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BR. SULEMAN DUNGDUNG, S.J. (1938 - 2010)

Posted on: 1 Dec, 2014

Modified on: 1 Dec, 2014

By Raymond Kerketta, S.J

On November 18, 2010, Br. Suleman passed away at Holy Family Hospital, Mandar. He was admitted there
for various health complications due to high Blood Pressure and diabetes. Two of the fingers in his right foot were amputated a few months back as the wounds therein indicated malignancy. In the last phase of his life, he developed a severe breathing problem.

Br. Suleman was born in 1938 at Chirodanr under Jampany parish about 16 kms south of Simdega in a devout Catholic family. His elder brother, late Fr. Marcus was a diocesan priest. His younger sister Martha is a nun in the Ursuline Congregation. He did his early schooling in the parish school. For his High School studies he came to St. Mary's, Samtoli. It was here that he came in close contact with the late Fr. Joe Moens who became his mentor. Probably Suleman was needed at home. He could not pursue his further studies and helped the family at home.

After some time, Fr. Moens learnt about it and called him to Samtoli where he helped the Father. Later on he told some of his companions that he also worked as a mason in St. Mary's, Samtoli. His commitment, hardworking and sense of service so attracted Fr. Moens that he advised him to join the Society if he desired. Suleman responded to his advice promptlyOn December 15, 1970, he joined the Novitiate for Brotherhood at St. Stanislaus' College (SSC), Sitagarha with his other companions - comparatively younger than himself. He was already in his 32. After his First Vows in 1972 and Juniorate therein, he was sent to ATC, Namkum for two years of intensive training in Agriculture. He returned to SSC, and became the in-charge of the huge farm and the kitchen there from 1976 to 1993. Meanwhile he did his tertianship as well. When the Ranchi Province handed the whole College at Sitagarha over to the Hazaribag Province, Br. Suleman too was transferred to Manresa House, Ranchi, equally large community and where he continued to give his service in the same capacity till 1999. His last apostolic community was St. Michael's Residence, Khunti. By then his health was gradually deteriorating. For more than a year, his sickness kept him away from the community; - he recuperated either in Manresa House, orin the hospitals.

Suleman is remembered as a very committed Religious. Br. Isidore Ekka, Minister of Manresa House, Ranchi his Novitiate companion, recalls that Suleman was an introvert type; he disliked being in the crowd. So much so, in his later years he preferred to make his annual retreat all alone. But he had tremendous dedication to his responsibilities. He enjoyed serving his community members. Taking care of the farm was his forte. Remaining in constant touch with mother earth had made him more sensitive to life. He cared for his co-workers and their families and they too loved him.

He was deeply spiritual. Fidelity to his spiritual duties was indeed inspiring to all. His childlike devotion to the Blessed Mother was quite obvious. Moreover, the love for the Society was deeply ingrained in his heart. The life of this simple Brother of ours has indeed proved that the greatness of a person consists not in what one does but how he/she does. May God reward His faithful servant with life everlasting in His Kingdom.