Take 5 with Father: Powered by Prayer
HE IS: Father Albert Kanjirathumkal, HGN, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Henrietta, St. Jerome Parish in Bowie, St. Joseph Parish in Nocona, and St. William Parish in Montague.
He served at Sacred Heart Parish in Seymour and St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Megargel for more than six years.
GROWING UP: Albert was raised with two brothers on a farm in Kerala, India — known as “God’s Own Country.” He grew up knowing “wherever you are, each day, you should be home by 7 p.m.” for the family Rosary, Scripture reading, and hymn singing. His grandfather began the practice, his parents maintained it, and the next generation, including Fr. Albert, continues it.
THE CALL: His mother encouraged Albert to enter seminary after 10th grade. About midway through his 11-year formation, he grew more certain in his call to the priesthood. He was ordained January 16, 2008.
MISSIONARY SPIRIT: “I longed for mission work because my parents, even though they didn’t have anything, they always went out of their way to help others.”
BEST PARTS OF BEING A PRIEST: “I enjoy every bit. Celebrating the sacraments, being with parishioners, visiting with their families.”
Besides celebrating Mass, he has a special fondness for the sacrament of Matrimony. “Over six or nine months, I get to be with the couples, talk with them, guide them.”
Some favorite memories include celebrating the nuptial Masses for his brothers and blessing his parents’ marriage on their 40th wedding anniversary earlier this year.
SMALL PLEASURES: Fr. Albert loves working in small, rural parishes because “I get to know everyone, every family, every member in detail. I don’t know how to describe the joy I get by serving, especially in a rural parish. I’m so happy.”
POWER HOURS: He begins his day with prayer, “then will my day be easier. If I’m late and I don’t do it, then my whole day will go upside down.” He also prays at night. “My parents taught us there’s no compromise in prayer. That’s what keeps me strong.”
QUID PRO QUO: His father taught, “You get what you give,” which inspired Fr. Albert. “I give of my time and — through the sacraments — the love and mercy and forgiveness of God.” And he gets? A parish that “supports each other and becomes one caring community.”