Title: Pastor of St. Vincent Roman Catholic Church, Margate, with average weekend attendance of about 900
Other job experience: Former associate pastor of three churches in South Florida; former science teacher, University College in Kerala, India.
Other community posts: Former academic advisor at University College in Kerala; former member, All India Higher Educational Association for private colleges.
Education: Bachelor's degree in physics from St. Berchman's College in Changanacherry; master's degree in physics, St. Berchman's College; doctorate in physics, University of Louvain, Belgium; bachelor's degree in theology, Gregorian University, Rome;
Personal: Born and raised in Chirakadawu, India. Moved to Florida in 1991.
Family: Three brothers in U.S.: Anthony Maroor of Chicago, James Maroor of Hallandale Beach, Raju Maroor of San Diego. The rest of Maroor's family lives in India where his 93 year-old uncle, Alexander Vayalumkal, pastors St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Chengulam, India.
Q. How did you get into your vocation?
A. I realized that I wanted to become a priest at 13 years old. That is when I served as an altar boy and sacristan, a person who assists the priest with the Holy Mass, at St. Berchman's school chapel in Changanacherry.
Q. If you couldn't be a minister, what would you be?
A. I would be a teacher, because I like to inform people with knowledge and form people's character and behavior.
Q. What do you do to relax?
A. Gardening relaxes me. I grow most of my vegetables at home. Reading, cooking, and meeting with friends also relaxes me. I also cut the church's lawn.
Q. What book have you been recommending lately?
A.Do Not Be Afraid, by Pope John Paul II. I highly recommend it to other priests because it is a book of hope for priests and their future. It also states that priests should not despair because of rejection.
Q. Favorite vacation spot?
A. India. I enjoy seeing nature there: wildlife, mountains, rivers.
Q. Favorite film(s)?
A.My Fair Lady. I like the music in that film, and how a lady can improve herself to become a cultured person.
Q. Favorite music? Favorite performer(s)?
A. My favorite music is opera, because it relaxes me.
Q. Do you have a hero?
A. My hero is my deceased father, Thomas Maroor. I admire him because of his courage in two incidents. One was when my brother fell into a 40-foot well and my father jumped into it to save his life. The other was when my uncle was drowning in a river. My father went in and saved his life, too.
Q. Your most memorable spiritual experience?
A. During the 1970s, when I read about the sacrifice Maximilian Kolbe, a priest in Poland, made during the Nazi German occupation of Poland in the 1940s. That's when he sacrificed his life to save another person's life.
Q. What's the best sermon you ever preached?
A. In 1994, I conducted a sermon at the Maximilian Kolbe Church in Pembroke Pines. I made the sermon during a funeral after a 14-year-old girl committed suicide. The sermon was the hardest yet the best thing for me to do as I consoled the parents.
Q. Is there one thing you can't stand?
A. I don't like arrogant people, who feel they know everything and don't accept the message of the gospel.
Q. What's the most important thing you've ever learned?
A. It's in giving that we receive.
Q. What person in history would you like most to meet?
A. St. Paul. He was a proud man who persecuted Christians, but later became an apostle of Jesus who loved Christians.
Q. When things get you down, how do you reconnect with the spirit?
A. With prayer and through mediation of Mary, the blessed Mother of God.
Q. Motto or favorite scripture verse?
A. My favorite motto is, "I may suffer so that others may have joy in their lives." My favorite scripture verse comes from the Gospel: "No greater love no man has than to lay down his life for a friend."
— JOHN BERNARDOCopyright © 2015, CT Now