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“I feel young people are getting away from the church. Priests can influence people’s lives,” he says.

“They live and work for others. They can bring about a change in the community — make it more harmonious and integrated. They can show people the way.”

Mr. Vattakuzhy is looking forward to being ordained in December 2019. He rises to return to his work — but not without first making one humble request:

“Please pray for me.”

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Anubha George is a former BBC editor and writes on Kerala culture. Based in Cochin, her work has been published in Scroll.in, The Good Men Project among others. She also teaches journalism at India’s leading media schools.



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