Father Berchmans – Interview with Senior Worship Leader

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Father Berchmans as he is called famously is a former Catholic Priest, who is one of those leaders who allowed the Holy Spirit to sweep them as the Charismatic movement swept India. He is a living legend whose more than 350 Tamil songs and 30 albums have touched and changed hundreds of thousands of people. He is known to carry the joyful presence of God wherever he goes.

When Evng. Shyju Mathew was invited to minister at Jebathottam (the venue built by Father Berchmans for retreats), he took the opportunity to interview Father Berchmans. We hope that our generation can pick up a thing or two from the older generation that the path of true worship and love for JESUS.

Please tell us how you began your journey…
All along I have been a catholic priest; I was seeking God as an ordinary preacher but I had a longing to be closer to God and to pray. It was then that the charismatic movement entered into the Catholic Church. They laid importance on the word and speaking in tongues which was till then rare. It was a blessing in disguise. We hated the Pentecostals. For Catholics, we felt we were superior. God used this time and I had longed for this.

In a short time, I was being used in the charismatic movement. I began to read the bible and surrendered my life to Jesus. From 1974, I worked as an ordained priest for 6 years. When I was 30 years old, God asked me to repent and surrender. It was during that time I wrote this song in Tamil that means, “I cannot compare you with anyone, everything else is rubbish.”

How did you start your song writing?
I was a musician; I was also a choir master in the bible college. I had learned karnatic music for a while. With that background, I had composed a few songs. Then I also composed few spirit-filled songs and they still sing that in catholic churches here. One of the song goes like this, in English it mean “To whom else we will go, you have given eternal life.” It became a very famous song in the Catholic Church.

How many songs you have written so far?
So far, 350 songs and 30 volumes.

Do you get the tunes first or the lyrics first?
Normally, the lyrics. When I read the word, it comes as inspiration. As the word is revealed, the lyrics come and the tune follows. Like, when I think about how God remembered Hannah; that becomes the theme of that song about how God remembers. The power of the Holy Spirit brings the word and the rest follows.

What would you say to the present-day youngsters?
I would like to tell them that their relationship with Jesus is the most important thing. God asked Gideon to break the altar of Baal and built the altar of God. So, we need to begin by breaking whatever is not of God and build whatever is Godly in our life. Start building. The Word of God will help us.
How would you define your prayer life?
Instead of mere hours, I generally spend all day with the Lord and His Word. Either that or I am with people; ministering to their needs and praying with them.

How old are you now?
I am 60 now. (Laughs joyfully)

Staying single, is it difficult? What is your advice to those who are single, how can they guard themselves?
It is the grace of God. I always have people around me. I cannot hide anything. Right from the beginning, my mother was like a protective fence around me. With regard with relationships and dealing with women, I am transparent. And as I began to aim at building the kingdom of God, marriage became secondary. My desire is to reach the Catholics for Jesus. And me being single helps me the most, as Catholics look up to priests to be unmarried.

What is your advice to worship leaders?
It is love. Worship is not only singing but it is complete commitment that brings out the song. To the worshippers, I would encourage them to be more with the Lord. The more you are with the Lord; the more the word of God will be revealed to you. Only with the Word of God alongside, can a worship session go deeper. When you lead worship with the Word of God supporting you, it will begin to be a blessing to the people. Even as you lead worship, be sensitive to the Holy Spirit for a rhema word. With the Holy Spirit leading you through the word, it will be prophetic. You will see God move. Worship leaders should know a bit of music, too. It’s my advice to them to learn the basics of music, at least.

What is your dream for the future?
My desire is to see the early church revivals with signs and wonders. I want to see the young being used by God and to prove to the world that Jesus is Lord. Acts of the early church should manifest. I desire to see vibrant spirit-filled churches. I am aiming at seeing the presence of God in a tangible way. I am certain that God will move in a mighty way.

What do you have to share? Have you been blessed by Father Berchmans songs? What is your testimony?

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  • crossaddictor

    great…wnderfull 2 see a catholic priest seeking n following d truth….. our country need more people lyk him
    …its not about pentecostals or catholics but its about d fire of the spirit ….

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shyju Shyju

      On dot! I agree!

      • joseph arulraj

        Father is really wonderful worshipper. But it is a pity that he did not mention a single word about Father P.Amalraj of Kalugumalai who guided him initially to get into this evangelic steps by calling him to conduct his initial steps in the church bible festivals for about ten years.

  • john

    Father Berchmans song especially "kanna thali " has been a real blessing…its a song of the mighty holy spirit..brilliant interview …thanks shyju…

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shyju Shyju

      Good to hear from you about that. Bless you brother.

  • harirao_2009

    :) :) love the new look bro … Father Berchman's Songs are a blessing ….

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shyju Shyju

      Thanks dear Hari. Love to u.

  • Christina

    This is the first time i'm gettinng to know about Fr. Berchman… It encourages me tremendously when I see a catholic priest believing in the truth… I need to tell this testimony to all ma people (catholics) back home n here… Ma pappa Jesus is Great!!! Mathew 19:26 – "…But with God all things ae possible". Thanks a million for this interview shyju…

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shyju Shyju

      Share this blog link with them, let them read and see what Jesus can do. prayers for your family.

  • tulasi

    dats really encouraging brother, thank U, his songs r blessing to me many times & strenghtened me

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shyju Shyju

      Glad to hear that tulasi

  • Melvin

    I have been tremendously blessed by this.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shyju Shyju

      wow great to know Melvin

  • joseann

    God has been using Father Berchmans so powerfully. His songs are derived from verses and that makes them all the more powerful. I was a catholic and being raised up in a traditional catholic family I know how hard it is for catholics to connect with God and it is here that Father's songs have challenged, inspired and transformed, encouraged and comforted many people – I have met Father personally – a simple man with a childlike heart – I praise God for using him so mightily in the Catholic arena.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shyju Shyju

      You are right. We experienced that when we ministered with him.

  • Abhay

    The Man has so much of God's grace reflecting from his face. He is a true blessing for this nation & for thousands of people around the globe. May the Lord use him mightily for His kingdom.
    I wish to call him to Pune for a day of Worship so that the people here would be blessed too …

  • Abhay

    The man has so much of God’s grace reflecting from his face. He is a true blessing for this nation & for thousands of people around the world. May the Lord use him mightily for His kingdom.

    I wish to call him to Pune for a day of Worship .. so that the people here would be blessed too ..

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shyju Shyju

      You should invite him, he carries the presence of GOd with him.

  • Ludmilla

    Bro. Shyju, Thank you to post Father Berchmans Interview in your Blog. I still Remember when i was 12 yrs old, i attended a revival meeting in Coimbatore in the month of May 1994 but then i was not SAVED. The Choir was singing Father Berchmans tamil worship song " Vathai Unthan" and i started dancing in the ground. My cousin were with me n they were controlling me not to dance but i was least bothered. Now i am SAVED . When i face storm and trials in my life i just hear his songs and God ministers to me. We are Blessed to have him. We love u Sir (Father Berchmans)

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shyju Shyju

      amen amen!

  • Blessing :)

    This is a encouraging interview ana.. You , and father r a real blessing to me and my family..

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shyju Shyju

      Thanks to your dad too!

  • Ruth Abraham

    His life is an inspiration for our generation. His advice for how to lead worship blessed my heart. God bless him and his minisry.Thank you Shyju for sharing this.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shyju Shyju

      Amen, God be the glory.

  • John Kingsly

    Thanks Bro.Shyju for posting this wonderful interview ! -am blessed.
    Fr.Berchmans is truly a living legend and we look at him as the David of this generation … He was an instrument used by GOD to transform the christian worship in 90's…even today he is a true worshipper who brings down mighty anointing of GOD everytime he starts singing. His messages are filled with "revelations".
    I've met him several times ….just by looking at his face and hearing few words one could litterally feel an unspeakable Joy filling you. The beauty of his songs are – lyrics are purely bible passages. One of his songs called "Ejamananae" is a favorite song of mine… Above all, he is such a simple,humble,down to earth man of God whose life has been a tremendous blessing to me and millions around the world.
    May GOD bless him and his ministries.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shyju Shyju

      I remember singing Ejamananae while I was young. I agree He carries the joy of the Lord.

  • John Rufus

    Since my Childhood I've been greatly blessed with the Songs that Rev Father has composed and sung. All the songs have an in-depth meaning and essence that will move you into tears and a sence of Praise and Worship. Praise the Lord for a person like dear Rev. Father.
    Bro. Shyju… thanks for this amazing blog. Reading thro this blog gave me a inward push to seek God more and more… God bless you and use you more and more… Praise the Lord!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shyju Shyju

      Praise God. Glad to know that John.

  • Masten kavin

    Since my Childhood I’ve been greatly Experienced presecence of god in Father’s songs .Its very nice to see you with Father.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shyju Shyju

      Thank u Kavin, God bless u.

  • Jerome

    Anna… wow a great interview with FATHER …. And it 's really a blessing to me to the notes of worship that FATHER has given u ……

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shyju Shyju

      I am glad Jerome and u wer with me those days. Praise God.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shyju Shyju

      Do share it with your friends at jebathottam who knows Father.

  • Joane

    awesome

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Shyju Shyju

      Thanks for dropping by. Blessings.

  • Jherrel

    Whoa…I'm still kinda stunned to read this article. A Catholic? Wow…even wayyyyy in the past, there was such rivalry between Catholics and Pentecostals. I think it began when the Vatican saw it as heresy, in any regards it nice to see the Holy Spirit moving and placing the fire of God in people and NOT in religion." Religion," according to Karl Marx (although I don't embrace his ideologies) "is the opium of the masses." It moves us more towards tradition and not to God. I really hope that he can be a beacon to those who follow the religiosity of the Catholic church and move them more towards the God of Acts.

    Kingdom Blessings.

  • Jherrel

    Whoa…I'm still kinda stunned to read this article. A Catholic? Wow…even wayyyyy in the past, there was such rivalry between Catholics and Pentecostals. I think it began when the Vatican saw it as heresy, in any regards it nice to see the Holy Spirit moving and placing the fire of God in people and NOT in religion." Religion," according to Karl Marx (although I don't embrace his ideologies) "is the opium of the masses." It moves us more towards tradition and not to God. I really hope that he can be a beacon to those who follow the religiosity of the Catholic church and move them more towards the God of Acts.

  • Shalu

    Just like Father Berchman and u Shyju, i have always desired to have the spirit of God just resinate through my face. that light, joy and peace that cannot be explained to the point that no one could deny the presence of God in ones life. i believe that this a sign of a person who has claimed their calling and has allowed the Lord to be glorfied through thier obedience in His purpose for them. i know that God has called e to be an unquenchable worshpper for Him, and He has created a new being in me through His gift of salvation. Reading the interview as answered alot of questions on how to take the promises the Lord has given and take the calling to the next level. i see it in both you men of God and i believe that His grace is suffeciant for me aswell.

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com Shyju Mathew

      Glad, glad!!

  • Shalu

    I was so happy to see that Father Berchmans to state his desires to see the spirit of God let loose in the churches in a tangible way. This is a serious encouragement for those who feel stagnent in thier traditional churches with thier traditional mentalities. its so refreshing to see that there doesn't need to be two sides of the spectrum of old and new ways of worship, but a unity in the sensitivity of His power and spirit. i have heard Father's songs all my life and i, nor any young person cannot deny that God is still continuing to use him tremendously for His glory. Thankyou for being a bridge of communication, and honouring this man of God to a new generation Shyju.

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com Shyju Mathew

      I agree. U r right, it is almost like an older generation. But the anointing still works praise God.

  • Ken

    Blessed with the interview. In this dane age we have a man passionate for God, we as a family are blessed with the songs of Father Berchmans, His sacrificial love for God has ushered the presence of God in our lives thru his songs. May he be used as the will of the Father is for him. Yeshua is lifted and Yahuweh is glorified thru HIS Holy Spirit Yahuwa Shua.

  • ERVIN

    hai shyju thanks for this post. fr.berchman song its really great blessings for me its make my relationship with lord more stronger.His sacrificial love for God has ushered the presence of God in our lives thru his songs. may more worshipper of the lord be arise. may the name of the lord be glorified forever.

  • bharath

    praise god for the annointed words

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com Shyju Mathew

      Amen.

  • Isaac

    It was in 1993 when I first heard Father Berchmans song, it was in a meeting held in Bright High School, Bhandup, mumbai. I was undergoing coaching for Football and this song Daveethai pol nadanamaadi… was sung. I with my friends teased the song and its music and went off… I really did not liked the music which resembled film musics. But as days passed by and as more songs were written and composed by Father Berchmans I started loving each and every song so much that these were the songs that brought the feeling of Holy Spirit speaking to me during the darkest years of my life. I praise God for speaking to me through these songs. May Lord bless Father Berchmans and his ministries more and more. Amen

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com Shyju Mathew

      Wow thts a great testimony. Thanks for sharing.

  • Isaac

    It was in 1993 when I first heard Father Berchmans song, it was in a meeting held in Bright High School, Bhandup, mumbai. I was undergoing coaching for Football and this song Daveethai pol nadanamaadi… was sung. I with my friends teased the song and its music and went off… I really did not liked the music which resembled film musics. But as days passed by and as more songs were written and composed by Father Berchmans I started loving each and every song so much that these were the songs that brought the feeling of Holy Spirit speaking to me during the darkest years of my life. I praise God for speaking to me through these songs. May Lord bless Father Berchmans and his ministries more and more. Amen

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/ Shyju Mathew

      Wow thts a great testimony. Thanks for sharing.

  • Deborah John

    This reminds me of my school days…..I was preparing for revision exams…parents went for allnight prayer and I played Fr.Berchmann’s vol 10 in tape recorder(auto rewind player) and started to read my books(i study hearing songs)…within few minutes I felt the presence of God and kept my books away and knelt for prayer…I was lost in God’s presence and now I hear the calling bell r inging…parents back from alnight prayer…and I think “oh my God…I didn’t study all this while I was praying…”…to my surprise I scored class first in that test

    Fr. Berchmann’s songs’ carries the presence of God to every place…

  • Deborah John

    This reminds me of my school days…..I was preparing for revision exams…parents went for allnight prayer and I played Fr.Berchmann’s vol 10 in tape recorder(auto rewind player) and started to read my books(i study hearing songs)…within few minutes I felt the presence of God and kept my books away and knelt for prayer…I was lost in God’s presence and now I hear the calling bell r inging…parents back from alnight prayer…and I think “oh my God…I didn’t study all this while I was praying…”…to my surprise I scored class first in that test

    Fr. Berchmann’s songs’ carries the presence of God to every place…

  • Anonymous

    just an update.
    we invited him to our Church last week and I was floored at his humility and simplicity.This General in kingdom is such an humble person. His ministry is characterized by the Gentle Presence of the Holy Spirit . Like a mist He comes and lingers where Fr Berchman ministers and soon everyone is touched by the realization of the awesome Love of Father God ! Thoroughly Enjoyed even though he ministered in chaste Tamil :)

  • brmathew

    just an update.
    we invited him to our Church last week and I was floored at his humility and simplicity.This General in kingdom is such an humble person. His ministry is characterized by the Gentle Presence of the Holy Spirit . Like a mist He comes and lingers where Fr Berchman ministers and soon everyone is touched by the realization of the awesome Love of Father God ! Thoroughly Enjoyed even though he ministered in chaste Tamil :)

  • FaithInGod (Nita)

    Congratulations Pastor Shyju & Tiny! Welcome to the world Kathryn :) Rejoicing with all of you.
    Shyju Mathew Ministries

  • FaithInGod (Nita)

    Congratulations Pastor Shyju & Tiny! Welcome to the world Kathryn :) Rejoicing with all of you.
    Shyju Mathew Ministries

  • Indrani_amma

    praise the Lord.His songs r full of bibleverses easy to memerise bysinging based on needs.each situtations I use his songs to pray&praise our God&our Lord Jesus.Amen

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/blog Shyju Mathew

      Awesome! :)

  • Indrani_amma

    praise the Lord.His songs r full of bibleverses easy to memerise bysinging based on needs.each situtations I use his songs to pray&praise our God&our Lord Jesus.Amen

    • http://www.shyjumathew.com/ Shyju Mathew

      Awesome! :)

  • Martin

    Does Father Berchmans mean that God is not with Catholics and does it mean that they cannot live with God since they are Catholics. Does he mean that Catholics cannot repent and surrender as they are Catholics? ” My desire is to reach the Catholics for Jesus” , What does this mean, Catholics are not with Jesus?
    Catholics are more God fearing than other charismatic groups
    Catholics don’t believe that they are with God, they believe that God is with them.
    He may say that he is with God because he sings and prays charismatically, but only God knows whether he is with him or not. And he doesn’t have the right to say that God is not with the Catholics. Charismatic prayer is not the only way to reach God, it just helps you from not going away from him, which even the Catholics do. So, dear people who are into Charismatic groups please don’t disturb the Catholics you don’t have the right to say God is not with them. Can any brother from any charismatic group say that he is not a sinner since he is a member of a charismatic group if he says so I will surely come out of the Catholic Church and join his group.
    Note: Catholics don’t worship Mother Mary they pray to mother Mary.If you can call a pastor over the phone and ask him to pray for you and if a pastor who is a sinner from a TV program can pray for you. Why can’t you ask mother Mary who is the only person other than Jesus who is not a sinner and who is with God now?
    Thank You – Praise the Lord

    • http://twitter.com/RamyaNancy Ramya Nancy

      Brother Martin, nt here to argue, but would u go n ask someone who already has passed away to pray for u? No. And the bible says in Romans 3:23 that everyone has sinned and fall short of the glory of God…this means all except for Jesus has sinned.

  • Martin

    Does Father Berchmans mean that God is not with Catholics and does it mean that they cannot live with God since they are Catholics. Does he mean that Catholics cannot repent and surrender as they are Catholics? ” My desire is to reach the Catholics for Jesus” , What does this mean, Catholics are not with Jesus?
    Catholics are more God fearing than other charismatic groups
    Catholics don’t believe that they are with God, they believe that God is with them.
    He may say that he is with God because he sings and prays charismatically, but only God knows whether he is with him or not. And he doesn’t have the right to say that God is not with the Catholics. Charismatic prayer is not the only way to reach God, it just helps you from not going away from him, which even the Catholics do. So, dear people who are into Charismatic groups please don’t disturb the Catholics you don’t have the right to say God is not with them. Can any brother from any charismatic group say that he is not a sinner since he is a member of a charismatic group if he says so I will surely come out of the Catholic Church and join his group.
    Note: Catholics don’t worship Mother Mary they pray to mother Mary.If you can call a pastor over the phone and ask him to pray for you and if a pastor who is a sinner from a TV program can pray for you. Why can’t you ask mother Mary who is the only person other than Jesus who is not a sinner and who is with God now?
    Thank You – Praise the Lord

    • http://twitter.com/RamyaNancy Ramya Nancy

      Brother Martin, nt here to argue, but would u go n ask someone who already has passed away to pray for u? No. And the bible says in Romans 3:23 that everyone has sinned and fall short of the glory of God…this means all except for Jesus has sinned.

  • Daniel Raj

    Shalom to all , Glory to God for this humble man of God who have dedicated his life to the service of touching lives for Jesus. His songs has been anointed by God to reached millions of people out there .I am one of them whenever I am weary I tune in to listen to his songs , It encourage and strengthen my heart and I moved on with live. There is LIFE in it. Get Blessed and don’t missed to Bless him as he come along your way. God Bless and Keep him strong I pray.

  • Daniel Raj

    Shalom to all , Glory to God for this humble man of God who have dedicated his life to the service of touching lives for Jesus. His songs has been anointed by God to reached millions of people out there .I am one of them whenever I am weary I tune in to listen to his songs , It encourage and strengthen my heart and I moved on with live. There is LIFE in it. Get Blessed and don’t missed to Bless him as he come along your way. God Bless and Keep him strong I pray.

  • joseph arulraj

    Father is really a wonderful spiritual worshipper. During his interview he did not mention a single word about Father P.Amalraj of Kalugumalai who guided him to get him this evangelic steps.

  • joseph arulraj

    Father is really a wonderful spiritual worshipper. During his interview he did not mention a single word about Father P.Amalraj of Kalugumalai who guided him to get him this evangelic steps.

  • joseph arulraj

    Father is really wonderful worshipper. But it is a pity that he did not mention a single word about Father P.Amalraj of Kalugumalai who guided him initially to get into this evangelic steps by calling him to conduct his initial steps in the church bible festivals for about ten years.

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