His purpose was: to thank all those who prayed for him and his release and to testify to how God had been extraordinarily kind to him, keeping him safe and in good health throughout his captivity. Father Tom spoke to the Salesian Missions-USA staff, the SDBs and Provincial Center Staff, and a representative group of Salesian High School students. Father began by expressing his heartfelt thanks to God for His kindness and for the many prayers offered on his behalf.
He then gave a history of Yemen and the Church there, how he came to be there and the story of his capture, imprisonment and release. We were truly in the presence of a holy man.Fr. Tom will be staying in the United States until returning to India on October 8th. He will be continuing to meet various groups, including several Syro-Malabar parishes, families, and presbyterium to thank them personally for their prayers and to share his story.
Fr. Tom is being accompanied by Fr. Jose Koyickal (INK Vice Provincial), and Fr. Shalbin Kalancherry SDB (INK Mission Procurator). Both Fr. Jose and Fr. Shalbin asked that we do whatever we can to assist the INK Province in reaching out to the flood victims in their province. Donations for the flood victims can be made by credit card through Salesian Missions. Go to: https://www.salesianmissions.org/give and click on the Kerala Fund in the dropdown menu.
Fr. Mark Hyde, sdb