We thank the Lord for the wonderful gift of Fr. James Kizhakkeyil through whom the parishioners at St. Sebastian’s Church, Udayamperoor experienced the love of Christ in the month of November 2016. The invitation of the Lord “to remain in his love” (Jn 15: 9) is actualized through the gift of Fr. James, who resounds with the new power of the Holy Spirit. The same spirit vibrates in us because of the person of Fr. James. We know from experience that his love for Christ urges him to strive towards holiness. His holiness is not based on extraordinary actions but in allowing Christ to act in him, and he helped us to be triggered by the same Christ. Fr. James has guided us to make His attitudes, thoughts and behavior our own. The measure of holiness increases, according to Fr. James, if the measure of Christ’s values in us is increased.
A parish, first and foremost, is a community of Christian faithful that is entrusted to a pastor. The basic and prime relationship in a parish is between the faithful and the pastor. Fr. James is very accommodative, understanding and approachable. His behavior style, simple nature, attitude of openness , ability to mingle with everybody etc. are very much admirable. He won the hearts of all with his innocent approach. His smiling presence, whether in the presbytery, at the church premises, or while visiting families, is very magnetic as Fr. Hormis Marottikudy had rightly pointed out in his thanksgiving speech.
His devotional Holy Mass created in us an experience of heavenly feelings. His preaching is extremely powerful, filled with the Holy Spirit. Fr. Hormis in his thanksgiving speech said that while he was with Fr. James one day after the morning Mass, a lady came forward and told them that she had changed much because of Fr. James’ homilies. At each Mass his short reflections on the Word of God and subsequent prayers were very effective and inspiring, and they helped us to spend the day gracefully. He conducted powerful adoration and prayer sessions which melted our hearts and helped us to raise our hearts and minds up to heaven. His availability at the confessional is admirable.
Fr. James was instrumental in bringing the Icon of Mother of Perpetual help to our parish which came from Rome. We were really lucky to have the Icon in the parish, through which we received many healings and blessings. St. Sebastian’s parishioners at Udayamperoor were blessed with his presence for a month. Even though he was with us just for a month, we felt as if he were with us for a year! His presence made such an impact in the parish. We pray that the Almighty strengthen him to continue to share the love of Christ to the world.
– Anila Jose Chaaliath