Fr Antoni Ponnudurai, SJ, of the Kingsmead Jesuit community in Singapore has passed away.
He had been admitted to hospital after a heart attack on Sept 17 and returned to the Lord in the early morning of Sept 23. He was 83.
Fr Ponnudurai was born on March 22, 1932, as the eldest of five children. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in Madurai, India, at the age of 19 and was ordained a priest on March 19, 1964.
He professed his final vows as a Jesuit six years later.
Fr Ponnudurai served in Mauritius and Medan before he was sent to serve the Malaysian Tamil-speaking communities in 1978.
After 10 years as the parish priest of the Church of Our Lady of Fatima, Kuala Lumpur, Fr Ponnudurai was sent to Singapore to minister to the Church of St Ignatius and the apostolate of Tamil-speaking Catholics in Singapore.
In 1990, Fr Ponnudurai was transcribed from Madurai Province where he had received his formation and ordination, to Macau-Hong Kong Province, as a member of the Dependent Region of Malaysia-Singapore.
He also served in a number of Jesuit offices, including being a member of the Consult of the Malaysia-Singapore Region, Regional Treasurer, and the Socius to the regional Novice Master.
From 1992 to 1998, Fr Ponnudurai held office as the Regional Superior of the Malaysia-Singapore Region, after which he continued as a Consultor of the Regional Superior and as Local Superior of the Kingsmead Jesuit community.
Despite his failing health in recent years, Fr Ponnudurai continued to exercise his priestly ministry in Singapore and Malaysia, making regular trips to serve in parishes and as a team member of the Centre for Ignatian Spirituality and Counselling (CISC) in Singapore.
Archbishop William Goh presided at the funeral Mass on Sept 26 at the Church of St Ignatius, Singapore. Fr Ponnudurai was cremated at Mandai Crematorium.
We invite you to pray for him in your Masses and prayers.
Submitted by CHANCERY OFFICE