A tribute to Msgr Anthony Thomas, a Priest of Melchizedek

A tribute to Msgr Anthony Thomas, a Priest of Melchizedek

Oct 12, 2017

Dear Editor,

Jesus says to Peter, “I will give
you the keys of the kingdom
of heaven, and whatever you
bind on Earth shall be bound
in heaven, and whatever you
loose on Earth shall be loosed
in heaven.” – Mt 16:19

When the news of Msgr Anthony Thomas’ return to the Lord reached my ears, a whirlwind of memories filled my mind and carried me to the Sacred Heart Church where he had been the Parish Priest for almost a decade. I must say that I am very privileged to have been trained to sing the psalms by him; personally, very blessed to have been appreciated by him and very gifted to have crossed paths with him, for he had willingly shared his insights on several topics — something I will treasure my whole life.

For me, “Fr Thomas” often comes with a vivid memory of this multi-linguist greeting me with his distinct voice, “Yes; young lady.” Standing at his parish office playing with a bunch of keys in his hands, enjoying the jangles or seated at the piano running his fingers up and down the array of black and white musical keys…

My understanding is that he was so fond of keys that he became one in every sense of the word… A key symbolizes freedom, openings and closings, privacy and security, and above all, power.

Freedom: He had unchained many from oppression, sufferings, and poverty through the gift of education. He even engaged teachers who could offer music lessons for a smaller fee and presented them with a place to teach in the church, so that the young ones of the parish could experience the joy of soul food.

Openings and Closings: He not only opened the multipurpose centres and closed the chapter of inconvenience and unaffordability, but also stirred many hearts to serve the Lord through his deep promptings and prayers, as well as his way of life. He opened the doors many found too hard to open and closed the doors many found too tough to close.

Privacy and Security: As the saying goes, “a man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back to the crowds,” he had preferred quiet moments to himself. Especially after Mass, he would head straight towards his piano and let his fingers speak to the Lord, magnificently. Rarely had we seen him in social gatherings but we all know that he made way for many, and he had known no fear besides the fear of God.

Power: He believed that too many cooks spoil the soup. Hence, while he had been in authority, he was firm in his ways, protecting the Church and its teachings like the “Rock” and ensuring that he never overlooked anything under his care, even the most minute of details — an expression, a sound, what more when it came to the content, presentation and timing.

A man so intricate in his thoughts, words and deeds; a masterpiece as he had been, is certainly irreplaceable. However, in his footsteps, we can, at least, hope and work towards being pebbles that create ripples. Truly, as his soul joins the choirs of heaven in unending hymns of praise, may he continue to pray for all of us, nearer to God this time.

Angela Rumina Leo
Former SHC Parishioner

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