Rev. Fr. Abraham Kaippanplackal, Founder of Snehagiri Missionary Sisters (SMS) is a unique and unparalled soul who created an epoch through his zealous passionate love towards God and indomitable compassionate love for fellow beings. Conquering the taboos of time, he soared high with the wings of love and rained down as fresh water among the poor and needy, sick and suffering, hopeless and helpless. He is a man of penance, who personalized a high life goal, simple life style, and dedication.
The traditional India was vibrant with the mantras and prayers of the hermits. Here the small state, Kerala, described as God’s own country is decorated with gorgeous green valleys and golden fields. The conventional village, Kozhuvanal in the district of Kottayam was famous for its diligent farmers. In that beautiful village, in the established Kaippanplackal family, Avirachan (Fr. Abraham) was born as the youngest son of Joseph and Thressia on 16th April 1914. He was born as a good Samaritan to heal the wounds of the wounded and an angel to bring the gospel of peace in the midst of peace less world. He has got the training of a charitable life from the childhood from his mother. As the parents were pious and devotees, the children were brought up in the background of strong faith and charity.
When he became five years old they sent him to Government LP School Kozhuvanal and after the lower Primary Education he had studied the third forum in St. Antony’s School Mutholy. Then the education continued in St. Thomas High School and he has passed the Matriculation exam in March 1931. After the school education, he joined the diocesan Minor Seminary. After the two year studies in the Minor Seminary at Kottayam, he continued his priestly studies in the Mangalappuzha Major Seminary at Aluva. During the formation there he was so interested in reading and studying the rich Indian culture. He was ordained as a priest on 21st December 1939 before the then bishop of Changanacherry, Mar James Kalassery. The affectionate mother advised her dearest son before going the fields of God as this, “Dear son, your eyes shouldn’t be on high at any time. You must look to the down always. Never forget the poor.” He didn’t realized the meaning of this words at that time. But as the years passed his life proved the power and depth of these simple words.
The first field of his pastoral activities was the parish of Elangoi in the diocese of Changanacherry. Then he was appointed as the assistant vicar of St.Mary’s Church Athirampuzha. He recognized his call to be a messenger of the gospel to the poor of God . There was a separate small church for the Dalit Christians in the parish. When he reached Athirampuzha Fr. Kaippanplackal decided to dedicate himself for the development of the poor Dalits there. Through his hard work and desire he could open the doors of the traditional parish church for these Dalits.
While working as the Vicar of Lalam Church, the pathetic sights of the wandering children in the streets, kindled a new light in his compassionate mind . He talked with them, comprehended the robbing pains of their little minds and adopted them to his mind as his own children. Then his dream for the better future of these children were realized by the support of some kind hearted people of his parish. With out delay a new shelter home was started for the care and well being of these wandering boys of Pala, Boys Town. Later it became a home of love, concern and solace to many young boys and a sanctuary of hope to many families. Without delay a home was opened for the girls at Kozhuvanal. God has touched the mind of the founder and inspired him to start a new religious congregation. 10 young vibrant girls were attracted by this divine plan and came forward to dedicate themselves for the service of the poor and destitute. On May 24, 1969 God affixed His signature on this. The congregation of Snehagiri Missionary Sisters (SMS) was found its place in the history with the rejoicing of people and in a most amazing way. It grew as a radiant spiritual beam in the world.
After 6 years of the foundation of Snehagiri congregation, the founder became sick and he resigned from the responsibilities of the congregation after giving up everything to the bishop of Pala, Mar Sabastian Vayalail. Then he spent the further days at home for rest and refreshment. The ardent spirit to lead a life for and with the poor, he started a new home at Chethimattom named Devadan Centre, for the aged destitute men and spends the remaining life with them receiving the affection and care of his children, Snehagiri Missionary Sisters.
The divine soul of Founder was called to eternal peace and rest on 4th May 2014. Thousands of people from all realms of life attended the funeral among the presence of His Beatitude Cardinal Mar George Alenchery, His Beatitude Moran More Baselios Cleemis , numerous Bishops, priests and the crowded people who respected and loved him. The external body of the founder was buried in the tomb at Lalam Old Church, Pala. The room where the divine priest spent his last moments in Devadan Centre is kept sacred and is visited and prayed by many people everyday.