Father Chunkarapura SDB is appointed Rector in Rome, Italy

KOLKATA, India – Returning from a summer camp for street children at Bongaon on the Indo-Bangladesh border, the former vice-provincial of Calcutta province, Fr Jose Chunkapura received the news of his appointment as Rector of Don Rua, one of three International student communities at the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) Rome. Fr Maria Arokiam (INM) was appointed to the post earlier but did not take charge as he was elected Regional for South Asia. Fr Chunkapura is expected to take charge in September, after month-long lectures (August) at Sacred Heart Theological College (SHTC) Shillong. He succeeds Fr. Juan Luquero of Madrid province who has been Rector for 7 years.

Fr Chunkapura started his priestly ministry as Vice-Rector and Teacher at Don Bosco Vidyaniketan Kalyanai (DBVK) the National Post Novitiate Training centre for the Salesian Brothers as well as assistant parish priest at Kalyani (1982-86).

He is a professor with Pastoral Heart. After obtaining a Master`s degree in Theology from Gregorian University Rome with a thesis on “Reincarnation and Christian Eschatology,“ Fr Chunkapura was lecturer at SHTC (1991-92). As research scholar in Santiniketan (of Nobel laureate Tagore`s fame) Fr Chunkapura completed his Bachelor`s degree in Bengali language. He returned to the Gregorian (1992-96) and completed PhD on The God of Rabindranath Tagore (an evolution of his understanding of God, drawing from many religions). Visvabharati University Calcutta published his book under the same title.

After lecturing in SHTC Shillong (1996-98) and at Oriens Theological College Shillong (1998-2002) Fr Chunkapura was rector at DBVK and visiting professor at SHTC. As vice-provincial of Calcutta province (2002-2008) he was into retreat ministry for religious and priests and teachers and catechists and young people in both English and Bengali languages. He has also conducted retreats and spiritual animation programmes for Christians as well as teachers of other faiths in several Calcutta schools. Seminars on Tagore`s education and spirituality are his area of specialization.

While in SHTC Shillong, he started a work for disabled children (CARING), later on co-founded the society for the welfare of disabled children. Today that Society runs several schools for the disabled as well as provides medical assistance for poor disabled children in Shillong.

There are some Indians leading Communities in Italy. Fr Stephen Kuncherakkat (INM) currently teaching at Ratisbonne international Theologate in Jerusalem was the Rector of San Tomasso UPS Deacons` Community (1997-2003). Fr Abraham Kavalakatt (INM) in the Italian Tuscany province for many years is currently serving as Rector of the Salesian Community of Prato for the last few years. Earlier Fr Anthony Francis Vincent (INM) professor of pastoral theology at UPS, was Vice-Rector of the Gerini Theologate community for a few years way back in the 1990s. Fr. Chunkapura too was vice-Rector for a period while a student in Testaccio (1992-96).

One Response

  1. Very nice!!

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