Deacon strikes a balance

Deacon Joseph Chathaparampil, a permanent deacon of St. James Church in Elizabethtown, Ky., leads a tai chi class at Hardin County Public Library Feb. 22. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)
Deacon Joseph Chathaparampil, a permanent deacon of St. James Church in Elizabethtown, Ky., leads a tai chi class at Hardin County Public Library Feb. 22. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer

Deacon Joseph Chathaparampil, a permanent deacon of St. James Church in Elizabethtown, Ky., leads a tai chi class at Hardin County Public Library Feb. 22. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)
Deacon Joseph Chathaparampil, a permanent deacon of St. James Church in Elizabethtown, Ky., leads a tai chi class.

Deacon Joseph Chathaparampil, a senior deacon at St. James Church in Elizabethtown, Ky., has offered free tai chi classes for nearly two decades in Hardin County.

Tai chi is a form of exercise that centers on slow, deliberate movements that aim to strengthen core control and aid balance.

Exercise offers many health benefits, said Deacon Chathaparampil, who was ordained in 1976 as part of the Archdiocese of Louisville’s first permanent diaconate class.

It can help increase flexibility and strenghthen muscles, as well as increase mindfulness. Tai chi can also help to maintain balance, which is critical to the many seniors who attend the class, he said.

Some tai chi detractors say the practice is contrary to Christianity, and not in line with Catholicism, because of its roots in Eastern philosophy. But Deacon Chathaparampil disagrees.

“First of all my story is a Christian story. We are conversing with God throughout the whole exercise,” he said. “God created us to know him, to love him and to glorify him. We glorify God throughout the whole exercise. The intent is very Christian.”

Deacon Joseph Chathaparampil, a permanent deacon of St. James Church in Elizabethtown, Ky., leads a tai chi class at Hardin County Public Library Feb. 22. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

 

Deacon Joseph Chathaparampil, a permanent deacon of St. James Church in Elizabethtown, Ky., leads a tai chi class at Hardin County Public Library Feb. 22. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

Glenda Patterson of Elizabethtown, Ky., takes part in a tai chi class Feb. 22 led by Deacon Joseph Chathaparampil at the Hardin County Public Library. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)
Glenda Patterson of Elizabethtown, Ky., takes part in a tai chi class Feb. 22 led by Deacon Joseph Chathaparampil at the Hardin County Public Library.
Shirley Minton of Radcliff, Ky., takes part in a tai chi class led by Deacon Joseph Chathaparampil Feb. 22 at the Hardin County Public Library. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)
Shirley Minton of Radcliff, Ky., takes part in a tai chi class led by Deacon Joseph Chathaparampil Feb. 22 at the Hardin County Public Library.

Deacon Joseph Chathaparampil, a permanent deacon of St. James Church in Elizabethtown, Ky., leads a tai chi class at Hardin County Public Library Feb. 22. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

Deacon Joseph Chathaparampil, a permanent deacon of St. James Church in Elizabethtown, Ky., leads a tai chi class at Hardin County Public Library Feb. 22. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

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