Sunday, June 26, 2022

Emotions soar on final journey of Father McGrath

Jamshedpur : Emotions soared high as Fr. Edward Hugh McGrath, one of the founding fathers of XLRI was laid at the foyer of Tata Auditorium, XLRI Campus from 8.30am to 9.30am for public viewing and paying of last respects.

The funeral mass was held at 10.00am at St Joseph’s Cathedral, Golmuri, Jamshedpur followed by the burial at the Jesuit Cemetery JesuBhavan, Mango, Jamshedpur.

The main celebrant for today’s funeral mass was Rev. Felix Toppo, SJ, D.D., the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India. Fr E Abraham, SJ, Director of XLRI, Rev Fr. George Fernandes S J, Provincial, Fr. Jerome Cutinha, S.J. and Fr.

Oswald Mascarenhas, S.J. were also present as co-celebrants besides many other priests, nuns, and hundreds of well-wishers and former students of Fr. Edward Hugh McGrath.

Father Edward Hugh McGrath, one of the founding fathers of B-school XLRI, expired after prolonged illness on Friday. He spent his last days of life in FrGuidera Residence, XLRI. Fr McGrath was director of XLRI from 1959 to 62, and 1981-82.

Fr McGrath was born on 7 January, 1923, to Dr John F McGrath and Lillian McGrath in New York. He came to India in 1949, a time when the country had just gained freedom and was painstakingly building the foundation for a democratic state.

It was Fr McGrath’s resolute faith in the three vows that a Jesuit undertakes: poverty, chastity and obedience that led him to India. His entire life revolved around these three vows.

Fr McGrath at the young age of 36 became the second director of XLRI-a school of labor relations that was born out of a dream to strengthen industrial India, through the strengthening of her trade unions and her personnel managers whilst practicing ethical management.

He conducted several courses for management and trade union groups at XLRI. During the 60s, under his guidance XLRI started offering courses for unions in collaboration with the steel union at the Steel Worker College.

In 1987 Fr McGrath moved to the Human Life Centre in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, and took over as director there. He developed vocational training courses, viz., written and spoken English, computer operating, tailoring, and carpentry among others.

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