By C.M. Paul
Bandel, Oct. 19, 2018: A Salesian Brother who has served as secretary to three provincials will mark his diamond jubilee on October 21.
A confidant of three Italian provincials, Brother Chacko Kunnathupurayidom was also trained in audiovisual catechesis in 1970s in Italy and France. He was also instrumental in bringing out the first monthly newsletter of the Calcutta province in the early 1970s.
The Kolkata Salesian province has 269 members, including 18 Brothers. Leading the list is the 84-year-old jubilarian, who is popularly known as Brother Chacko.
Bro Chacko is the first Salesian Brother to become secretary to provincials such as Fathers Mauro Cassaroti, Stroscio Rosario, and Nicholas Lo Groi from 1965 to 1978. He published 10 issues of province newsletter, which was initially called Salesian News Calcutta, through the primitive reprographic process of cutting waxed stencils and cyclostyling. It is now titled KNOTS (Kolkata News of the Salesians).
Bro Chacko is the first Salesian Brother in India who had extensive training in audiovisuals for catechesis with hands on training in Italy and France.
In Italy, he completing on-going formation at the Salesian Generalate in Pisana during 1978-1979 and went to Valdocco School of Photography in Turin. He then moved on to ElleDiCi Leumann, Turin Catechetical and Audio-Visual Centre of the Salesians for training in audio-visual catechesis.
Bro Chacko also had three months of training in audio-visual catechesis at Oblates of Mary Immaculate Fr Pierre Babin’s Centre for Research and Education in Communication (CREC) in Lyon, France.
On his return to India, Bro Chacko was assigned as assistant director at DBCMC (Don Bosco Catechetical and Multimedia Centre) Tengra, a Kolkata suburb, from 1980 to 1989.
After almost a decade’s stint at Nitika Don Bosco formerly DBCMC, Bro. Chacko moved to National Post Novitiate Training Centre for Salesian Brothers at Vidyaniketan Kalyani for nine years from 1989.
He also was administrator at Savio Bhavan aspirantate in Azimganj for three years from 1998 and moved on to parish ministry at Catholic Church Berhampore in Murshidabad (2001 to 2004) after which he was administrator at Don Bosco Welfare Centre at Joypur in Birbhum (2004 to 2013).
Bro Chacko had a mission experience at Diamond Harbour from 2013 to 2017 after which he is at Bandel Seminary – the cradle of the senior Salesians of Calcutta, Guwahati, Shillong, Dimapur and New Delhi provinces since 2017.
Eldest of five sisters and two brothers, Br Chacko was born at Kizhaparayar in Kottayam district Kerala.
Bandel Seminary will celebrate his his jubilee on October 21.