A joyful homecoming
Recently ordained priest Kensy Joseph SJ celebrates his birthday today among friends and family in India, where he is enjoying a summer break.
Kensy has received a very warm welcome from former colleagues and students, and parishioners at his family’s parish of St Martin de Porres, Palarivattom, in Kerala, south west India, where he celebrated mass in Malayalam for the first time.
During his visit to the parish, the parish youth group persuaded Kensy to be the subject of a video about his vocation story. After doing very well in school Kensy took a degree in Computer Science and Engineering at IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Mumbai, one of the top Universities in India. The young people were fascinated with how a graduate of a prestigious university, who then entered a well-paid profession, should change tracks so dramatically to become a priest.
In the bi-lingual video (English -Malayalam) "The Priest from IIT" they celebrate the story of Kensy’s journey in faith and pose the question:
“If you graduated from one of the top institutes in the country, if you got placed in one of the best companies in the world, when you are blessed with everything you need, how far will you go for faith?”
Kensy talks about the formative experience of the Gujarat riots (2002) and the debates about religion which then gripped intellectual circles. As a member of a minority religion this prompted him to explore and discover the “deep intellectual foundation” of his Catholic faith.
He also talks about other “inspiring Christian examples” including his own parents.
The regional newspaper Deepika has also picked up the story and ran a headline “from cushy job to enlightened priesthood”.
Before his ordination Kensy talked about the appeal of Ignatian spirituality. While working in financial services he began to ask himself the question: What is it that God wants me to do with my life? “this seemed to me the most natural way of praying”, Kensy commented and “I wanted to join this grand adventure” of the Jesuit priesthood. This led Kensy to enter the novitiate of the Jesuits in Britain in 2007.
Kensy will be returning to the UK next month in order to take up his new ministry as school chaplain to St Aloysius College in Glasgow.