Fr. Francis Thadathil, MSFS
Father Francis Thadathil hails from the southernmost Indian state of Kerala, known as “God’s own Country” because of its exquisite scenic beauty and backwaters. This part of India has the tradition of St. Thomas the apostle, who in A.D 52, came to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. Growing up in a family of ten children with a lively faith background, early on he felt the call to be a missionary priest and joined the religious order of the Missionaries of St. Francis De Sales (MSFS), also known as the Fransalians.
After the completion of his religious formation and seminary studies, he was ordained in 1981. For over 3 decades, he has worked as a missionary among the tribal communities of Northeast India, sharing the joy of life in Christ. The people of Northeast India hold a place of joy and pride in his heart.
He holds degrees in philosophy, theology, political science, and literature from Indian universities. He has served as the Associate Pastor at Queen of the Apostles Parish in Tomah, and Blessed Sacrament Parish in Lacrosse. He has also served as chaplain to Aquinas Middle School in La Crosse from 2003 to 2008. In India, he served in leadership positions of the Province community.
Fr. Francis draws inspiration for his life and ministry from Jesus’s words, “I am the vine, and you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit” (Jn 15:5); and St Paul’s instruction, “Rejoice always” (I Thess. 5:16). He enjoys his ministry at Immaculate Conception Parish with everyone — children, young, and old — and strongly desires to build up a vibrant Parish community.
Monsignor Robert Hundt, the lead Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church, writes of Father Francis that he “is a man rich in religious faith and equally rich in ‘people’ skills. He was much loved by the congregants….”
His bishop said of Father Francis that he is “a committed missionary pastor, a dynamic leader, an experienced counselor, and an efficient educator.”