FATHER JIS JOSE BECOMES 1ST SYRO MALABAR PRIEST TO Become RELIGIOUS TEACHER...

FATHER JIS JOSE BECOMES 1ST SYRO MALABAR PRIEST TO Become RELIGIOUS TEACHER In Indian Army

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FATHER JIS JOSE BECOMES 1ST SYRO MALABAR PRIEST TO Become RELIGIOUS TEACHER IN INDIAN ARmy

Father Jis Jose became the first Syro Malabar priest to hold the rank of a Naib Subedar in Indian army. He has been appointed a religious teacher as a junior commissioned officer in the rank of Naib Subedar.

Army appoints various religious teachers in the army. Fr Jis who believed in doing something different in life applied for the post that was advertised in the newspapers. He was, then, serving as the vice principal of the Kanchiyar John Paul Memorial College in Indukki. Religious Teacher is a post that Indian Army offers to a priest in which a priest can become a direct entry JCO and keep practicing his priesthood.

To achieve this, he had to pass many physical tests and exam. Physical test was at Bagalkot in Karnataka. The candidate has to finish a distance of 1600 meter within 5.40 minutes. Fr Jis, a badminton player could easily do that. This was followed by an entrance exam. As he passed it, a seven-week-long training including weapons training for self-protection awaited him.

When physical training was over, a 11-week-long spiritual training was given at the Institute of National Integration in Pune. Other religious scriptures, rituals, celebrations and manners were part of the study. As he successfully completed the training and tests, he was finally iven the rank of Naib Subedar, a Junior Commissioned Officer (Religious Teacher). He could be appointed anywhere in India and can wear his cassock except in official functions.

Religious teachers are appointed in the army to instill brotherhood, secularism and coexistence among the army personnel. The basic function of a religious teacher is to interpret religious scripts rightly, share values and to celebrate the religious festivals of all religions together. My batch has 19 members; 16 Pandits, one Buddhist priest and one Sikh priest besides me, said Fr Jis.