Priest Lives Vocation Through Organ Donation

Gives Kidney to Save Hindu

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VADANAPPALLY, India, SEPT. 22, 2009 ( An Indian presbyter is celebrating the priestly year by giving his kidney to save the life of a Hindu man who is a stranger to him.

Father Davis Chiramel, 46, is pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church in Vadanappally, India. He is also the secretary-general of Accident Care and Transport Services of Thrissur.

A few months ago, the volunteers who work in the organization met in the priest’s church to talk about their work.

They spoke about a poor man of Hindu religion called Gopinath. This former electrician and father of two children is suffering from chronic kidney insufficiency, and undergoes regular dialysis.

The volunteer workers were asking for money to help the man, some one million rupees ($21,000), but they stated that the donation they really needed was of an organ.

When the priest realized that these workers were talking about trying to collect money in order to buy a kidney for the man through illegal means, he made a decision to become the organ donor himself.

Father Chiramel told AsiaNews: “To donate a kidney is a grace for me.

“It happened in February but only on June 19 did I understand what I was doing. That day the Pope opened the Year for Priests, and I was in the hospital for one of the analyses.

“I immediately realized that I had been given the grace of also offering my body to save a man.”

On Sept. 30, Gopinath will meet the priest for the first time, and will receive the needed organ on that same day.

Father Chiramel explained: “Christ gives himself for the salvation of the world and, every day in the Mass, priests offer the sacrifice of his Body and Blood. However, they do so without sharing the pains and sufferings of our Lord.

“For me, the possibility of donating an organ of mine to a person unknown to me has become a unique and privileged occasion to participate in Christ’s sufferings.”

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