No date yet for arrival of Archbishop’s mortal remains, Fr Mathew’s funeral arrangements in USA on Oct 20 & 21

Shillong Oct 17: The date and time for the arrival of the mortal remains of Archbishop, Dominic Jala has not been confirmed yet, while the Diocese of Oakland in California has confirmed  the funeral arrangements  for Father Mathew Vellankal.

Shillong Archdiocese chancellor, Fr Jimmy Marngar told reporters at the Cathedral Bishop’s House in Shillong on Thursday that other formalities have completed, and the body is undergoing for embalmment.

“As of now we have a little difficulty in getting flight tickets because the flight from San Francisco to Delhi is fully booked. So depending on the availability of flight tickets, we will be able to confirm the exact date and time of the arrival of the mortal remains of our Archbishop,” Fr Jimmy said.

Stating that Archdiocese understands the anguish, the concern and the longing of the people to know the exact date and time of the arrival of the mortal remains of the Archbishop, Fr Jimmy said, “We are doing everything possible to bring back the body of the Archbishop as early as possible.”

Lok Sabha MP from Shillong constituency, Vincent H. Pala and three priests are in the United States to do the needful and accompany the body to India.

Fr Jimmy also requested the people to continue to pray and wait for further official announcement and details from the Archdiocese.

The Archbishop dies in a car accident along with Fr Mathew Vellankal at Colusa County, Oakland in California, USA on October 10 at around 2.20pm (October 11 morning in India).

A Toyota Prius where Fr Mathew, Archbishop Jala and Fr Joseph Parekkatt were travelling in was hit by a tractor-trailer truck on the California Route 20 near Wilbur Springs.

Fr Joseph who looks after St. Anne Parish in Walnut Creek, was injured.

Meanwhile the Diocese of Oakland in USA has confirmed that the Mass of Christian Burial for Father Mathew will be celebrated at St. Bonaventure, 5562 Clayton Road, Concord 94521-4158 on Monday, October 21 at 10:30 am. Prior to this, the holy Mass will be held on October 20, 7pm at the Holy Spirit Parish, 37588 Fremont Blvd, Fremont.

However, the burial will be in India.

“May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace,” the Diocese said.

Fr Mathew, 58, was ordained as priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco in 1987. He was born in Ayavana in Kerala. He ministered in parishes and schools in India before coming to the Diocese of Oakland in 2001.

Fr Mathew was known for his skills as a magician, which he used in parish fundraising. He wrote the book “From Humor to Inspiration: Jokes, Reflections and Quotes to Enliven Your Day,” published in 2005.

Fr Mathew had also worked in Khasi Hills of Meghalaya at Sohra (Cherrapunjee) Parish.

In USA, the parish assignments of Fr Mathew included Queen of All Saints in Concord, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Fremont and Holy Spirit in Fremont.

“Father Vellankal’s joyous spirit and faith will be deeply missed,” said a statement by Bishop Michael C Barber of Oakland Diocese.

The Oakland Diocese conveyed its condolences and also prayed that the soul of Archbishop Jala rest in the peace of Christ.

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