February 19, 2015 shall be written with golden letters in the history of Jesu Ashram. Not only because this is a birthday of Fr. Julius Kujur, but and on this day Fr. Julius was given a very warm farewell by Jesu Ashram Family after his long fourteen years of selfless service to the destitute and the poor.
Since early morning we began with singing and wishing him for his birthday and in the afternoon all the staff, students and patients gathered in front of the Leprosy ward to celebrate Holy Eucharist with Fr. Julius being the main celebrant. It was a very emotional moment for everyone present. There was a rather long and elaborate farewell program very meticulously prepared by the staff, students and patients as well. Everyone wanted to express their feelings and sentiments by singing, dancing or by giving a speech. It was very clear people were expressing their sincere gratitude to a person who has loved and cared for them for many many years. Fr. Julius thanked all the staff members, students and co-workers for support and dedicated service. He also asked them to support and co-operate with Fr. Pramod and his team. Fr. Julius also thanked all our benefactors and well-wishers like SoS-India for their support and generosity. He expressed his gratitude towards the patients for their love and respect. The program ended with a fellowship tea for all.
In the evening it was a time for all the religious community of Matigara to bid farewell to Fr. Julius. Many Fathers, Brothers and Sisters came to wish him good bye including Fr. Kinley, our Provincial. Fr. Kinley acknowledged and appreciated dedicated service and hard work of Fr. Julius. He said that Brother Bob is a founder of Jesu Ashram, and Fr. Julius is a Second Founder of Jesu Ashram.
On February 20, 2015 after our morning Mass as usual we gathered around the grave of Br. Bob to pray. At that very moment Fr. Julius lighted a candle and handed it over to Fr. Pramod. A very symbolic gesture rooted in the tradition of Jesu Ashram. Fr. Julius explained that while handing over Jesu Ashram to him, Br. Bob gave a lighted candle to him saying, “Jesu Ashram is like a light. Let the light shine.” And now it was his turn to hand over the same light to the next person. I think that was a very beautiful and symbolic gesture of Fr. Julius which spoke volumes.
Fr. Pramod mentioned that living and working for two years with Fr. Julius He has learned many things. He acknowledges that it is very challenging and responsible task to work at Jesu Ashram. And surely He needs prayerful support of many well-wishers who are part of this great legacy.
Fr. Pramod Dabhi