Hundreds attend slain rector’s death anniversary.
Bangalore: More than 600 people 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.
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. 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 death anniversary of Fr.K.J. was celebrated at his home parish. Archbishop Mar Mathew Moolakkatt, the Arch Bishop of Kottayam was the main celebrant. Most.Rev.Dr. Thomas Vazhapally the Bishop of Mysore con-celebrated . Several priest friends of Fr.KJ, sisters, family and friends were also present. A Malayalam Book on Fr.KJ was also released on the occasion.