TRIBUTES

TO A FEW OF THE LEADING LIGHTS OF PALATHINKAL, WHO LEFT US FOR THEIR HEAVENLY ABODE & TO THOSE WHO ARE STILL WITH US, WHO HELPED US IN RUNNING THE KUDUMBAYOGAM


ACHAMMA JOSEPH (1913-2005)

Wife of P.I.Joseph (PL.1.2.1.7)

Achamma was born on 26th June 1913 in Parappally Thazhathu family of Kanam as daughter of P.M.Mathew and Mariamma.

On June 8, 1942 Achamma was married to advocate P.I Joseph, Palathinkal.

Her associations with various Christian denominations in her early life had developed in her an open mind and healthy respect for the diverse Christian traditions. Being a strict disciplinarian, she instilled in the children self discipline, value of hard work, compassion for others and a sense of self worth.

Mr P. I Joseph died in November 30th 1974. Instead of retiring into sedate widowhood, Achamma turned her energy into community work and involvement in church. She used every opportunity to help the less fortunate. She firmly believed in education as the means to get out of the cycle of poverty. She helped many poor young people to attain a useful education - often at great sacrifice to herself.

Achamma’s greatest contribution was to the Kottayam Jerusalem Church. The church activities became her life’s ministry. She was the Vice President of the church for many years, only relinquishing the position when she was in her nineties. She was actively involved in all aspects of the church life - teaching in Sunday School, leader in Savika Sangam, reading lesson during Sunday Worship, member of Vestry and various committees, raising money for church projects, member of pastoral team visiting the elderly, mentor for new Achens etc. Her ability to interact with all strata of the community and across all ages was really amazing. Her uncompromising dedication to the causes she believed in and her indefatigable energy in the pursuit of goals for the common good were without parallel. She became the champion of the less fortunate, the voice of the voiceless in decision making bodies within the church. She was loved and admired greatly by many. She was ‘Achamma kochamma’ to the church community – from bishops to laymen alike and ‘Ammachy’ to the hundreds of poor people who thought of her as their friend. She never preached or quoted Bible, but lived it with the conviction that “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me”.

Achamma died on 15th November 2005 after a short period of illness. She is survived by 2 sons Rajan and Thampi and 3 daughters Susan, Mariamma and Laly.

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