Successful surgery takes deacon one step closer to priesthood

By Catherine Sheehan

Following successful kidney transplant surgery in India, Deacon Vinco Muriyadan of the Hobart Archdiocese is recovering well and has expressed his gratitude to God and to all those who prayed for him.

“First of all, I would like to thank Almighty God for all the protection he gave me,” he said.

Vinco said he now feels one step closer to being ordained to the priesthood, something he felt called to from the time he was a 12-year-old altar boy in India.

“That’s my ultimate goal,” he said. “All my life I’m waiting for that moment.”

“I won’t allow anything to stop me. And first of all, it’s all God’s grace. And if He wants me to be a priest, it definitely will come.”

Vinco underwent the life-saving surgery in his home city of Kerala, India, on 14 June. His mother Ruby donated her kidney to him.

Doctors at the Catholic hospital where the surgery took place are “very happy” with how both are recovering, Vinco said, and he was up and walking only one day after the surgery.

“It was difficult but I started to walk slowly… so they were a bit surprised to see that.”

Vinco Muriyadan at his ordination to the diaconate in November 2022. Photo: Tony Lomas

Vinco and his mother were able to leave hospital ten days after the surgery and are now in the care of family members in Kerala.

They will be closely monitored by doctors for the next three months and a full recovery is expected to take six months.

Vinco said he was sure all the prayers he received from his friends in Australia, and around the world, had helped enormously.

“From all over the world people were praying, and it’s really worked.”

“I’m very grateful to all the people for the prayer, support and contributions they have made. I think that without the prayers, it wouldn’t have happened like this, the speedy recovery, the doctors are happy, and myself and my mum are in a very safe condition now.

“So I’m very, very grateful for all their prayers.”

Deacon Vinco and his mother mother Ruby following the kidney transplant surgery in India.

Vinco said he didn’t now how to thank his mother for giving him the gift of life for a second time.

“The courage she had to come to this decision, and giving me full support… going through all this pain and telling me, ‘I am there for you’. I’m very, very lucky.”

Vinco has made a promise to his mother that once he is ordained a priest he will offer Mass for her every day.

“She is a very pious lady. Always praying and helping people… I strongly believe she is a saint, a living saint.

“I told her once I become a priest, I will offer every day a Mass for her. So that’s my promise.”

Vinco also expressed his gratitude to Archbishop Julian Porteous for his on-going support. Just ten minutes before he went into surgery Vinco was able to speak to Archbishop Porteous via a WhatsApp video call. Archbishop Porteous gave him a blessing and assured him of his continued prayers.

Archbishop Julian Porteous ordained Vinco to the diaconate in November 2022. Photo: Tony Lomas

“I told him, ‘Your Grace, ten minutes to go, can you bless me please?’ So he blessed me. I saw tears in his eyes, so I can see his heart there.”

The Archbishop had always been “like a father” to him, Vinco said, supporting him through difficult times as he underwent kidney dialysis treatment.

“There were certain times I was disappointed because nothing was going forward… but he would always tell me, ‘Don’t give up Vinco, push hard… you can do it.’ So always there was support and always he kept me close to his heart.”

Vinco moved from India to Australia in 2015. He was ordained to the diaconate by Archbishop Porteous in November last year, and served as a deacon at St Mary’s Cathedral in Hobart. He returned to India in April this year to prepare for the surgery.

Vinco said he missed his friends in Tasmania, and he was looking forward to returning to Australia.

“I really miss them. Once I come back I will visit them to tell them my gratitude directly… their prayers helped me a lot.”

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