UP Catholic 12 07 2018 E Edition Page 2

2 December 7, 2018 THE U.P. CATHOLIC www.upcatholic.org BY CAROL HOLLENBECK THE U.P. CATHOLIC We are in a season of change, as autumn transi- tions into winter. Somehow, it always seems to catch us by surprise. Change can be like that. We can hardly imagine greater change than what Fa- ther Gracious Pulimoottil is experiencing as he settles into his new assign- ments in the Keweenaw. Fa- ther Gracious relocated from a village in In- dia in October. He is assigned as parochial vicar (associate pastor) of Our Lady of Peace Parish, Ahmeek; Sacred Heart Parish, Calumet; St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Calumet; Our Lady of the Pines Mission, Copper Harbor; and Holy Redeemer Mission, Eagle Harbor. He will be appointed pastor in January when Fa- ther Abraham Mupparathara becomes pastor of Holy Spirit Parish in Menominee. Father Gracious was raised in a village about 3 miles from the burial site of St. Alphonsa, the first Indian saint. He is fourth of five siblings, and his oldest and youngest sisters became nuns. I was born in a village where Hindus are the majori- ty and then Christians. Mus- lims were less in number, he said. The people depended on agriculture, mainly rubber and milk production. There were around 600 families in my parish. Father Gracious attend- ed Catholic school and was active in church activities. I was an altar boy from fourth grade, soon after my First Holy Communion, he said. I was very calm and quiet as a boy, unlike today. So people thought that I may go for the priesthood. After 10th grade, he was asked to join the seminary. It was a time of joy for me, all through my seminary life, Father Gracious said. When- ever I thought about leaving the seminary, I experienced Gods unexpected interven- tions through people. I believe that God has a plan for all of us, and we should not try to ind our own way. So I always waited for a clear sign, and it ended up with my ordina- tion. Father Gracious joined the Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, where he met Father Abraham Mup- parathara, who became his spiritual mentor. He gradu- ated from Bangalore Univer- sity with degrees in arts and philosophy, and from Papal Seminary, Pune, with a degree in theology. After his ordination, Fa- ther Gracious was appointed associate pastor in Anand, popularly known as the Milk Capital of India. Then, he was assigned as pastor and prin- cipal at a school in Surat, the famous diamond city of India. Later, he was assigned as fi- nancial manager of his orders Theological Major Seminary in Calicut, Kerala, for three years. There, he was also in charge of construction at the institute for a year. Father Gracious has been a priest for nine years. My parish ministries gave me a clear idea of the priesthood and the great responsibilities of a priest, he said. The Lord planned my reunion with Father Abraham here as his associate and to continue my pastoral responsibilities in our community. The move to the United States was not something Father Gracious had thought of. I didnt intend to come to the U.S. before I was asked to go by my superior, he said. I obeyed the order, and came to the Diocese of Marquette. I had a prayer in my mind that God would send me to a good parish so that I can survive, and when I received the news of my appointment, I really thanked him for his grace. So far, his biggest surprises have been the fall colors and living in snow, he said. I am excited to be in the Diocese of Marquette, and I will work here as long as God wants me to, he said. Its a plea- sure to be among the people here, and I am sure your prayers, love and support will strengthen me to serve you better. I always compare myself with a pen, Father Gracious said. Its not a pen who decides what to write, but the writer. If the pen is filled with ink and ready to be used, the writer can write great works. So my prayer to God is to take me as a pen in his hands, and ill me with the ink of the Holy Spirit to use me as he wants. The BBA will match all donations for the Educational Center up to $10,000. Dewitt Church Goods Inc. Contact Dennis, Don or Michael for all your Vestment needs. sales@ dewittchurchgoods.com 1-866-950-3378 From India to the U.P.: Diocese welcomes Father Gracious Rev. Gracious Pulimoottil, MCBS COURTESY PHOTO Father Gracious Pulimoottil with middle school youth from the Keweenaw Catholic Community during the See the See youth rally last month. Father Gracious recently relocated from India.

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