Indian Catholic News

Freed Salesian priest receives Mother Teresa award

Father Thomas Uzhunnalil, who was held for 18 months in Yemen, recognized for his compassion and courage.

(From left to right) ) Abraham Mathai, President of the Harmony Foundation, Justice Dalveer Bhandari of the International Court of Justice, and Advocate Rezwan Merchant presenting the Mother Teresa award for Social Justice to Father Tom Uzhunnalil in Mumbai, Dec. 10. (Photo supplied)

Salesian Father Thomas Uzhunnalil, who was released from 18-month's captivity in strife-torn Yemen last September, was awarded the Mother Teresa Award for Social Justice Dec. 10.

The Harmony Foundation, a volunteer group based in Mumbai, India’s commercial capital, honored the catholic priest under the theme "compassion without borders."

Suspected Islamic terrorists kidnapped Fr. Uzhunnalil, a missionary in Yemen, on March 4, 2016. He was taken away after gunmen attacked a home for the elderly operated by the Missionaries of Charity in Aden, where the priest served as the chaplain. The militants gunned down 16 people including four nuns.

He was released Sept. 13 this year and arrived in his home state of Kerala after a fortnight of rest in Rome where he was taken soon after his release.

Expressing his gratitude for the award, the Salesian priest said that he does not hold hatred for anyone.

Abraham Mathai, president of Harmony Foundation, said that society needs more people like Father Uzhunnalil, "to show compassion for the needy."

Father Uzhunnalil "exhibited compassion in action by serving in such a dangerous place despite knowing the consequences because he had the heart to serve," Mathai, founder of Harmony Foundation, told

He said that the least we could do for such a person is to honor him in public and help society draw inspiration from his compassionate work.

Source: UCAN

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