KOTTAYAM: The colossal oak tree that stood like a sentinel and shield to the Malankara Church from among her lay leaders, P.C. Abraham Padinjarekkara (89) passed away in the wee hours of Tuesday, April 13th, 2010. He served the Malankara Church in capacities of Working Committee Member, Managing Committee Member, Sabha Secretary and Lay Trustee for about six decades. The funeral services will begin on Thursday, April 15th at 3.00 pm at Puthenpalli cemetery, Kottayam. Beyond his selfless services to his mother Church he was also a flourished industrialist and a successful businessman to the mercantile body of Kottayam.
“P.C. Abraham was the ideal son of Malankara Sabha, who served the Church and the society commendably”, condoled the Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Didymus I.
Catholicos Elect Paulose Mar Milithios reached to his home to officially pay the last homage of the Church to the valiant son of Malankara Church as well as to the bereaved family. “P.C. Abraham had a noble personality that toiled hard with true obligation to the Church, protected the tradition, and worked in tandem with many fathers of our Church”, stated the future Catholicos.
“At critical points in time P.C. Abraham Padinjarekkara provided courageous and daring leadership from among the lay people. All his services and all the miseries that he had endured are assets to the Church”, said the Secretary of the Holy Episcopal Synod, Dr. Mathews Mar Severios.
“P.C. Abraham Padinjarekkara, the former Lay Trustee, who served the Church for pretty long period, passed away. He loved the Church selflessly .He worked for her welfare and progress in every way. He was a strong and courageous lay leader of the Church. May his soul rest in peace”, said Metropolitan Mathews Mar Barnabas of Northeast American Diocese in a special telephone interview to IOH.
“During the times of tempest P.C. Abraham Padinjarekkara contributed excellent leadership to the Church in various capacities and in a commendable way though. The young generation shall know that it was against his name that the Catholicate Palace, Devalokam was bought. When the litigations were over and peace was established, he amended the ownership of Catholicate Palace to the Church in 1958. Such bold and courageous lay leadership is that the Church looks forward to in the 21st Century”, said Alexios Mar Eusebius, Metropolitan of the Diocese of South West America.
“At crisis situations in life of the Church P.C. Abraham Padinjarekkara afforded bold lay leadership”, remembered Dr. George Joseph, the Sabha Secretary.
P.C. Abraham Padinjarekkara walked with the modern history of Malankara Church. He could hand out the affairs of the Church under four Catholicoi, namely Baselios Geevarghese II, Baselios Augen I, Baselios Marthoma Mathews I, and Baselios Marthoma Mathews II.
P.C. Abraham was born on August 22nd, 1922 as son of Padinjarekkara Puthenparambil E.K. Chacko, Puthenangadi, Kottayam and Thayyil Kandathil Mrs. Annamma, who was also sister of K.C. Mamman Mappila.
He studied at Puthenangadi St. Thomas Primary School, M.D. Seminary High School, C.M.S. College, Kottayam, and Madras Christian College. He could not complete B.A. studies for the students en block decided to quit English examinations as part of Quit-India Movement. Thereafter he studied for B.Com and L.L.B. at Lucknow.
Abraham was very much inspired by the love and commitment of his maternal uncle K.C. Mammen Mappila to his mother Church. He maintained that commitment until his last breath.
There was fear among all the Church leaders that Malankara Church would lose Old Seminary in litigations with the patriarchal faction. An efficient leadership of laymen under the leadership of K.C. Mammen Mappila gathered Rs. 111,000.00 in one day. Legal experts advised that the Catholicate Palace shall be bought under the name of a person, who had no debts. It was no one, but 29 year old P.C. Abraham Padinjarekkara, who was destined to step-in in the slot.
He became Managing Committee Member in 1960 and served as a member of the Planning Committee of the Church.
He became Sabha Secretary in 1966 and continued there until 1980. It was during this time that the New Complex in Old Seminary as well as M.D. Commercial Centre etc. were completed.
He visited important cities like Athens, Romania, Nairobi, Rome, Moscow, and London with various Church dignitaries. He had also visited United States.
P.C. Abraham Padinjarekkara is survived by his wife. Vayalil Parambil Anna Abraham, and sons Satheesh Abraham, Mohan Abraham and daughter Annamma Mathew.