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I was born on May 31, 1943 at Ennalloor in Ernakulam district, Kerala as the eldest son with 4 sisters and 4 brothers. After passing the old 11th standard I came to Gujarat to join the Society of Jesus (S.J.) known as the Jesuits.

After two years of noviciate and one year each to study English and Gujarati I joined St. Xavier’s College at Ahmedabad and graduated from Gujarat University with Gujarati and Sanskrit literature in 1968.

Then, I did post graduate studies in philosophy at Pune and Theology at Gregorian University, Rome and journalism in London School of Journalism at London. I was ordained a priest at Rome on June 21, 1977; and spent 4 months in USA with further studies in writing and editing.

On returning to Gujarat I edited DOOT for two years from January 1978. Then I took up a very challenging job as Founder-Director of South Asian Religious News (SAR News) a Church news agency under the aegis of Indian Catholic Press Association (ICPA) and the South Asian Catholic Press Association (SACPA) for four years.
Young Varghese Paul with his
younger brother Mathew. Photo
taken in May 1963 before
leaving for Gujarat.
 
As the Editor-in-Chief of SAR News I got exposed to the International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIP). I attended first time the 13th UCIP World Congress in September 1980 at Rome and I was elected a member of the International Federation of News Agencies (FIAC) and consequently a member of UCIP Council.
 
When I returned to Gujarat and became the editor of DOOT for a third time from January 1984. In 1984 I also launched Catholic Information Service Society (CISS) as its Founder-Director under Ahmedabad Diocese with Bishop Charles Gomes, S.J. as its President.

As an Executive Body member of ICPA I helped to organize the first UCIP World Congress at New Delhi in 1986.

In the Congress I got elected as the President of South Asian Catholic Press Association (SACPA) and consequently I became a board member of UCIP with six monthly meeting in Switzerland or elsewhere for 3 years.
Bro. Varghese Paul, SJ, on a 10-day cycle tour of Saurashtra with fellow collegians Bros. Puray, Eddy, Franco and Kolady, summer 1969

 

Varghese Paul, SJ, while studying
Philosophy at De Nobile College,
Pune 1972
After working for DOOT and CISS from Premal Jyoti on April 1985 I bought an office of CISS in Ameebela Building, Income Tax Circle, Opp. Old High Court and shifted both DOOT and CISS to the new CISS premises from Premal Jyoti.

With knowledge and expertise gained through SAR News and UCIP with interacting with print media personnel around the world I went to make DOOT a modern popular monthly without deviating from the goal of DOOT as a religious magazine for the formation of the Christian community.

After doubling the DOOT circulation in two years in January 1987 I changed the format of DOOT from a book-size periodical to a standard magazine size monthly and increased the pages.

Reaching 5000 plus paid subscribers among a Catholic population of two lakh target audience DOOT had the highest circulation for any Church periodical in India with one copy for every 40 Catholic Christians or 20 literate Catholics!
   
Fr. Varghese with Mother Teresa at the inaugurating of Prem Nagar Leprosy Center e steady progress of DOOT as well as the increasing works of CISS helped me to get a separate office for DOOT in 1989. In me DOOT got for the first time a professionally trained full-time Editor in 1978 and then, I was very lucky to get to buy an office for DOOT on the ground next to CISS Office.

My closed association with ICPA and UCIP helped me to be update on the latest in the print media and my expertise helped DOOT to grow and I was happy to leave DOOT as a well established magazine with office, staff personnel and what we may call a DOOT-culture. With the responsibilities of DOOT and CISS I was also appointed the Secretary of Jesuits in Social Communicator in South Asia (JESCOM) in 1986. I held the post for 8 years.
   
A Doyen of Dalit Literature Mr. Joseph
Macwan (centre) released the vwry
fitst book of Fr. Varghese Paul )left in
Gujarat Sahitya Parishad Hall on
March 24, 1990 with Fr. Thomas as
Chief-Guest.
After being relieved from JESCOM responsibilities I took up another part-time responsibility. My job was to a National Office for the Association of Catholic Enquiry Centres India (ACECI) at New Delhi. My connection with ACECI was that as the Director of CISS I was also a Governing Body Member of ACECI.

Traveling to and spending 10 days in New Delhi every month from 1994 first I set up the ACECI National Office in an Archdiocesan building. The Pro Nuncio to India H. E. Archbishop George Zur inaugurated the office on September 11, 1994. Then 3 years later I was able to buy with great difficulties a suitable large office for ACECI in Divya Deepti Sadan, 10-11, Bhai Vir Singh Marg in a very central place close to Goledakkhana in New Delhi. Archbishop Alan de Lastic of Delhi blessed the new office premises on October 14, 1997.
   
After running the ACECI National Office as a part-time job for 9 years I left it in 2003 for my full-time successor Fr. Varghese Nediakalayil, SVD, while I continued to remain an office-bearer of ACECI.

After leaving the editorship of DOOT while continuing full-time service with CISS, a turning point came when my friends, who appreciated my writings and knew my interest in keeping up writing as a hobby, introduced me to editors of dailies and I started writing in secular dailies and other periodicals.

 

My friend Mr. Navin Macwan took me to Mr. Jaswant Raval, then editor of Madhyantar at Anand and I wrote a weekly column in the paper from January 1997 to December 2001 and my friend Mr. Yoseph Macwan introduced to Mr. Bhupatbhai Vadodaria, then editor of Samabhav daily at Ahmedabad. Though I was diffident to accept right away Bhupatbhai’s invitation to write a column in Samabhav, with the encouragement of Yoseph Macwan I did write a column in the daily from 1999 to 2004. Fr. Varghese Paul addresses the prisoners in Sabarmati Central Jail during a cultrural programme organized by CISS in 1994.
   
My friend Mr. Joseph Macwan who wrote the forward to my second book “Bimb-Pratibimb” introduced me to his publishers Mr. Bhagatbhai of R. R. Sheth & Co. Ahmedabad-Mumbai. They published my two books in 1999 and both were sold out in two years, that they published a second edition in 2001. Ever since bringing out one or two of my books every year R. R. Sheth & Co. have published 16 books.

Meanwhile Yoseph Macwan took me to his publishers Manharbhai Modi of Rannade Prakashan and they have published 10 books bringing out one book a year from 2000. Some those books are running second and third editions.
Fr. Varghese Paul, SJ conducting a journalism workshop at Shillong for reporters of SAR News from North-East, June 1980

 

Fr. Varghese autographs a copy of
his 2002 Gujarati book for Litterateur
Dr. Ramanlal Joshi. In the foreword
Dr. Joshi wrote that the essay in the
book are a milestone of life-otiented
literature.
I am happy to note here that Dr. Raghuvir Chaudhari of Rangdwar Prakashan too have published my two books. My “Yadgar Anubhavo” (Memorable Experiences) is written at the request of Raghuvirbhai. He also published my translation of a novel on the life and writings of the Russian novelist Dostoyeveskey written originally in Malayalam by Shreedharan Perumpadavom. The novel has sold more than 1.5 lakh copies in Malayalam, a record sale for a book in Malayalam.

I am very happy to note that with the 3 books released during CISS Silver Jubilee celebrations on September 28, 2009 I have authored 35 books including two books in English which are actually my own translations of my Gujarati books.

The two English books are being translated into Malayalam and are scheduled to be published in 2010.
   
My jobs and responsibilities in mass media helped me to cultivate and enjoy my hobbies of reading, writing and traveling. I have I had the opportunities to study 10 languages and have traveled far and wide in India and abroad for my studies or for participating or conducting seminars and workshops and also for attending World Congresses and Council Meetings of UCIP. So far I have visited 33 countries in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa. I believe that my writings have been enriched by these traveling and world-wide contacts.
   
National Sahitya Academy Award winner Joseph Macwan congratulates Fr. Varghese on being reelected as President of Gujarati Christian Press Coundil (GCPC) in 2004 A new dimension to my life was added when I launched my personal website in April 2004.

Thousands of visits to my personal web site enthused and encouraged me to start my office web site which was launched on April 4, 2006 by the President of CISS Bishop Thomas Macwan of Ahmedabad Diocese.

Both the web sites are being renewed and updated in 2010.

In short, I am Jesus Christ’s disciple who tries to live and spread His message of love and peace.

Books by Fr. Varghese Paul, S. J.