Fr.Abel Passed Away
Fr. Abel (Abel Achan - 81) priest of Roman Catholic Church (C.M.A), the founder of "Kalabhavan, Cochin" died yesterday. Father was an Institution by himself and whose death is a great loss to the "Kala Keralam" especially the whole christian community of Kerala.
Just like Jesus Christ has come for the whole humanity, it appears in true sense Achan was also for everybody irrespective of any caste, creed or religion, which was the beauty.
He was the president of Kalabhavan Studios. The Kalabhavan Talent Residential School was also his brainchild.
Most of the Syrian Catholic Liturgical Hymns are penned and composed by him. In fact, it was the recording of these hymns that paved the way for Fr Abel's entry into the world of popular entertainment.
His history is intertwined with that of Kalabhavan, where more than 13,000 students have so far studied music and other fine arts. Abel started the institute in 1970 at the instance of the then Cardinal Joseph Parekkattil, for composing liturgical.
In 1960s, when Syriac language gave way to Malayalam in liturgical prayers, the late Parekkattil entrusted Fr Abel with the task of translating the liturgy into Malayalam and composing hymns.
He wrote nearly 20 books for the use of the Church. Funeral Rites, Concelebrated Mass, Hymns, Rites of the Holy Week, Sacraments, Christmas songs, etc are his contributions.
Many popular songs such as Easwaranethedi Njanalanju, Parisudhalmave Neeyezhunnalli Varaname, Daivame Nin Gehametra Mohanam are penned by him. K K Antony Master scored music for most of his hymns.
When the work of liturgical songs was over, he had to find livelihood for his artistes who were working with him. So he started a ganamela troupe with the help of Emil Rex Brothers and others. Jolly Abraham, Jensy, Sujatha Gopakumar and others were the early singers in his troupe.
To make the programme more attractive, he integrated mimicry with Ganamela and called it `mimics parade'. That was a hit.
As many as 20 Malayalam film artistes had found their way to the celluloid through Kalabhavan. Jayaram, Dileep, Kalabhabban Moni, director-cum-actor Lal, director Siddique, the late Sainuddin, Harisree Asokan, Kalabhavan Navas, Kalabhavan Rahman, producer K T Kunjumon and Thesni Khan are prominent among them.
Others like K S Prasad became noted producers. Son of Periyappurathu Mathen Vaidyan of Mulakkulam, Abel was born in 1920. He did his schooling at Mannanam St Aphrem's High School before joining the CMI congregation in 1939. He was ordained priest in 1951 by Archbishop Mathew Kavukattu of Changanasserry.
A year later, he joined the editorial team of The Deepika. In 1953, he went to Rome to take his doctorate in Political Science from the International University, Rome. He returned to Deepika in 1957. He was entrusted with the duty of organising Deepika Children's League.
He also worked as a Syriac teacher at St Joseph�s College, Devagiri, Kozhikode, before plunging into the world of popular entertainment.
Fr Abel himself used to quip about his hectic life.
The funeral service will be held on Monday at 2 pm at St Anne's Monastery Church, Kurianad, near Kuravilangdu, in Kottayam district.
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