I am called Fr. Tuli, and my full name is Fr. David Tulimelli, sdb.
I was born in 1982 in Andhra Pradesh, India. At the age of 15, I made my decision to join the community of Salesians in India to pursue my vocation to the priesthood. After completing the initial formation and novitiate, in 2001, I professed to be a Salesian. I studied philosophy at Don Bosco, Vidya Jyothi College in Warangal, India. In 2004, I was chosen to be a missionary to Sudan. I am privileged to be the first Salesian missionary from my region in India to a foreign land.
I completed the theological studies at Tangaza University, in Nairobi, Kenya. In 2006, in Khartoum, Sudan, I perpetually professed the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, to follow the way of the Salesian community forever, in service to humanity. I was ordained a deacon in 2010 by Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun, sdb. In the same year I was ordained a priest in Vijayawada, India by Archbishop Mallavarapu Prakash.
After my ordination, I was sent to pursue Islamic Studies and learn Arabic in Cairo, Egypt. After the Islamic studies, on my return to Sudan, I was appointed as a parish priest of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Gumbo.
In 2013, when the civil war broke out in South Sudan, we opened a camp for IDPs (internally displaced people). I shouldered the responsibility of being a parish priest and the director of the IDP camp for six years. I also shared diocesan responsibilities as a dean and consultor of the diocese for three years. I also shared the responsibilities of the Province of the Salesians animation team as one of the team members for three years. These years of my stay in Sudan, especially in the IDP camp of South Sudan, have been the most challenging, yet the most satisfying time of my life. The joy in serving the needy is tremendous, and the pain in sharing their pain is difficult but strengthening. I thank God for strengthening me to help strengthen the weak and to fill the needy.
In 2018, I was given the opportunity to study at KU Leuven, and so I am here with you in Leuven. I completed my research masters in pastoral theology at KU Leuven and currently am pursuing my doctoral studies at the same faculty. At present I live with my Salesian community in Oud-Heverlee.
Since a young age, I have had a dream to be a missionary, inspired by the Salesian missionaries coming to India to work with us and for us. Through my vocation to the community of Salesians, the Lord paved the way to fulfil my dream of being a missionary and a pastor to those in need, and it is God who led me to the people of Sudan and South Sudan. The motto of my priestly ordination is “I will go, Lord, wherever you send me.” I am ordained to be a pastor. A pastor for the people of God.
Therefore, with this consciousness, I always desire to be part of a parish community, and I am delighted for having known this community of Sint Kwinten’s here in Leuven. I consider it a blessing to celebrate the Eucharist and to share my spiritual wealth with this lovely and lively community. May God bless us all.