Rev. Fr. T.J.Joshua, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday is an extraordinary genius among the priests in the Malankara orthodox congregation. That unique and incomparable personality has the power of knowledge, the reverberations of the supreme power and also the purity of a spiritual instructor.
He could get off a spark in the lamp of the psyche of the priests who were legislated out from 1955 onwards from Kottayam orthodox theological seminary (old seminary/study house).The Pastor's both words and face have the same luminosity. Rev. Fr. Joshua is the teacher of all the present respectable bishops (except a few who haven't done their studies from the priest seminary).
Death has always followed the Pastor as a shadow. The diseases which didn't attack the Pastor were hard to find. The books “ Mouniyayi Ezhu Dhinangal” and “Maranathodu Mugamugam” are founded on that setting. The list of Pastor's diseases from the age of three make us wonder about the fact that such a man exists. What made Fr. Joshua different from other men is his ability to change the illness and pain to a sweet feeling. The Pastor realized not only the pain of illness and the pleasure of well being but also the pleasure of illness and the pain of well being. The Pastor molded the life's constant hellish torment and anguish into the blessing of divine force. As the god's word “ My grace is all you need” (2 Cori :12: 9) in Philip's life is equally relevant in the Pastor's life, it's shining as “the singing bird on a swinging branch”. Because of that the Pastor can say “ I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Phili : 4:13).
As the Late. Dr. Sukumar Azhikode, the Pastor also considers oratory as a prophet's duty. In that respect are seldom any priests now in Pastor's age who has attended thousands of full moon and still very active in oratory and writing.
He doesn't perform any oration without thorough preparation. Because of that reason the orations from the soul's current enters the human heart as a flow of ambrosia.
On 13th February 1929, Fr. Joshua was born as the fifth son to the couple Yohanan and Raphael in Thekkineth in Konni, a place in Pathanamthitta district. Joshua Yohanan was his official full name. He was reborn in the baptistry of the Konni St. George church. “Achankunju”was his pet name. He read the alphabets from Nanu Aashan's (Nanu master) school who was popular as Ashari Aashan ( Carpentry master). The words of the master “ my son Joshua you will achieve many heights through education” at the time of gift giving and bidding farewell was noticeable. And the past 85 years have shown that the master's command is imperishable.
He continued his education in Edethu primary school in Konni. Because of the courtesy in his behavior and the insight brilliance Fr. Joshua was the dearest pupil for his teachers and the favorite for his classmates. After that he did his schooling in Konni N.S.S English medium school which is now popular as Republican school. His Sunday school teacher was Fr.Paulose, who was the father of V.P.Varghese, who worked his whole life in “Servants of the Cross” society. During his 4th grade, he got the opportunity to serve in Sacred. Mathabha. He passed his 10th grade at the age of 16.
In 1960, he took a graduation in STM from Union Theological college in America. Gulf country trips were after returning from U.S. At that time the Pastor was the second priest who was doing oratory trips in Gulf countries. The first priest was Rev. Fr. M.V.George (The precious stone of the congregation Late. Bishop His. Holiness Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios). Representing Malankara congregation Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios and Fr.Joshua went to be a part of the celebration of the thousand years of establishment of the congregation in Soviet Russia.
In 1974 Fr. Joshua visited the holy places. He received the scholarship of the Ecumenical Institute in Tantur, a place in-between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. His topic was the new testament. At the time of his course he was blessed with the opportunity to pray by bowing down in the places which were turned into holy, sacred ones with the breath and touch of St. Meshack, who was born as an incarnation. As well, he wrote the book “Vishudha Naatil”.
The incident which hurt Fr. Joshua the most was the expiry of His.Holiness. Geevarghese II Bava, who was his guru and guide, on 3rd January 1964. The Pastor has been the General Secretary of 'All Malankara Youth Movement'. In 1962, as a priest in many parish he was the Vicar. In a short span of time the Pastor has handled various responsibilities like the teacher of old seminary, later it's vice-principal, Director General of Sunday school and as a member of the managing committee of the congregation. From 1993 onwards he is the Director of Karunya Guidance Centre near Kottayam Medical college.
St. Thomas orthodox church in Changanassery was constructed under the supervision of Fr. Joshua. Instead of using the C.S.I cemetery the Pastor even endeavored to have a cemetery for the church. After being a Vicar at that church for 18 years he was in charge of Pallam St. Pauls church. The Pastor gave the supervision for renovating the church beautifully. On 5th July 1980 his father and on 24th March 1982 his lucky mother was expired.
Fr. Joshua got the admission in the seminary for the seminary formation through the recommendation of the Late. His. Holiness Geevarghese Dhwidiyan Bava, who stays as a luck in our remembrance. His interest in reading and the orderly life in the seminary helped him to nourish many of his aptitude.
On 30th May 1947 in the Kottayam old seminary chapel Joshua became a Deacon by accepting the ordination of Koorio from His. Holiness. Geevarghese II Bava. In that year itself, he joined the famous CMS college in Kottayam for intermediate and got passed out with high grades. Then he joined the famous Aluva U.C college for B.A and became an economics graduate in 1951. After that, he joined the Calcutta Bishops college for B.D and he passed his B.D in 1954. Even before the examinations were finished, he got the appointment order for the position of a teacher in the old seminary from the bishop His. Holiness Bava. After returning from Calcutta on 1955 onwards Deacon Joshua took the charge as a teacher in “Padithaveedu”. It was during the time of his course at Calcutta Bishops college, he became submissive to his abdominal surgery in Vellur medical college.After that he was admitted for the treatment of pneumonia for 3 weeks in Thiruvalla Mission hospital.
On 24th April 1956 Deacon Joshua got married in Meenadan St. Thomas'Valyapalli' by Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Mar Gregorios (Bishop of Pambady) and Bishop Mathews Mar Ivanios Parettu as the chief celebrants. Like that Meenadan Alayikaparambil A.C.Jacob's second daughter, Dr. Mariamma became the Pastor's life partner. (In the book “ Koodananja Inakili” he has explained in detail about his sweetheart who has passed away in a car accident).
In 1957 on the day of the Feast of Ascension, the respectable master His. Holiness. Geevarghese II Catholic Bava gave him the ordination of Kashisso in 'Devalokam Aramana Chapel'. The very following day there itself the celebration of the first holy mass was performed. And the following first Sunday he celebrated the holy mass in Karappuzha Mar Gregorios Chappel.
The Pastor's first convention oration was in Thottakadu Pariyaram Mar Aphrem Church in Kottayam Bhadrasanam . He was a permanent Orator in many stages like the famous Makkam Kunnu Convention in Central Travancore, Kottarakara Convention in southern area and so on. The Pastor is always seen to be punctual in his lifetime. Even the name of the Pastor's biography itself is “Samayaradhathile Sandheshkan” ('The Messenger in Time Chariot').
The Pastor's orations are the words from the soul. A simple language style without the influence of any modern difficult words. A presentation without much hyperbole. Words without the association of wickedness, but at times as strict as St. John. An experience where the listeners merge with the facts of the holy water hidden in words. The Pastor's orations are smiling spears against the fugitive life in this universe and the filth in the worldly life.
On 6th February 1957, the Pastor's son Roy (John) was born. Now he is working as a professor at Columbus State University in Ohio, a state in America. His wife Roshini is an engineer by profession. When Roy was two years old the Pastor's younger daughter Renu was born. Renu and her husband Dr. Joli are doctors by profession and are presently operating in Kerala itself. Dr. Mariamma Joshua has done her praise deserving service as a government doctor in the places like Trivandrum, Karunagapalli, Mavelikkara, Moovatupuzha, Thiruvalla, Changanassery and Kozhancheri. She has worked as a D.M.O in Alappuzha, Kottayam, Palakkad and Idukki districts. She got retired from the service when she was functioning as the Additional Director of Health Service in Trivandrum.