The priest from Kannur who found his destiny in Japan

Untitled design - 4
Sali is the first Indian Chancellor of Sophia School Corporation, Japan. Photo: Special arrangement.

Kannur: When Father Sali Augustine, a 55 year old Jesuit priest from Edoor in Kannur arrived in Japan for missionary work more than two decades ago, he did not have the faintest idea that this country would hold a destiny in store for him. He is currently the vice-chancellor of Sophia University, the oldest Catholic university in Japan and Chancellor of Sophia school corporation. Being the first Indian to be appointed as the Vice chancellor of Sophia University, Sali Augustine was recently in his hometown.

He acknowledges the limitations in missionary work in a country where a good percentage of population is non-religious. ''Majority of the people in Japan don't belong to institutional religion. So there are limitations in missionary work. So we focus on education and spreading knowledge among the people of Japan. I have learnt Japanese and done Theology in the same language. I started my teaching career at a school here and later shifted to the University. I have been teaching them in Japanese and they are so compassionate and respectful towards me as a person from another country teaching them in their language,'' Fr Sali said.

He did his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Calicut and Philosophy from Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth in Pune. Subsequently, he graduated from the Faculty of Theology, Sophia University and received his M.A and Ph.D in Area Studies (Ethnic Politics) at the Graduate School of Foreign Studies.

 He was given a reception at St.Mary's Forane church, Edoor last week."The people in Edoor are very happy and proud of me. It is an encouragement for me,''Fr Sali added. He had thought of coming back to India in his early days. However, after a few initial years, he had the feeling that the mission assigned to him was in Japan and he felt it as his destiny.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.