Archbishop Presides Mass for Oldest Priest of Bangalore Archdiocese
Bengaluru, Feb 14: It was Valentines’ day for the world but for Rev. Fr. N C Joseph, it was his 92nd Birthday (Born 14th Feb 1924). Archbishop Dr. Bernard Moras presided over Holy Mass while Fr. N. C Joseph, the oldest priest of the Archdiocese, concelebrated along with 15 priests, nuns, seminarians and laity at the Clergy Home Chapel in the Archbishops House. Commenting on the day’s readings the Archbishop said “God created us in His own image so it is important for us to review our lives and see if we are living up to the image of God. He loves us immensely and has created also to serve Him by serving others”. “It is a happy occasion for us to celebrate the 92nd birthday of the senior-most priest of this Archdiocese, Fr. NC Joseph who has served this Archdiocese for many decades” A fellowship breakfast followed after the birthday celebrant cut the cake and was greeted by the Archbishop with a bouquet of flowers. Fr. N. C. Joseph was ordained on 20th December 1952 and is presently residing at the Clergy Home in the Archbishops House, a home for retired priests in the Archbishops’ House. Fr. Joseph is the twin brother of Fr. Mathew who served in Vishakapatanam diocese but passed away few years ago.
Vocation Story: Fr. NC Joseph:
In a tete-e-tete with Fr. Adolf Washington after the Holy Mass, Fr. Joseph recalled joyfully and quite vividly his early years of priesthood. “When I was in 6th Form at School, I used to be impressed by my Parish Priest in Velichiyani, my hometown. Scores of people would come to him with tooth, eye, skin, cough and cold ailments seeking some reprieve and cure. He would dole out herbs and some medicinal concoctions prepared from medicinal plants and also pray over them”. He adds “Many were cured and I began to feel a liking for the Priesthood”. Fr. Joseph recalls how later he managed to get a book on natural remedies for curing sickness and disease and began reading it with much curiosity. “The book was in my possession for many years and I would read it often and try to make the medicines. I learnt from my parish priest that prevention is always better than cure and so intake of such herbal products is important to prevent sickness” he adds with a smile. Thankfully, Fr. NC Joseph enjoys fairly good health for his age and is in the watchful care of the in-house nuns of the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master (PDDM).
‘Fr. N.C’ as he is fondly called recalls “I schooled at Church Mission School in Velichiyani in Kerala, though not a Roman Catholic school, missionary priests from the North would come recruiting High school students for the seminary. I desired to become a Jesuit. They recruited me and I went to Hazaribagh in the North but could not adjust to the food so opted to join a diocese in the south. My brother joined Vizag and I joined Bangalore”. On his formation and priestly ministry, he says “Strict discipline was given very much importance in formation. Priestly ministry was very challenging, with limited means of transport, I had to walk long distances to carry out my pastoral ministry. On the whole ministry was very fulfilling. Priestly ministry was very challenging and we generally lived a simple life style”. Fr. ‘N.C’ is born to Nallnerupil Chandy and Alice in a family of 6 brothers and 4 sisters. When asked about his twin brother, he smiles and says “We are twins but my brother Mathew was born 5 minutes earlier”.