Salesian Publications :

Being a Priest in India : A Manifesto



Why This Work?

It is my firm belief that the one who has a why can cope with anyhow in this unique once for all existence we call life. Meaning is at the_ root of all happiness. Life is a search for meaning. It is an exhilarating experience to discover that one’s own life has meaning. The perception of meaning adds colour and vigour, completeness and fulfilment. For me personally, this work though begun on account of the demands and requirements of attaining a Degree, has been, even more, arrival at and re-possession of the meaningfulness of a way of life I had chosen for some years. The central question, therefore, around which this whole work is situated is why should I be a Priest? My finite existence being the starting point of this Thesis, the purpose of this preface is to situate the immediate context, which is in other words, my own context.

About the Author

Fr. Prof. George Thadathil SDB is Principal of Salesian College Sonada and Siliguri Extended Campus, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. His area of specialization is Cross-Cultural Social Philosophy. He has organized various research seminars engaging local scholarship with contemporary concerns of identity, language and ethnicity. He is the author of Vision from the Margin: Study of the Sri Narayana Guru Movement in the Literature of Nitya Chaitanya Yati (2007) and has edited and co-edited books like Communities and Identity Consciousness: South Indian Trajectories (2004), Cultural Identity in Nepali Language and Literature (2005), Subaltern Perspectives: Philosophizing in Context (2005), Cultural Linguistic Transitions in the Nepali Speech Community of Darjeeling (2009) besides contributing to a number of journals and edited volumes on Philosophy, Literature and Social Sciences. His publications are the outcome of an attempt to apply the research findings in South India (SNGM) onto the Language and Ethnicity based identity formations in Darjeeling District, North East India. He continues with his research interests in this field and is in the process of bringing out a volume on “Owning Locations: Transforming Small Worlds”. He is the Founder and Series editor of Salesian Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences in its tenth year as a biannual peer-reviewed publication and the Founder Director of Salesian Publications.






George Thadathil




Philosophical Theology



1 review for Being a Priest in India : A Manifesto

  1. Salesian Publications


    As a lay person, just going by the title of the book would make one think that it is a work having religious and spiritual dimensions to it. However, as one would proceed with the chapters, it is likely that the sincere effort to be understood and to feel belonged would make one realise the beautiful convergence of wide dimensions associated with the title such as philosophy, spirituality, economics, sociology, ecology, psychology, education, history, language and literature, and the likes. The work is intriguing and has the capacity to grow onto the readers like a perennial creeper-madhbilata, having wide implications even though written some 30 years ago.

    The work based out of a particular situational context has a mixed approach to it-both inductive and deductive, evolving with each conceptual explanation arising from the interplay of the conflicts in the author’s mind and the physical reality over time and space. The work brings to light the ‘innocence’ behind the conscious choice one makes for a particular vocation, surviving all the odds and how it shapes the future and impacts the vision.

    The word ‘being’ as used in the title of the book suggests something that is existing, alive, and in the process. Therefore, “Being a Priest in India: A Manifesto” can be thought to be a conscious and continuing effort to reconcile with one’s vision, recreate selfless identity for the greater cause of service to God and Mankind arising out of one’s growing sense of community identity and the ills prevalent in the past, having an equally profound relevance in today’s age and time.

    “Vision as action freed from attachments” as mentioned in the Preface by the author brings in a contradiction for me, as a lay person. Because to have a vision for dedicated service to God and Mankind is also a form of attachment to the service culminating in selflessness. The concept of ‘Spirit’ has been explicitly explained with subtle implicit dimension to it keeping the limitation of the study in view.

    Speaking about the relevance of the work, it is a manifestation of pragmatic, constructive and transformative philosophical worldviews. The work is sure to keep one engaged, grow, to ‘think and act with a vision’ and to make a conscious ‘choice’ for committed transformation in oneself to effect changes in others.

    I read the book out of my conscious choice and I am grateful to Fr. Dr. George Thadathil for coming up with such intriguing work that made me think, reflect, question and find answer to various conflicting thoughts. A project undertaken nearly 30 years ago has the ability to equally invoke curiosity in the young minds as in the old of this age and time.

    -Shiba Khatoon,
    Ph.D Research Scholar (JRF),
    Central University of Kerala.
    School of Education.

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Salesian College, Sonada was accredited by NAAC on 16 September 2004 and was given the Grade C++ (Institutional Score between 65-70%). On 26 February 2010 Salesian College has been conferred the status of a College with Potential for Excellence (CPE) by UGC, New Delhi, and into its 2nd Cycle from 1st April 2014. In March 2012, the College was re-accredited by NAAC with ‘A’ Grade (CGPA of 3.16 out of 4) to be the first College to receive such grade under the University of North Bengal.

The College retained its A Grade under the New stringent Format of Accreditation in May 2019 and it is valid till 2024.

Salesian Publications, Salesian Research Institute, and Salesian Translation Centre offer opportunities for capacity building for aspiring teaching and research personnel of the region. Salesian College Extension Activities Centre has trained and placed over 600 youth of the region in collaboration with the Ministry of Rural Development and Don Bosco Tech, New Delhi. Salesian College invites young people and their parents to partner in nurturing an ideal society.


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