The faculty of Suvidya College organized a symposium in remembrance of and as a sign of gratitude to our dear Fr. Gabriel at Suvidya College on 08th December, 2015. The symposium began at 9.00 a.m. with an inaugural session.
Fr. Joy Mampally, the Rector & President, welcoming the gathering, said that the symposium which is the first of its kind, would take us back to the good moments lived with Fr. Gabriel. It is celebrating the very person and not just certain aspects of his life alone. Fr. Gabriel confronted uncertainties and dared to dream big with definite vision and had tremendous love for nature and walked the untrodden path and left a trail behind, which continues to inspire us.
Fr. R. Santhosh Kumar, introducing the Symposium, said Fr. Gabriel had spread words of cheer and encouragement. The legacy of his intellectual contribution is to be recalled, recounted and emulated. He was the epitome of knowledge and wisdom. Intellectual culture of Suvidya finds its roots in Fr. Gabriel.
In his musings on Fr. Gabriel, Very Rev. Fr. Superior General said that Suvidya’s history could be divided into two periods: Gabriel Era and Post Gabriel Era – the history of those who have experienced him and those who have heard about him. He never claimed to be perfect and respected everyone’s viewpoint. He had a contemplative mind and not a calculative mind.
Speaking on the occasion, Rev. Fr. A. Dharmaraj, our Provincial Superior said that Fr. Gabriel’s single-minded devotion to intellectual pursuits elevated him to a self-made theologian.
After the coffee break at 10.30 a.m., there were two sessions on the philosophical contributions of Fr. Gabriel from 11.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. Fr. George Panthanmackel spoke on Fr. Gabriel’s notion of being and Fr. Thomas Kalariparambil spoke on Fr. Gabriel’s philosophical acumen.
After the lunch break at 12.30 p.m., there were two sessions on Fr. Gabriel’s theological contributions from 2.00 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. Rev. Fr. Jacob Parappally spoke on Fr. Gabriel’s insights on the New Testament and Fr. Stanislaus, professor at St. Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bengaluru, spoke on Fr. Gabriel’s insights on the Old Testament.
After the tea break at 3.30 p.m., there were last two sessions from 04.00 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. on Fr. Gabriel and his contribution to the MSFS. Fr. George Parampukattil spoke on Fr. Gabriel’s impact on the MSFS Congregation and Fr. Antony Mookenthottam spoke on Fr. Gabriel as an MSFS Religious Priest.
Fr. Jolly Chakkalakkal, as the M.C. for the whole programme, did a good job. The Symposium on Rev. Fr. Gabriel solemnly ended at 5.30 p.m.
It was indeed a wonderful experience to have heard so many prominent people speaking on a person who made a great impact on the life of others with his simple lifestyle and intellectual contributions.
The faculty of Suvidya College deserves our praise and appreciation for the initiative, the good arrangement and the way the symposium was organized. The staff and students of Suvidya College, religious and priests nearby, staff and brothers from Tejas, superiors of the study houses, few priests from South-West India Province and a number of priests form our South-East India Province were present for the symposium.
In the opinion of all, the symposium was a big success in making Fr. Gabriel known to the gathering especially to those who had neither heard of him nor seen him. The orations on Fr. Gabriel were vastly enriching and all the speakers of the day did well and were successful in making Fr. Gabriel live amidst all of us.
Hats off to Suvidya College and the resource persons of the Symposium for their commendable job! Thanks to all!
Bro. M. Joseph Anish Kumar