Bishop Sam Mathew
Another Bishop has been called to eternity. Yes, definitely our Lord’s eternity…..
Because…a person just because he is a bishop or is a priest or likewise does not get into the criteria for Lord’s eternity admittance. That person has to have THE right mind and determined inclination to LOVE the world as The Lord wishes. Bishop Sam had it. That’s why.
A lot has been written, is being written and will be written about this bishop – Rt. Rev. Dr Sam Mathew, Valiathottathil or simply Sam Mathew Thirumeni to many. His story in history will be written as that of a common boy from a common family who rose to be the Pastor of pastors, without doubt divinely consecrated to be a Bishop, loved by all except those who are out of their mind, -without cast or creed, rich or poor alike. That’s why.
Consecrated as Bishop on Sept 1,1993 he retired on Oct 8, 2001
His modus operandi was :
Live simply, love simply, and work simply. He believed that if you work with the whatever (only) facilities you have, God and people will respect you. Have judicial mind, encourage team work and opportune the weaker sections to the front lines.
He believed church belongs to God. Our duty is to nurture it and God will grow it.
His life was not a bed of roses. He remembers in his memoir of an elder childhood class mate Namboothiri girl who wrote in his autograph “I do not wish you a future more fragrant than flower or sweeter than honey, but i wish you a life that does not have too much stones and thorns to tread.” And that’s what he got. Or say, when and whatever stones and thorns were in his way he was able to tread successfully holding his simple firm faith. That’s why.
He was a tireless worker, a workaholic. He used to tell his visitors even while he was ailing in his bed in sickness, “It is better to work, wear out and die rather than idle out, get rusty, immobile and die.” – Even by giving advises (work) like this he kept his principle to the very last he was able. Yes, he worked to his very last. That’s why.
A spokesman of ecumenism he expressed it through his personal life. His presence on such stages was heartily welcomed by all sectors of Hindus, Christians and Muslims alike. All the political parties revered him. That’s why.
His involvement in the goodness of society was not confined just to the church alone but to almost everything harmful to human existence under the sun – naturally born humanitarian and a true nature lover. That’s why.
His presence and service while he was vicar at the Ascension church is the best remembered of all his ancestors and predecessors. Frankly speaking, no day in our memory till now has passed without somebody referring him or his works after he left the Ascension in 1980 leaving behind 5 years of service par excellence. That much deep rooted relationships and achievements he had made during his tenure here. He always used to mention proudly that Ascension church made him important in the MKD. But what he did not mention was that he made Ascension church very important in the MKD too like never before! If asked to comment on Ascension church he would repeat what Bishop Gill said quoting from Psalm 85:10 – “ Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.”, referring to the adjacent Dist. Collector’s office. Ascension was one his favourite churches. His service in all the other churches or elsewhere are remembered and upheld by all. That’s why.
True, the pride of the Ascension Church, the Sevananilayam will remain as his living tombstone (his heart is sleeping there) dispensing love, radiating energy and shielding desolates for years to come. Seavananilayam, his brain child, has grown big sheltering thousands after he had started it in 1980. If it’s growth has slackened in the progress chart in the after years it is the fault of the later administrations, not his, Still it will remain a beacon becasuse blessed is his work and Nilayam. That’s why.
And….. that’s why the Ascension church is in debt to him and bows its head in obligation and in utmost reverence. Yes, that’s why.
Adiós Thirumeny … dormir en paz. .. Good bye Thiirumeny…sleep in peace. Your work here is done…. very well….done.
NB: [It would be a befitting honour if a full portrait of this ‘Father of Sevananilayam’ be placed at a suitable place at the nilayam.] for future benefiters to thank and praise The Lord.
For Ascension church website - dilip cherian pallath