Belgaum: Swami Amalananda (Fr Antony Felix Mathias) No More
Daijiworld Media Network—Belgaum (RD/CN)
With picture and input from Aardees Udupi
Belgaum, Sep 4: Fr Antony Felix Mathias, a devout Jesuit priest popularly known as Swami Amalananda, passed away recently. The 89-year-old priest was a firm believer in humanity, who lived life committed to the Lord both in deeds and words, and was instrumental in building a church at his mission center in Deshnur. The church built in 1976, is reminiscent of traditional Indian temple architecture.
He was born in January 1919 to Dominic Paul Mathias and Serapine Colaco, at Belman, in Dakshina Kannada district. Swami Amalananda was the seventh of nine children and did his initial schooling at Milagres School, Kallianpur. After his studies, he left for Mumbai where he worked briefly as an Income Tax Officer (ITO) from 1944 to 1946.
He joined the Jesuit seminary in 1946 and was ordained a priest in 1957 at Pune, and was sent to a remote village called Deshnur. Thereafter he came to be known as Swami Amalananda (a true disciple o St John Baptist) and his ashram was called ‘Snaanik Arulappara Ashrama’.
He led a simple life, was a strict vegetarian, and meditated and fasted on Fridays. Fr Mathias also built an orphanage for the destitute and poor, besides administering traditional medicines to patients affected by snake bites. Coincidentally, he breathed his last on the feast of his patron St John Baptist.