Chennai – It was on Palm Sunday of March 2015 as I was getting ready to celebrate the Eucharist. An inner urge asked me, ‘Why don’t you serve and spend the remainder of your life in a poorer country than this?’. I ignored it, but it kept flashing into my mind, so after a few days I called my mentor and friend Fr. A Louis, of Anjali Ashram, to check if this inner voice was genuine. He discerned it so and suggested that I go to Papua New Guinea which is need of workers as the harvest was plentiful. After trying a few bishops, who rightly thought that my age was an impediment, I approached the Guanellians, whom I had known for the past 10 years and to whom the Thalavadi mission was entrusted, to find out if they were working in PNG.
It was then that I found out they had been invited to come and work in the Diocese of Gizo in Solomon Islands. Fr. Alphonso Crippa, Superior General in Rome, had accepted to open a mission there and they were looking for volunteers to pioneer the work. And when Frs. Luigi and Soosai Rathinam approached me with the proposal, I grabbed the opportunity and started praying and preparing for the mission.
Fr. Tony started his missionary journey from Chennai on May 4th. Frs. Mathias and Aroickia Raj of the Servants of Charity joined him in August.