A medical doctor in south India has left his lucrative career to follow the Divine Healer. Dr Thomas Xavier Kidangan of the state of Kerala was ordained a priest for the Order of the Ministers of the Infirm (MI), popularly known as the Camillians, on January 1.
Thomas had the desire to be a priest and a doctor from his early childhood. It was during his medical studies that he finally discerned his vocation to offer himself completely to the Lord. He then began searching for a congregation that would help him serve the sick as a doctor. It was Rev. Dr. Mathew Abraham C.Ss.R., a Redemptorist priest, who introduced him to the congregation.
By Divine Providence, Thomas then happened to read the biography of St Camillus de Lellis, the Founder and Patron of the Order. In 2015, he joined the minor seminary. Jesus Youth, an International Catholic movement, also played an important role in Fr. Thomas’ vocation journey.
He was ordained by Archbishop Andrews Thazhath of Thrissur Archdiocese at St Joseph’s church, Punkunnam. Fr. Thomas adopted the Camillian congregation’s motto of ‘Preach the Gospel, Heal the Sick’ as his adage.
Speaking to SW News Fr Thomas said, “Regarding priestly and religious vocations in our Church.. God has not stopped calling His people… It is the inhibitions that haunt them from responding to His call, one great tool that the Devil uses against the Church.”
The Order of the Ministers of the Infirm began in August 1582. St Camillus was inspired to create a group of pious men who would serve the sick wholeheartedly out of love for God. The order has both priests and brothers. Besides the common three vows, the members of the Order take a fourth vow to serve even those who suffer from highly infectious diseases, risking their own lives. St Camillus is the patron saint of doctors, nurses, the sick, and all those who serve at hospitals.