Rev. Fr. Travis Gabriel – a Man of God


Rev. Fr. Travis Jude Gabriel

by Rev. Fr. Milan Bernard

On the 04th of April 2019, the Josephian family bid farewell to the 13th Rector of St. Joseph’s College, Colombo 10, Rev. Fr. Travis Jude Gabriel. He served St. Joseph’s College as the Rector for five long years. Moreover, he retired on the very particular day ending three decades of dedicated and committed service in the field of Education. He rendered a yeoman service to the Nation as an illustrious educationist. His service for 33 long years in the field of Education is commendable and laudable.

Rev. Fr. Travis Jude Gabriel is a man of God. I came to know him, five years ago, exactly on the 10th of May 2014, on the day of my Priestly Ordination. As I was appointed to the Staff of St. Joseph’s College, Colombo 10, Rev. Fr. Travis congratulated me and wished me all the very best in my Priestly mission. That was the exact day that I came to know Fr. Travis. On the same day a Senior Priest of my diocese said "One who wished you is the Rector of St. Joseph’s College and you are so fortunate to begin your Priestly mission under such a personality and when time passes you will realize it". That was the first impression that was created in me of Rev. Fr. Travis.

Just after a few days of my Priestly Ordination I went to meet Rev. Fr. Travis at St. Joseph’s College. His welcome gesture was so pleasant and I have no words to express the experience. I do still remember what he told me at my first encounter with him "Do not forget to say the Breviary and the Holy Rosary every day". As these words passed from his lips, I noticed a small statue of the Blessed Mother Mary just in front of his office. His spiritual journey really motivated and inspired all of us. We could see how he spends time in front of the Blessed Sacrament and reciting the Holy Rosary in our small Chapel. Every morning he starts his day’s proceedings of the College celebrating the Holy Mass with the entire Josephian family at 7.00 am. I would say the secret of his success story is his deep, indomitable faith in God and his solid, firmly rooted prayer life. He is truly a man of God.

Rev. Fr. Travis is a man who leads an exemplary virtuous life. Virtues and good qualities are so much embedded into his pattern of life. He is a champion in listening. I would say he has mastered the art of listening. Whenever someone comes seeking his company in times of pain and trouble he is always there to listen to them. He will never get tired of listening to anyone. His patient listening surely would have healed the wounds of many souls.

There is a saying "Respect should be earned and not demanded". This is so much applicable to the life of Fr. Travis. He is a man who will respect each and everyone whom he encounters. He respects the opinion of others and always acknowledges it. He is a man who has immensely earned the respect of others.

Fr. Travis is a true shepherd who guides and leads his flock on the correct path. In his mission as the Rector he is an epitome of a true Shepherd / Leader. He guided the Tutorial Staff, the Non Academic Staff and the Students to greener pastures. A good shepherd is always there for his flock. Fr. Travis is ever so ready and willing to help the flock entrusted to him. His eagerness in extending a helping hand is praiseworthy. He always wants his flock to be happy and enjoy every bit of life. He is truly a man who leads a very exemplary virtuous life.

"Actions speak louder than words". He practices what he preaches. He is a man of principles. I do still remember the 82nd Battle of the Saints, the Big Match between St. Joseph’s College, Colombo10 and St. Peter’s College, Colombo 04. He awarded the victory to St. Peter’s College teaching the entire Nation a lesson on true spirit of Sportsmanship and on the true spirit of the game of Cricket. "Win at any cost" is not at all in his blood. He wants all to give their best when the best is needed and to enjoy the game. The following morning the Print and the Electronic Media hailed his authentic gesture. This magnanimous sporting gesture will be remembered forever. He is truly a man of principles.

Dear Fr. Travis you are truly a man of God, a man of principles and a man who leads a very exemplary virtuous life. Your way of life really inspires all of us. We wish you all the very best in your future endeavors.

May God Bless You!


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