Grateful priest reflects on 25 years

April 15, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

When the Rev. Isaac Karoor reflects on his 25 years in the priesthood, he says his overwhelming emotion is one of gratitude.

"I am mostly grateful to God and to the people who have made this all possible for me," said the associate pastor of St. John Roman Catholic Church in Westminster.

Father Isaac, as the parishioners call him, will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at noon Sunday at the Monroe Street church.

The celebration marks 25 years since his ordination in his homeland of Kerala, India. He began his ministry there in 1969, serving as secretary to the state's archbishop in southwest India. He later taught at the Kerala Catholic High School.

Nearly 15 years ago, while on a visit to his brother in Baltimore, Father Karoor decided his mission should be in the United States.

Citing the declining number of priests in this country, he said he saw "a more priestly ministry and one that offered more fulfillment." Then-Archbishop William D. Borders assigned him to Matthew Catholic Church in the city. He transferred to St. John in 1990.

At St. John, he began a Bible study group as part of the parish's adult education program, and he has worked with senior citizens in the Wisdom Club.

He said he is most proud of the ministry he began with several parishioners six months ago for inmates at the Carroll County Detention Center.

"We were able to open a sacramental ministry and Bible study at the Detention Center," he said. "One inmate was able to come back to the church because of our efforts."

"The community of St. John rejoices with Father Isaac in celebrating his priesthood," said Mary Hollenbaugh, who helped organize the event.

A reception will take place in the Parish Center after the Mass.

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