Fr. Pallath J. Joseph Solidarity Site
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About Fr. Pallath J. Joseph, his work and writings

I, Fr. P.J.Joseph S.J. (J.J.Pallath) was dismissed from the Society of Jesus through a decree dated 28th April 2000 of Fr. Provincial John Manipadam of Kerala Jesuit Province with the concurrence of Superior General Rev. Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach.

Born and bought up in a traditional rural Catholic family, I joined the Society of Jesus at the age of twenty in 1967. Completing my regular Novitiate I was called to make my First Vows (perpetual) in 1969.

My further formation consisted of Juniorate (1969) Philosophy (1975-76) and Theology (1978-81). I was ordained a priest in the Society of Jesus in 1981.

After six months of Pastoral training I was appointed as a teacher (with Government paid salary and job security) at St. Joseph's High School Calicut. After a year of teaching I resigned my post with the due permission of the Provincial in order to commit myself without reserve to Social Apostolate and thus fully engage myself in the promotion of justice to which the Society had solemnly committed itself through the 32nd General Congregation (G.C.) of 1975

Fr. Provincial then appointed me as Regional Chaplain of All India Catholic University Federation, which I was during 1983-85. During this time I completed postgraduate studies in Anthropology. During the year 1985-88 I completed my Research in Anthropology and secured doctorate from the University of Poona.

In 1989 I was appointed associate director of Socio-Religious Centre, Calicut, with specific responsibility of the Project Beach Blossoms, a project meant to promote unionization and cooperation among the traditionally exploited and poorest section of Fisher Folk (almost entirely Muslims).

After four years in 1992, I was asked to go to Pariyaram to continue my field research and to write the cultural history of the Converted Catholics of the Chirackal Mission started in 1930s among the Pulayans, one of the most oppressed and backward castes.

As part of my work in this line and with the fullest approval and support of my superiors (local and provincial) I founded Samskriti and registered it as a Society to promote Folk Art, and Traditional Technology. This work involving directly and indirectly hundreds of men and women both Christian and others cooperation with Governmental and non-governmental agencies, grew into a well-known and widely admired NGO (Non-Governmental Organization).

During these years (1992-99) I was all the time actively engaged in the Social Action Ministry of the Province, considered to be the most characteristic apostolate of the post G.C.32 Society of Jesus. During the years (1993-1998) I was the Province Coordinator of the Jesuit s in Social Action (JESA) and during (1995-98) the Zonal Coordinator for the S. Indian Jesuit Provinces. As the Province and Zonal coordinator I was Province delegate at the International Congress of Jesuit Activists in Naples in 1997.

The special tasks my superiors entrusted to me along with the main work, included the following:

  1. An evaluation Study of the Province's Mizoram Mission in 1984
  2. Feasibility study for starting a Social Work Centre at Wayanad for the tribals and rural poor.
  3. Feasibility Study for the Province to start something to promote the memory and literacy heritage of the great 18th century Jesuit Missionary and pioneer Christian Poet and Scholar Father Earnest Hanxleden (Arnos Padiri). The result of this study was the foundation of the Arnos Padiri Academy in 1995.
  4. As a member of commission I was instrumental in the feasibility study for (a) Establishing a School at Pariyaram (b) Shifting Novitiate from Christ Hall (c) Continuing Jesuit Ministry in Catholic Mission Mattul.
  5. I was a member of the Formation Commission from 1995-97.
  6. I was an elected member of the three Province congregations consecutively.
  7. In 1993 I was chiefly instrumental in settling amicably a decade long property dispute involving the S.M.Farm Jesuit Community on the one side Marxist Hindus on the other side.
  8. As director of Arnos Padiri Academy I organized and successfully conducted a National Seminar on Arnos Padiri in 1994. I published a book on Arnos Padiri.
  9. As director of Samskriti I published half a dozen books one of which won the Dalit Sahitiya Academy Fellowship.
  10. In 1999 August I was the organizer on behalf of the Province the International Seminar of Jesuit Ecumenists.
  11. I was awarded the Union of German Malayalee Association (UGMA 2000) Award in 2000.

As above mentioned on the 28th of April 2000, at the age of 53 of which 33 years were entirely dedicated to the Society of Jesus in the manner described above; 31 years after my First (Perpetual Vows) in the Society of Jesus and 19 years after my ordination as a Jesuit priest, I was dismissed from the Society of Jesus for the reasons that “you are not and you will not be able to be definitively incorporated into the Society of Jesus..."

It is clear from the bio-data that I have taken the G.C.32, d 4 of Jesuits seriously. and resigned my secure and well paid teaching post, of course, with the due permission of the Provincial and took upon the justice ministry. Fr.Paul Valiakandathil, Fr.P.T.Mathew and myself are the three persons who resigned from the education institutions to take up justice ministry. The other two may have been 'balanced' and compromised to became friends of the institution men and got their due reward and I did not compromise and continued as 'imbalanced' thereby becoming the most hated person of the institution men in the Province.

Posted on 2001-05-01
Asian Human Rights Commission
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