First Spiritual Director of Shalom Media

The late Monsignor Varkey was a priest ahead of his time. He was a pioneer leader in the Catholic Charismatic Movement in India and was a world-renown retreat preacher. Monsignor Varkey created the first retreat where the gifts of the Holy Spirit were used, now a part of the Nirmala Retreat Center in Kerala, India. He founded many retreat houses in South India to assist in the renewal of the Catholic Church. He was recognized by the Church with the bestowing of the title “Monsignor.” In 1962, he founded the Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate (MSMI) congregation, whose main charism is for the family apostolate. MSMI Sisters actively live out the Gospel in various countries throughout Asia, America, and Europe. Monsignor Varkey was a spiritual guide to Shalom Media Founder and Chairman, Benny Punnathara, and later became the first Spiritual Director of the ministry. At a time when there were few lay-lead ministries, Monsignor Varkey’s great support for Shalom Ministries and its leaders helped in its early growth and in its recognition by the Church at-large.