Spanish priest readies his grave in Jharkhand

April 13th, 2008 - 6:05 pm ICT by admin  

By Nityanand Shukla
Ranchi, April 13 (IANS) Strange though it may sound, a Christian priest here is getting his own grave prepared so that there is no dispute over his last rites when he dies. Father Alfaro, 65-year-old Spaniard, teaches in Kamra village under Torpa block of Khuti district, around 70 km from here. He arrived here at Kamra eight years ago and opened a school to teach children in this one of the most backward areas of the state.

“I am getting the grave dug so that no dispute arises regarding my funeral. I want to die in this place and my body should be buried here,” says Father Alfaro.

“I have developed a love for this land. My love has prompted me to get my grave dug here. People will remember my mission to impart education….”

Father Alfaro originally belonged to Spain. He was a professor in the US before he arrived in India some 30 years ago. The Jesuit, who reportedly knows 18 languages, taught in Kerala before coming to Jharkhand where he settled down in Torpa block.

Father Alfaro stays in a small house he got built soon after he chose to settle down in Jharkhand. He prefers studying in candlelight to electric bulbs.

Father Alfaro has prepared a dictionary in six languages, including Spanish and Mundari, the language of the Munda people.

Father Alfaro’s decision to get readied his own grave surprised the people of the Torpa block.

Says Vijay Gudia, a resident of Kamra village: “We were surprised by the reason Father gave for getting his readied his own grave… He is a saint in the real sense of the term.”

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