Catholic education pioneer in Nagaland dies
Dimapur: Nagaland has lost one of its pioneers in the field of education. The demise of Fr. Joseph James Felix has left a void in the hearts of the people who often consider him as great visionary. He was 90 years old.
Fr. Felix, who had been leading a retired life for the past two decades, passed away on July 15 at 10:00 pm, informed a press release from Fr. Chacko Karinthayil.
Born on December 10, 1927 at Jamshedpur, he was ordained a priest on December 5, 1954. In 1957, he worked as a catholic priest and educator in Hundung, Tankhul area of Manipur, and came to Kohima in 1962 and ministered at the Christ King Parish till 1965.
“These were blessed years for Nagaland. Fr. Felix realized that the Good News of Jesus Christ will become more meaningful and effective for the people of Nagaland if they are able to get quality and affordable education at their own locality,” the release said.
To achieve this goal, he established 7 English medium schools in different parts of Nagaland. Holy Cross School Dimapur, St. John School Tuensang, All saints School, Peren, and Don Bosco School, Khonoma have grown into centres of excellence, it stated, adding 3 others schools were closed down due to “opposition from certain ill informed church leaders.”
He started St. John’s School Tuensang, on the invitation of Mr. Akum Imlong Chang, Minister in charge of Tuensang Affairs in 1965 under the guidance and favour of Rt. Rev Hubert D’ Rosario, the then Bishop of Dibrugarh, Manipur and Nagaland.
Fr. Chacko stated Fr. Felix will always be remembered as a great visionary who saw the possibility of education to mould the future of a state. “He realized in his life that the Good News becomes a liberating grace only when people are redeemed from their ignorance by good education.”
The funeral is on Monday July 17, Monday at 2:00 p.m.