Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
You may recall that Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil , a Salesian priest from Kerala, India, was serving as Chaplain to the Missionaries of Charity Sisters in Yemen. On March 4, 2016, a group of unidentified gunmen barged into the care home for the elderly, run by the Sisters of Mother Teresa, killing 16 persons including four nuns. Fr. Tom was abducted. What followed was 557 days in rather lonely captivity in some unknown locations until he was released on September 12, 2017.
With heartfelt gratitude to God and to all who supported him in prayer, I would like to invite you to a Mass and reception on the occasion of Fr. Tom’s visit to St. John Vianney, Walnut Creek. On September 29th, he will be celebrating the 5pm mass in our Parish Church followed by a reception in Mullen Commons.
If you are not able to make this Mass, there is another opportunity for you to listen to Fr. Tom on September 30th at the 12.00 noon Mass in the Cathedral of Christ the Light as he concelebrates with Bishop Barber.
At both venues, Fr. Tom will sign copies of his autobiography. To learn more about Fr. Tom's book, click here.
On a personal note, may I add that Tom and I are classmates from the year 1976 when we joined the Salesian seminary in South India up-to our year of ordination in 1990. Together we made our religious vows on May 24th, 1979 and together we were ordained in 1990. We’ve grown together and known each other all these years, and I wish I could articulate the sense of relief and joy at Tom’s release.
I’ve no doubt that Tom’s testimony will be inspirational as he narrates his life as a hostage and his God-experience in the midst of blood and gunfire around him. His book is a classic testimonial to the truth that the Lord hears our prayers and answers them in His own good time.
Together with you, I joyfully welcome Fr. Tom to our Parish Community and request him to pray with us and bless us. I invite you to come for the 5pm mass on Saturday Sept. 29th and meet Fr. Tom to blessed by him, and to in turn bless him.
God is good - all the time, and in and through all things, His love endures!
Fr. William Rosario