04/19/2019, 13.48
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Bangalore: a Catholic priest receives the "Best citizen of India" award

Fr.  Vineeth George, 38, is from the Claretian Congregation.  With a brilliant career already started, he abandoned everything and chose the priesthood to serve the least.  He was involved in the education of tribal children.


New Delhi (AsiaNews) - Catholic priest Fr.  Vineeth George has received the award "Best citizen of India".  The 38 year old is a member of the Congregation of Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (commonly called "Claretians") of the province of Bangalore.  He was awarded for his work with the marginalized in northern India.  Speaking to AsiaNews he said "My vocation is a gift, born during my childhood.  I have always thought of having to use the talents that God has given me for the Church ".

The ceremony took place in Bangalore on April 16th.  His merits were recognized by the International Publishing House which specializes in in biographical publishing.  Born in Hyderabad, he was ordained a priest in January 2014. He previously studied at the Loyola Academy run by the Jesuits.  He recalls that "it was precisely at that time that my vocation was strengthened".  He later specialized at the Matrusri Institute of Post Graduate Studies and at Jain Deemed-to-be University.

After completing his studies, Fr.  Vineeth had a brilliant career ahead of him: first with a job at Dell Computer Corporation;  then he moved to General Electric;  he was sub-editor of the leading newspaper Deccan Chronicle and finally got a job at the Ministry of Power of the Indian government.  "I was very appreciated for my work and my professionalism," he says.

But that life did not fully satisfy him: therefore he left everything to become a priest and serve others.  "Thank God - he says - in 2006, even as a seminarian, I was chosen by my superiors to started lecturing Management at St. Claret College.  A year after my ordination, I was appointed as vice principal of the same college and I kept that role until December 2018. Since January this year I have been pursuing a PhD in Organizational Behavior  as a research scholar at the Indian Institute of Technology in Hyderabad, one of the most sought after institute of higher learning in all of India ".

For all these reasons his pastoral commitment could only be one: that is, to put his skills at the service of the country's last, particularly in the rural districts of the northern states.  "During my a formation - he says - I worked in vocational education: I served in a vocational training center in a remote area of ​​the district of Rewari, in Haryana, which is part of the Archdiocese of Delhi.  The school is located in an area inhabited only by Hindus, where there is no Christian presence.  The center welcomes 30 boys and girls who have dropped out of school;  the girls pursued sewing and beautician courses;  the boys pursued electricians and plumbing courses ”.

After ordination, he continues, "my first assignment was in the Garhwa district, in the state of Jharkhand.  I was the assistant parish priest of the church of St. Peter, in the diocese of Daltonganj.  There I was also engaged in teaching English to the tribal children who attend the school adjacent to the parish ”.  Now, along with the doctoral commitments, he involves in various pastoral activities in the Archdiocese of Hyderabad and in the Diocese of Shamshabad.

 (Photo from the Facebook profile of Fr. Vineeth George)

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