First Death Anniversary- Banglore

Hundreds attend slain rector’s first death anniversary.

Bangalore: More than 600 people Monday congregated for Mass at St. Peter’s Seminary in Bangalore to mark the first death anniversary of its rector, Father K J Thomas.

“We are disturbed even after one year over the death of Father K J Thomas and still keep asking why such a cruel death. Why it happened in the seminary, particularly?” Bishop Singaroyan of Salem asked during the homily.

The prelate of the Tamil Nadu diocese said the Church and others are groping for answers even after one year of the death.

Fr Kochupurayil J Thomas was found murdered with multiple head injuries on April 1, 2013. He belonged to Ooty diocese.

Bangalore police on March 21 announced that they had arrested two priests and a layman in connection with the murder.

However, several groups remain skeptical about their involvement and demand further probe into the case.

Police investigations are still on.

Bishop Singaroyan said: “While we still find ourselves inconsolable with this painful memory we cannot but turn to God alone for consolation. The fond memories of KJ Thomas will continue to visit us as we resign ourselves to God.”

Bishop Thomas Vazhapilly of Mysore led the Mass assisted by more than 100 priests. Lay people and former staff of the seminary also attended.

Bishop Vazhapilly recalled that the slain priest had endeared himself to many by his simple life-style and humility. “Though death has separated us from him, we will certainly cherish memories of him. Our heart goes out to all his family members at this great loss,” he added.

Fr Thomas was born on May 13, 1951 at Ettumanoor near Kottayam in Kerala. After high school, he joined Ooty diocese influenced by his uncle priest, who is still alive. He studied at St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary and was ordained on May 14, 1980.

He was appointed as a staff of St. Peters seminary in 1988 and served as its procurator (finance officer) for two terms of five years from 1994 and president of St Peter’s Pontifical Institute in 2009. He was later named rector.

The arrested priests are Fathers William Patrick and Elias Daniel and Peter, the layman, allegedly helped them.

The police had also said they would make more arrests, but no further development has taken place even after ten days.

The police had subjected the suspects to narco analysis.