. In the world where branding is as important as performance, he was a bit out of place, someone who belonged to the old school. He worked silently always keeping the interests of the people and the Society of Jesus he belonged to.
Amal’s style of working is to trust people, delegate power and responsibilities to his colleagues. He believed in sharing and working together with his companions. He encouraged his companions and friends to be visionaries and supported them in their endeavours. He developed tough skin to criticism and showed kindness to his staff, companions and people. He was an institution builder and worked hard to build institutions which are truly serving the poor and the needy. He was a dreamer and worked silently to achieve those dreams. Truly, he lived his life fully and meaningfully. I will always be indebted to him for his encouragement, love and guidance. Goodbye Amal…May your life continue to inspire us in our life.