We Would Love
to Keep in Touch!
What is your basic family background?

My name is Biju Abraham Chempottickal. was born on February 2, 1975 in Kerala, in southeast India where the St. Thomas the Apostle arrived in 52 AD to begin his Christian missionary journey. I belong to the Syro-Malabar Rite of the Catholic Church.
Biju IndiaFr. Biju after concelebrating Mass outside on the Holy Mountain of La Salette in France
What is your religious background?

Although India is a secular country, I was well-educated in my faith. For about ten years, every Sunday I went to Religious Education class.

What would you like to point out about your vast and beautiful country of India?

India is a multicultural country. There are twenty-two official languages. India has no national language but the official language of the government is Hindi. English is widely used in business and administration and has the status of "official subsidiary language.” It is important in education, especially in higher education.

The language of Kerala is Malayalam. When I was 10 years old that I began to learn English. I also have some knowledge of Hindi, Kannada, Konkani, Tagalog from the Philippines, and Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic, as well as Sanskrit.

How did you first meet the La Salette Missionaries?

In 1990, it was a Carmelite priest from our parish who introduced me to the La Salette seminary nearby.
My family was very faith-filled. In fact ,each evening my entire family used to pray for an hour before our evening meal. We would pray the rosary, read scripture, and join in prayers of praise to God and requests for various needs through the intercession of the saints.

How was your vocation to La Salette formed?

Often Missionary priests came to our parish. I was often impressed with the testimony of some priests—by their faith and simplicity. When they shared their missionary experiences, I was duly impressed. They inspired me and deepened my desire to become to become a missionary priest. At the age of fifteen, I decided to enter the seminary. From ages 15 to 20 years, I went to high school. Then I began my studies with the La Salette Missionaries.

In 1995, at the age of 20, I left for the Philippines for two years to do my Postulancy and my Novitiate with the Missionaries of our La Salette ... I made my first vows as a La Salette religious on May 1, 1997 in Silang, in the Philippines. Then I travelled back to India to begin my studies in Theology.

Four years later, in 2001, I was ordained a priest in our first missionary house in La Salette. In July, I was sent to Rome to study moral theology, then I received my Licentiate Degree and my Doctorate in 2006. I returned to India to become a Professor of Moral Theology, then Rector of the Scholasticate, and soon became Vicar Provincial for our newly-formed Province.

How do you feeling about your progress in your vocation as a La Salette Religious priest?

This has been a very good journey but not always easy one! I believe that my support is the prayer of my very faith-filled extended family of seven uncles who are priests, along with some fifty or so men and women religious. They have all supported me in this exciting faith journey.

Where do you presently minister?
Biju India 2A group of La Salettes with several pilgrims near the front door of the La Salette Basilica on the Holy Mountain; Fr. Biju in the front row, four persons from the right.At the request of our Superior General, I am now ministering on the Holy Mountain at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in France. For this ministry I must speak French, German, Italian, English, and Malayalam, since we have many Indian pilgrims!

With me, each language has its own special gift: French to debate, German for its clarity and culinary questions, speech and prayer ... Malayalam is rather religious and ascetic. I like reading in everything related to theology, philosophy, and politics but I also love nature and enjoy my walks up the surrounding Alpine peaks.

How are you still growing today by the grace of God?

My passion is still La Salette! I especially love the hopeful call of the Beautiful Lady: “If they converted, the stones and the rocks will become heaps of wheat." Notice in her words the conditional phrase— “If they...” It reminds me that God does not impose his will upon us but respects our personal freedom. Each person is free to follow this invitation.

God’s promise is that “if I convert”, I will receive much joy, abundance and peace. In my language, "shanti" means "peace!" Jesus always offers us his deep and lasting peace.

(Reprinted with permission from the La Salette publication, Les Annales, September-October, 2015, pg. 18)