Fr Antonyraj P – Vicar General and Cathedral Rector Called to Heavenly Home
MAY 21, 2021:

Fr. Antonyraj P. - Vicar General and Rector of St. St Anthony’s Cathedral, Ballari was called to his heavenly abode at 6.20 pm on May 20 at St. John’s Medical College Hospital, Bangalore.

He was 68 years of age and 41 years a priest.

He was tested Covid+ and was admitted to St John’s Hospital, Bangalore 14 April. Soon he was put on ventilator and continued to battle for life. He was called to his eternal home at on.

An exceptionally committed pastor, Fr Anthonyraj has been the Vicar General of the Bellary Diocese and Rector of the Cathedral for the last two years.

Earlier he served as Rector of the Bellary Arogya Mathe Shrine (2000-2009) and Diocesan Finance Officer (2009-2014).

Fr. Antonyraj was a holy, hard working priest and an excellent orator.

During his tenure as Rector of Bellari Arogya Mathe Shrine, which is a popular diocesan Marian shrine, he built the Stations of the Cross and the Grottoes of the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, started the Catholic Enquiry Center and conducted number of Charismatic retreats where in thousands of people participated enthusiastically.

As the priest burning with missionary zeal and compassion, he pioneered the Cross Pilgrimage, during which he visited every nook and corner of the diocese to bring Christ’s Good News in the year of Great Jubilee of Our Lord in 2000.

Through Bhagavathvani mobile unit he had conducted village evangelization, proclaiming the Good News in remote villages of the diocese.

He also initiated the diocesan Catechists Training Programme, trained 20 catechists at Christhashrama at Sindhanoor (1984-1994).

He started Holy Family School and children’s boarding at Sindhanur in 1990. He was the Diocesan Director for Evangelization, Bible, Liturgy and Catechists’ formation and brought new life into those commissions.

He was a zealous missionary and the pioneer in starting the Karatgi Mission. Wherever he served, he strengthened faith of the people and ardent love of Lord Jesus.

As the Rector of Bellary Arogya Mathe Shrine, he sowed the seeds of devotion to Mother Mary in hundreds of hearts. Every stone and plant of the Shrine would certainly speak of his piety and his great lover of nature.

His other pastoral assignments: Mudgal (1981-84), Sindhanur (1984-94), Director St. Antony’s Pastoral Center (1994-99), Karnataka Regional Secretary, Christha Jeyanthi & Rathyatra (1999-2000), Rector of Bellary Arogya Mathe Shrine (2000-2009), Diocesan Finace Officer (2009-2014), Kartigi (2014-2019) and Vicar General & Rector, St. Antony’s Cathedral (2019- 2021).

He had served the Lord like the wise steward of the Gospel whole heartedly and worked hard despite many difficulties and challenges.

He had a simple life style, satisfied with minimum facilities but committed to mission and hard work.

He had been suffering from pneumonia and was very seriously ill in 2014. Since then his health weakened, but that didn’t deter his burning zeal for the Lord.

On April 12, he was admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Ballari. On being tested Covid +, he was admitted in Trauma Care Center, a Multi Specialty Hospital.

On April 14, he was shifted to St. John’s Medical College Hospital. All through the treatment, his health condition was a metter of great concern.

Fr. Antonyraj was born on 21st June 1953 and died on …….. in the year dedicated of St. Joseph the Patron of Happy Death.

He was born at Kilacheri, Kanchipuram District Tamilnadu to P. Innaiah and Kitheriammal. He has a elder brother and a sister.

He had his primary education at St. Igantious Primary School, at Kilacheri and Secondary School Don Bosco Apostolic High School, Pannur. He was graduated from St. Loyala College, Chennai.

He was ordained for the Diocese of Bellary on 19 January 1981. His other priest companions are Frs. Gnanapragasam T. and Lourdu Marianna. His companions Frs. Mark Gonsalves and Pushparaj P. have already gone ahead of him.

“Fr. Anthonyraj was an ecumenical man and deeply committed to inter-religious fraternity”, said Bishop Henry D’Souza. He hardly missed any ecumenical and inter-religious meetings. He organized them and participated enthusiastically”, stated Bishop of Bellary.

He was an excellent host to all the priests and religious. With an abiding love for senior priests, he cared for them He was a good friend to all the priests and religious and an understanding companion. Priests gratefully remember the Holy Land Pilgrimage organized by him.

May the Eternal Good Shepherd, welcome Fr Anthonyraj, “Come good and faithful pastor”!

Our sincere and prayerful sympathies to his family members and friends and assure them of our continued prayers.

Our Patron
St Anthony of Padua