Monday, February 10, 2014

Fr John Khanna Goes Home to his Father

Fr . John Khanna (GUJ) 74/54 expired on 09 Feb 2014 at 10.30 p.m in Pilar Hospital,Baroda.
The funeral will be held at  4.00 p.m  in  St.Joseph's Baroda on 10  ( Monday)Feb 2014.
Please remember him in your prayers.
Fr.Lawrence Dharmaraj SJ

 Fr John Khanna 
Birth: 22-06-1940Entrance to SJ: 20-06-1960, Priesthood:24-03-1971, Last Vows: 14-11-1976, Death:09 Feb 2014.

Fr Khanna John did wonderfully well in handling variety of ministries ranging from being an Assistant Parish Priest to Province Consultor. He had held very many responsible posts such as Superior, Minister, School Manager, Province consultor and  Coordinator for Youth Ministry.  

John started his priestly life as an assistant parish priest in Khambhat. There he teamed up with the Behavioural Science Centre in conscientising the Dalit Christians against the exploitation and oppression by Darbars.  It was a painful but at the same time, consoling and an eye opening experience for John. From Khambhat, John moved to Vadodara St Joseph’s as a Parish Priest. The years at Vadodara were perhaps the most fulfilling years in John’s life as priest. He had clear pastoral vision. He wanted to make St Joseph’s a vibrant Christian community. Through patient and painstaking efforts, John succeeded in building the parish community, in getting the parishioners involved and committed to the parish and in forming perhaps the first parish pastoral council of the diocese in Gujarat.

John was gifted with a charming personality  very human, open, friendly, people oriented, caring, sincere and authentic. John was also witty and had many jokes to entertain his companions and friends. He was a transparent person and spoke out truth boldly. He was very creative and innovative in his ministry.  

John was an authentic and loyal Jesuit; he cherished his Jesuit vocation and enjoyed the companionship of other Jesuits in the Province. He had been a good community man, helped to bring people together and fostered community spirit.

John suffered from many serious health problems – high BP, weakened heart, kidney failure etc.  One young man asked him: “Father, how is that you got so many health complications?” John answered: ‘All do not get these blessings; only some chosen ones. I am the chosen one; Jesus and Mother Mary do take care of me through so many of my friends.’ John was a man of deep faith. He had accepted his many health problems in a very edifying way. He had learnt to gracefully hand over himself to the providence of God.

Ignatian ideals “Magis, Purity of  Intention and Union of hearts and mind” were very dear to him. He said often ‘these ideals make even greater sense today in his sickness and in his retirement”.  The sickness was a mysterious gift of God which he realized and often publicly acknowledged. He used to pray for the province during the time of dialysis twice a week for the last several years. He was never crippled down by his sickness. However the cross that he was carrying for the last four years became heavier day by day. Nevertheless, he took up his cross and followed Jesus patiently. Finally, he heard the call of his Creator; "Well done, you good and faithful servant!.. Come on in and share my happiness!"
Fr.Lawrence Dharmaraj s.j

Responsibilities Held;
Asst PP at Khambhat :1972-1975
Behavioural Science centre, Ahmadabad: 1976-1979
Parish Priest & Superior at St.Joseph’s Baroda: 1979-1991
PP at Khambhat: 1991-1993
Consultor to the Provincial: 1992-1995
Minister at Premal Jyoti, Ahmedabad:1993-1994
PP at Vadtal: 1994-1995
Ashadeep Coordinator, Vidyanagar: 1996-1997
Asst PP at Bhiloda:1997-1998
PP and Superior at Vyara: 1998-2001
Minister cum Superior at Nagara, Khambhat: 2002-2007
PP at Matar: 2007-2008
Asst PP and Counselor at St.Joseph’s, Baroda: 2009-2012
Infirmary, Baroda:2012- 2013

With best wishes and in Union of Prayers,
Socius- Gujarat Province
Fr.Lawrence Dharmaraj

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