Father Francis J. Kalapurackal | St. Thomas More, Mooresville, IN, and St. Ann, Indianapolis, IN
Submitted by: Daniel Brock
Father Francis is a wonderful, joyful, and prayer-driven priest. During the Covid-19 crisis he began videoing one hour of adoration followed by Mass on the St. Thomas More Facebook page Tuesday-Saturday. His sermons during daily and Sunday Masses are encouraging, often reflecting on the joy of sharing our suffering with Christ’s and the need to turn to the Holy Spirit and our Blessed Mother in uncertain times. I cannot express how important these sermons were to keep us optimistic during these unusual circumstances. Recently he added all day adoration on Wednesday's from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Father Francis encourages frequent confession and makes it available on Thursday during an hour of Eucharistic Adoration in the church. His guidance during confession is sound, and lovingly given. Drive-by confessions were the rule before the churches re-opened.
He continued to see sick and dying individuals and has been known to bring food and gifts to those who are ill or alone. It is not uncommon to find him giving vegetables from his garden that he grows annually and shares with others.
His encouragement to us all to pray for one another and for his brother priests is also seen by his example. During daily adoration, he includes prayers for his parishes, for priests, and others in need. Adoration always includes the Rosary, the divine mercy chaplet and hymns to Jesus and Mary.
He is responsible for two parishes and says Masses at each parish on alternate days throughout he week and at both parishes on Saturday and Sunday. Most Masses are live on Facebook. In spite of this daunting schedule, he is always joyful and encourages us to turn to the Holy Spirit so we too will be filled with joy.
I have noticed daily church attendance increase exponentially during his tenure at our parish. When I couldn’t attend Mass due to state and local mandates, online Mass and adoration were real blessings. To have Mass and adoration online in my own parish was the icing on the cake. God is sooooo good!
He has followed procedures to be in compliance with state and local mandates. He was even leaving the church to distribute communion to those outside the church in their cars so that they would not feel compromised physically by coming into proximity with others during the pandemic.
Father Francis has left no stone unturned to see that our spiritual and (sometimes our physical) needs have been met. Thank you Father Francis for showing us by your example what brotherly love truly means.
Father Francis leads by example. His sermons, guidance during confession, and joyful demeanor encourage us to follow in his footsteps.
Father Francis puts God first in everything and reminds us to do the same. As stated above, he leads by example. His stories of his time in the missions where his fellow priests were being killed for their faith have left a great impression on us as to how far from true discipleship we are in this country. But he is leading the way in showing us how to become better Christians.
Father Francis is from India. He spent many years doing mission work, founded an orphanage, a nursing school, and was captured by men who he was sure were going to kill him. He is an inspiration to all of us as to what it means to truly give oneself to Jesus Christ without hesitation.