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BR. PATRAS KERKETTA, S.J. (1942-2009)

Posted on: 17 Jan, 2024 | Modified on: 28 Apr, 2024

By Fr. Augustine Kujur

"I have fought the good fight to the end: I have run the race to the finish. I have kept the faith: all there is to come for me now in the crown of uprightness which the Lord, the upright judge will give to me on that day." (2 Tim: 4:7-8a). The above lines fit well in Patras' life as he had retired just a few months ago after nearly forty years of service as an educationist. He had a real fight between life and death as he suffered complicated physical ailments for many years and especially during the last days of his life. He fought like a brave soldier but his condition worsened day by day. He breathed his last on 5th August, 2009 at the Holy Family Hospital, Mandar at around 8.15.

Bro. Patras was born on 12th July 1942 in Parkala village of Kurdeg Parish. He did his Primary School in Sacred Heart Middle School Kurdeg and went to Rengarih for his High School studies. After the matriculation he joined the Society of Jesus as a coadjutor brother in 1963. After having finished his classical Juniorate from St. Stanislaus College, Sitagarha he was sent to St. Mary's Samtoli as Ad Omnia for two years. In 1972 he was appointed the headmaster of St. Ignatius Middle School Gumla but he was transferred to St. John's Ranchi the following year. He was the headmaster of St. John's from 1973 to 1978. In 1979 he was sent to Shembagnoor for tertianship. He pronounced his final vows in 1980. Then he went to St. Mary's Samtoli as an assistant teacher for two years. In 1983 he was appointed the headmaster of St. Michael's Middle School Khunti where he rendered service for 25 years. He retired in December, 2008.

One must wonder at his learning spirit backed by his hard work. When he joined the Society he was just a matriculate. But he gained practically all the education qualifications for teaching. He did his I.A. in 1977 and B.A. in 1980 as a private student. Seeing his good performance in studies he was sent to Xavier's College Kolkotta for his B.Ed. studies. He passed B.Ed. in 1982. No wonder, he also optained M.A. degree in political science as a private student. All of us, and especially the younger generation must learn from him, 'where there is a will, there is a way' and also 'hard work is the key to success'.

Bro. Patras was a natural leader. His leadership quality saw him as the President of Primary Minority Shikshak Sangh. He held this post from 1999 till his death. He will also be remembered for promoting games and sports wherever he worked. Munna-Munni Tournaments of today must be credited to him.

May Almighty God reward him with Eternal bliss in His Kingdom.