Local Face: Father Paul
Fr Paul Villangapara MOP, a dynamic priest and senior member of the Missionaries of the Poor (MOP), https://missionariesofthepoor.org/ will be serving St Anne’s, Wendover, for a year. The Missionaries of the Poor is a Pontifical International Religious Congregation of Brothers and Priests dedicated to “joyful service with Christ on the Cross”, freely offering their humble works of mercy to the poorest of the poor. MOP does similar works to those of St Mother Teresa of Calcutta, serving the most vulnerable in ghettoes and slum communities, their lives freely dedicated to the service of the homeless, sick, disabled, and destitute children and adults.
Fr Paul was born and raised in Kerala, India, in a very devout Catholic family. In 1994 after completing BA in English and Hindi Literature, he joined MOP. He completed his studies for the priesthood in Canada (St Philip’s Seminary), USA (Franciscan University, Steubenville, Ohio) and Philippines (Holy Rosary Major Seminary), ordained Priest in the Philippines.
Over the years Fr Paul has served faithfully and inspired many hearts all over the world in his ministry, and has helped to pioneer and establish major mission centers, homes, and schools for the poor, in the Philippines, India, Jamaica and Kenya. He has conducted multiple retreats, mission talks, days of prayers for religious and laity in the USA, India, and Kenya.
He spent the last 7 years in Kenya serving the poor, overseeing the construction of the Good Shepherd orphanage home, Divine Mercy Academy for poor children, and John Paul II medical clinic. He was also in charge of raising funds.
Fr Paul is a very loving, caring, and kind person. During his free time, he likes to travel, read books and share about his faith. He believes that his serving experience among many different ethnicities has contributed positively to his faith and personal growth. The people he has served have helped broaden his understanding of the diverse expressions of different cultures’ love of, and devotion to, our one true God, by keeping alive their traditions, languages, and customs, as an important part of their faith.
He will be with us at St Anne’s and OLOL during his sabbatical, at the invitation of St Aidan’s Church in Little Chalfont, a major supporter. He is the only priest from his order in Europe. In his ministry, he would like to share with you what he has learned in his family and in the missions – a deep and faithful love for God and all peoples. He hopes that he may lead the people of this parish community closer to God.