Rev. Dr. A. Mathias Mundadan CMI (1923-2012)
MUNDADAN, ANTHONY MATHIAS, born at Karingamthuruth, North Parur Taluk, India, on 12 November 1923; Son of Varied Tharyaku and Teresa Varied (Mundadan). Primary education at L.P. School, Kongorpilly (now H. S. School). Preparatory Class at St. Philomena's Lower Secondary School, Koonammavu (now H. S. School). Fifth to 10th Forum (today's fifth standard to tenth standard) at Sacred Heart High School Thevara.
Entered the novitiate at St. Theresa's Monastery Ambazhakad, of the Congregation of Carmelites of Mary Immaculate in 1944, first profession 15 October 1945. After 3 years of clerical studies, joined for philosophy and theology at St. Joseph's Pontifical Seminary, Mangalore. Theological studies were continued at De Nobili College, Pune. Ordained Priest there on 25 March 1953 and completed theological studies in 1953-54 and received MTh Degree in early 1954.
After a short period of teaching Latin and other languages to the CMI aspirants at Aluva, proceeded to Rome in 1955 to specialize in Church History at the Gregorian University. Took licentiate in Church History in 1957, and PhD, in 1960.
Teaching staff at Dharmaram College/Dharmararn Pont. Institute (now Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram), Bangalore, 1960-1990; Rector Dharmaram College Bangalore, 1975-78; President Dharmaram Pont. Institute, (Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram) Bangalore, 1976-80; Provincial Superior Carmelites of Mary Immaculate Congregation, Kalamassery, Kochi, India, 1972-75, 1990-96; Founder Director, Acharya Palackal Jeevass Kendrarn (Jeevass Kendram), Aluva, 1996.
Died on 31.08.2012 at 4 pm.
Author: Arrival of the Portuguese in India· and the Thomas Christians 1498-1552, 1967; Sixteenth Century Traditions of St. Thomas Christians, 1970; History of Christianity in India, 1984 (new edition 2001); Indian Christians: Search for Identity and Struggle for Autonomy, 1984; History and Beyond, 1997; Paths of Indian Theology, 1998; and 9 other important books, 6 booklets, about 70 articles (see bibliography).
Is General Editor of CHAI 'History of Christianity' series, Associate Editor of Indian Church History Review, Bangalore, 1973-; Founder Editor, Tanima, 1993; Vice-President and Book Review Editor, Third Millennium, Rajkot 1998-; Member of the Editorial Boards of a few other Periodicals. Convener, 'St. Thomas Christian Academy for Research' (1980-). Member of several national and International associations.
Some of the awards received:
-Kerala History Congress
-Kerala Sabhatharam (Better Life Movement, Aloor).
Most widely held works about A. Mathias Mundadan
• Church in context: essays in honour of Mathias Mundadan CMI : (on the occasion of his seventieth birth day and of the golden jubilee of his religious profession) ( Book)
Most widely held works by A. Mathias Mundadan
• History of Christianity in India, Vol. I (Book) Indian Christians: search for identity and struggle for autonomy by A. Mathias Mundadan (Book)
• Sixteenth century traditions of St. Thomas Christians by A. Mathias Mundadan (Book)
• The arrival of the Portuguese in India and the Thomas Christians under Mar Jacob, 1498-1552 by A. Mathias Mundadan (Book)
• Cardinal Parecattil, the man, his vision, and his contribution (Book)
• History and beyond by A. Mathias Mundadan (Book),
• Collection of articles, papers, etc. related to Christianity in India.
• Writings of Mother Mariam Thresia (Book)
• History of Christianity in India 2 From the middle of the sixteenth to the end of the seventeenth century (1542 - 1700) (Book)
• Paths of Indian theology by A. Mathias Mundadan (Book)
• Marttornmayute kabantam by A. Mathias Mundadan.(Book)
• Spirituality of liberation and consecrated life in the Indian context by A. Mathias Mundadan (Book)
• Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara by A. Mathias Mundadan (Book)
• Biography of Cavara Kuryakkos Eliyasaccan, 1805-1871, Christian sage from Kerala, India.
• The Syro-Malabar church: an overview by A. Mathias Mundadan (Book)
Homage to Rev. Dr. A Mathias Mundadan
Let me say a few words about Prof. Dr. Mathias Mundadan. As has already been mentioned earlier, this lecture is being organized in his honour. This Centre is known as Acarya Thomas Palackal Jeevass Kendram. Father Thomas Palackal is one of the three founders of our Congregation. This Centre is established by another great Acarya, Acarya Mathias Mundadan. He was born in Alangad in November 1923. That means, he is now 88 years old; joined the CMI Order and made his first vows on 15 October 1945; was ordained priest on 25 March 1953.
Took his Licentiate in Theology from De Nobili College, Pune in 1954; Licentiate in Church History and Doctorate in History from' Gregorian University, Rome in 1960. His teaching career begins in 1954, first as Professor of Latin for one year here in Aluva. From 1960 he was at Dharmaram College for almost forty years. Held many important posts at Dharmaram, like Master of Students, Librarian, Director of LCA, Director of Publications, above all professor History of the Church. I am his student, Bishop Gratian is student. We are eight priests here in this Monastery. Six are his students; this can be applied to the entire Congregation: around 70 % of our members now are his students. He was Provincial of Sacred Heart Province, Kochi three terms; he was Rector of Dharmaram (1975-1978), and President of Dharmaram Pontifical Institute (1976-1980). He has served as the Associate Editor of Indian Church History Review; Editor of Tanima from 1993; Convenor of St. Thomas Academy for Research (STAR from 1980); Chairman of the Church History Association of South India (from 1969); General Editor of History of Christianity in India Series.
His main works are:
• The arrival of the Portuguese in India and the Thomas Christians under Mar Jacob,1498-1552
• Sixteenth Century Traditions ofSt. Thomas Christians
• Indian Christians' Search for Identity and Struggle for Autonomy
• History of Christianity in India, Vol. I
• .• Paths of Indian Theology
• History and Beyond
• Biography of Cavara Kuryakkos Eliyasaccan, 1805-1871
His life in way had been a tapasya to establish the selfhood and identity of the Indian Church. One of his very important work is: Indian Christians' Search for identity and Struggle for Autonomy. This caption eminently epitomizes one of his great missions and passions of life. He was very proud of the Indian Church, and is one of her distinguished sons. He very passionately argued for the rightful place of Indian Church in the universal scenario. Father Mathias is a great advocate of inculturation and indigenization. He insisted that in India, Church has to become Indian. This is possible only if we are ready to accept and adopt healthy and valuable tenets, customs, celebrations and symbols, and also attitudes, of the Indian ethos enshrined in its philosophy, spirituality, world-view and Indian way of life. There need to be careful and judicious lndianization process of our Theology, Spirituality, Liturgy, way of life, food, dress, ete. Inculturation is also in a way a form of dialogue. Father Matthias is a great believer and promoter of interfaith dialogue.
Professor Mundadan is an eminent historian, a prolific writer, an effective teacher, an able administrator, a good organizer, a talented thinker, a dynamic leader, above all a holy priest, - all rolled up in one. Gita speaks about a sthita-prajna in the II Chapter. Sthita-prajna is one who is established in wisdom, who is a yogi of great equanimity. Gita gives two definitions of Yoga. (i) samatvam yoga ucyate: Equanimity is yoga. Equanimity in all circumstances: as Gita says: duhkhesu anudvignamanah sukhesu vigatasprhah vitarag ... (ii) Yogah karmasu kausalam: Yoga is the dexterity in doing one's duties; the courage and unattached attitude in the performance of one's duty. Then there is the famous definition of Yoga by Patanjali: Yogah cittavrtti-nirodhah, All these definitions are in a way applicable to the life and activities of father Mathias.
I bow my head in reverence and respect before this great acarya and guru: dhyanamulam guror murti, pujamilam guror padam, mantramulam guror vakyam, moksamulam guror krpa.
Lokah samasthah sukhino bhavantu.