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Fr. Tony



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Dear brothers and sisters, and the viewers of this web site, I am Fr. Joseph Anthony Andrade better  known as Fr. Tony Andrade. I was born and brought up in Barkur. My primary education was in Barkur. In 1980 I joined the seminary to become priest and was ordained to the Holy Order of priesthood on the 19th of December, 1992. I served a short period of time in Bangalore (India) and then went to the USA to serve in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in the state of Minnesota. Presently I am the parish priest of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church located in St. Paul, Minnesota (visit our web site:-

I Hope and pray this column "Spiritual Corner" will inspire many viewers of our web site. As all of us know the need of spirituality in our daily life. We walk our faith journey trusting in God our creator and we are certain one day we will meet our creator God in Heaven. Meanwhile here on earth we need good insights to enlighten our minds and hearts in our spiritual life. in this column I will write articles which will be short and precise that may help our interested viewers to reflect on their own spirituality. I welcome others also to share their articles and reflections. This column is open to all the faith denominations. What is important is that we inspire each other on our own spiritual journey.

My sincere thanks to Kishoo de Barkur, the designer of this beautiful web site, and for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts and reflection on our web site.

Fr. Joseph Anthony Andrade

St. Thomas the Apostle’s Mission in India

St. Thomas , the apostle, pray for us

St. Thomas, one of the apostles of Jesus, is patron of  my parish here in St. Paul Minnesota (USA). The church celebrates the feast of this great apostle and a saint on July 3rd.

Some of you may not know  that St. Thomas one among the 12 apostles of Jesus was a missionary to India and that he had given the ultimate sacrifice of his life for Christ and His Gospel. St. Thomas was martyred at the hands of Hindu fundamentalists. I hope this article will enlighten many of  the viewers of this web site about this great saint and the apostle and his important missionary work in India.

Little is recorded of St. Thomas in the Gospels. Nevertheless, thanks to the fourth Gospel, his personality is made clearer to us than some of the other twelve apostles. His name occurs in all of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15 ) but in the Gospel of John he plays a distinctive part. First, when Jesus announced his intention of returning to Judea to visit Lazarus, “Thomas, who is called Didymus (the twin), said to his fellow disciples: Let us also go, that we may die with him.” (John 11:16) Again it was Thomas who, during the discourse before the Last Supper, raised an objection: “Thomas said to him: Lord, we do not know where you are going and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5) Thomas is most remembered for his incredulity when the other apostles announced Christ’s Resurrection to him. “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25) Eight days later, he made his act of faith, when Jesus invited Thomas to touch and feel him. He said, “my Lord and my God,” drawing down the rebuke of Jesus: “Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed. Blessed are they that have not seen, yet believed.” (John 20:29)

The Church of St. Thomas Christians is an Apostolic Church founded in India by St. Thomas. According to ancient tradition, St. Thomas landed in Kerala, (southern part of India) in 52 AD. This was possible at the time because there were many Jewish and Arab traders coming from the Middle East to India on trade business with the Indian community. The main commodities of trade were black pepper and spices. Since St. Thomas was from the Middle East and could speak the language, it was easy for him to travel with the traders to India.

St. Thomas established many Christian communities in Kerala and other parts of southern India. The communities that were formed by St. Thomas are called St. Thomas Christians even today. Tradition holds that St. Thomas founded seven churches in Kerala.

After preaching and establishing Christian communities in different parts of India, St. Thomas suffered martyrdom at the hands of Hindu fundamentalists in 72 AD. I had an opportunity to visit, St. Thomas Mount, where St. Thomas was martyred. It is located in southern India, in the Archdiocese of Madras and Mylapore. Legend says he was hiding in a cave and his enemies stabbed him to death. Thousands of visitors come daily to visit this historical place. In addition to India, St. Thomas also preached in Parthis, Persia.

In the 15th. and 16th. centuries, Portuguese Jesuit missionaries came to India and began the work of evangelization. Important figures of the time were St. Francis Xavier and St. John Britto. The body of St. Francis Xavier is in Goa, India. Every ten years the exposition of the body takes place and thousands of pilgrims come to visit the body of this great saint. St. John Britto was martyred on February 4, 1693, in a place called Oriyur in Madras, India. This place is located in the diocese of Sivagangai, south India. Annually people of this diocese celebrate the feast of St. John Britto and many pilgrims come to pay homage to this great saint who was the pioneer of their faith. Today the Catholic Church in India is well established. There are 13.5 million Catholics in 143 diocese that also include the diocese of other Catholic rites such as the Syro-Malabar and Suro-Malankara rites.

This  year, on Sunday the October 17th me and the parishioners of St. Thomas the Apostle will joyfully celebrate the 50th. anniversary of the parish. Our parish was founded by Fr. Thomas Robertson on October 17, 1954.

By Fr. Tony Andrade.


Barkur, located in Udupi Taluk, Karnataka, India. 576 210

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