For years I have been compiling a calendar of witnesses to holiness, justice, and peace. I try to find a quote attributed to the person. I use this calendar as part of my morning prayer – a sort of modern martyrology.
Today I have an entry for a Jesuit from India who was disappeared and killed, most probably for his work with untouchables.
Fr. Thomas T. Anchaninkal, S.J. (1951-1997), [known as A.T. Thomas], was disappeared in the state of Bihar, India, on October 24, 1997. His body was found decapitated about two days later.
I had noted a quote of an interview, but I have not been able to find any other information. He is one of the obscure witnesses to the Love and Justice of the Reign of God.
In the interview he is quoted as saying:
“when one works for the poor, these [the possibilities of being killed] are the things which one has to face. Jesus would not have died on the cross if he had not made the option for the poor. He would have died from a heart attack. Jesus made the option for the poor and he inspires me to do the same.”
His life is obscure – but his commitment to the outsiders calls me to deepen my commitment.
I don’t expect to be martyred as he was, but I do feel the call to move to deeper solidarity with the poor.
For this reason, as I have noted in another blog I have, next year I am moving – primero, Dios – to live in an aldea [a rural village] to better serve the poor in the parish of Dulce Nombre de María, Copán, Honduras.
Here’s a picture of the church in the village: