Fr Casimir Raj SJ
Wenceslaus Anthony was a person who had a positive outlook in life and everything that goes with it.
I may perceive a situation as hopeless and an event as mediocre, but he would say there is hope and that everything is good.
This optimism was born out of his deep faith in God, who he believed will protect him. His deep faith made him see the finger of God in every event in the world, in his family and in his life. A businessperson will be tense from time to time because of the many problems that he faces, but Wenceslaus was cool, taking in situations as they came and tackled them.
I have always admired his deep faith which repeatedly gave him an optimistic outlook.
Earn and Learn
I entered his life when he was just entering his adulthood. He came from Kolkata to Chennai, where he had no friends, no relatives, when he joined the Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA).
He was determined to stand on his own legs, without disturbing his father.
He needed a job to survive and to pay the tuition fees. In a few days, he managed to get a decent job at Godrej and he stayed there till he finished his studies.
Similarly, after marriage, he had meagre income with which maintaining a family was almost impossible. There was real a struggle and family squabbles. There were times, when he had no money even to buy provisions.
But he never gave up hope. I never saw him gloomy or worried.
There was a time when he had to sell old newspapers to buy food. But nothing disturbed his deep faith in God.
Entry in New Land
Similarly, when he went to New Zealand, he was determined to start a business.
But he had no capital. He had no friends. He did not know the law of the land. But with deep faith in God and a few old contacts he had in India, he started his enterprise. He struggled, but never gave up hope. God was with him.
He loved people, especially those he came into contact.
I am a reserved person. He is a man who can build relationship in a jiffy with anybody. Once, both of us were at the Auckland airport. He went about meeting people, introducing himself, saying one or two loving words.
I thought it was madness.
Love for people
But soon I noticed the transformation in those people.
They easily struck a conversation with him. They could sense his genuine love.
He has built deep relationship with people who just travelled with him in an aircraft just once. He kept touch in with them and helped them when they were in need.
Everybody could sense his genuine love. It was not the exploitative love of a politician, it was not a crafty love, but the genuine love of Jesus.
Jesus loved everybody who came into contact with Him. That is the love he showed to them. That is why, whoever he meets, be it an ordinary worker in the office, President of India or the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka or New Zealand, he built a deep relationship.
He enhanced their lives and hence their relationship lasted many years.
These traits of Wency have changed my life. His influence on me has made a better person. It made to sense the ways and designs of God and to trust him.
Goodbye Wency, but you live in me.
Father Casimir Raj SJ is Founder and until recently Director of Loyola Institute of Business Administration Loyola College, Chennai, India. He wrote the above article a day after the Funeral Service was held for Wenceslaus Anthony at the Loyola College Church on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.