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SCH. JOSEPH BENEDICT PURTY, S.J. (1978 - 2010)

Posted on: 1 Dec, 2014

Modified on: 1 Dec, 2014

By Raymond Kerketta, S.J

Joseph Benedict was born on February 09, 1978 in a large Catholic family of Charbinda village under Anandpur parish. Third among his six brothers and one sister, Joseph did his primary and middle schools at St. Joseph's,
Charbinda. There was neither study atmosphere nor were there good schools in the locality. The parents wanted to give a good education to their children. With this motive in mind, the family moved from there and settled down in Goilkera, now a mission station. For High School studies,he joined St. Joseph's, Torpa, a diocesan apostolic school in 1994. He passed his matriculation in first division and opted to join St. Aloysius' Minor Seminary as a Jesuit candidate. He did his I.A. from SXC, Ranchi and went to Jeevan Deep, Pre-Novitiate, Khunti. He joined the Jesuit Novitiate, Ashirvad Namkum in 2001. After his First Vows in 2003, he went to XTTI, Patna for his Classical Juniorate. For University studies, he came back to SXC, Ranchi and did his B.A. Hons. With this he proceeded for his philosophical studies at DNC, Pune in 2007.

It was during his philosophy that Joseph showed a keen sense of mission especially among the early formees. In fact, he inspired quite a few boys and girls from his village to take their studies seriously and also to join for priesthood or religious life. He was happy to get his regency at Jeevan Deep, Khunti as an Asst. Director in 2009, a place where he was once a pre-novice himself. When the Pre-Novitiate at Khunti was phased out in June 2010, Joseph was sent to St. John's Apostolic School, Samtoli for his 2nd year of regency. Besides looking after the apostolic boys there, he was also a full-time assistant teacher in St. Mary's High School.

To all who knew, Joseph was an enthusiastic and promising young man. Within a short span of life here on earth, he showed a deep sense of commitment. He was very generous to give himself either as a teacher or a companion. Though he was gifted, he was open to learn from others. His love for his students was quite genuine. Those who were weak benefited his special care and attention. Music and games were some of his hobbies. While teaching these to his students, one could see his sense of perfection. At times, he gave the impression that he had difficulty to say 'no'. However, his sense of service was remarkable. Recalling that he would be the first Jesuit priest from his village, he often expressed joy to be in theright place.

For some time Joseph was suffering from dry cough and congestion in his chest due to it. Little did he or any of us realize that it could be a serious matter. During the Puja vacation, he came to Ranchi by himself for check-up. Br. Stephen Kandir accompanied him to Seva Nilay, Ara Gate where he was admitted. Seeing no improvement there, he was rushed to Prabhavati Hospital in the city. Diagnosis revealed that his lung had accumulated much watery substance. He was put in the ICU, kept there for weeks. Gradually a little improvement was seen. So he was shifted to the general ward. All expected well until it was reported that he was also having jaundice. He was shifted back to the ICU. This phase proved too much for Joseph. The spirit with which he had been fighting all along seemed to give way. On Thursday, Nov. 18 at 12:30 a.m. Joseph Benedict Purty breathed his last leaving a host of his dear ones around in deep sorrow. May the Lord give eternal rest to Joseph.