In the light of the tendentious statements made by some individuals in the Press, the Diocese of Jalandhar issues this statement:
Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Kattuthara, fondly called “Appachan”, served the Diocese of Jalandhar in various capacities: Secretary to the Bishop, Professor and Vice Rector of the Minor Seminary, Professor and Vice Rector of the Major Seminary, Parish Priest of several parishes,Vocation Promoter, Director of Schools, Director of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre, Director of Catechetics, Chairman of the Liturgical Translation Committee and so on. Making use of his expertise in Latin, Italian, German, Punjabi, English and Malayalam, he helped in translating liturgical books into Punjabi. He was the first one to prepare the Diocesan Directory in 2004. He literally slept on the computer as his room was invariably filled with computers brought to him for repair or for upgrading.
Fr. Kuriakose suffered from a number of health problems such as high blood pressure and heart ailments because of which he had to return from Rome in 2009, without completing the doctoral thesis. Despite ill health, he continued to serve the diocese, winning the hearts of many by his generous and friendly nature. In view of his failing health, he requested that he be posted at St. Mary’s Church, Dasuya, in order to assist in the parish, while continuing with the translation work and teaching in the Jalandhar Seminary.
It was at Dasuya that, on October 22, 2018, Fr. Kuriakose was called by the Lord to his eternal reward. We are shocked and saddened by the sudden demise of this philosopher and thinker, linguist and professor, and above all, pastor and friend of every one. The Diocese of Jalandhar wishes to place on record its gratitude to this dedicated priest who served the Diocese for 35 years ever since his ordination on March 29, 1983. We share the deep sorrow of his family members and friends.
In order to preclude any suspicions with regard to the cause of his death, we requested that an autopsy be conducted not at a Church hospital but at a Government Hospital. The fact that the Police authorities allowed the body to be taken to Kerala for burial indicates that they do not suspect anything untoward. We await the final results of the autopsy. We ask everyone too to await the results and not succumb to conjectures about the cause of death that are currently being spread by some people. We have done our best to ensure transparency in arriving at the cause of death.
Holy Mass and funeral prayers, presided over by Bishop Agnelo Gracias, Apostolic Administrator of Jalandhar Diocese and by Bishop Ignatius Mascarenhas of Simla-Chandigarh, were offered at the Cathedral on October 23, 2018. The Mass was concelebrated by a large number of priests from the Diocese and Region, and attended by Sisters and laity. The body, accompanied by family members and priests of Jalandhar Diocese, was taken to Kerala. The last rites, presided over by His Excellency Mar Jacob Manathodath, Bishop of Palaghat and Administrator of Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese were held in Fr. Kuriakose’s home Parish at Pallipuram, Cherthala, on October 25, 2018.
Fr. Kuriakose enjoyed all the benefits and allowances of the Priests of Jalandhar Diocese till his last days and the injustice alleged by certain persons has no basis whatsoever. We believe that the time had come for him to enjoy his eternal reward. “Well done, good and faithful servant…. Enter into the joy of your master” (Mt. 25:23).
We ask all to continue to pray for Fr. Kuriakose and for the family too who have to bear the sudden loss of a loved one. The presbyterium, the religious and the lay faithful will gather once again at the Cathedral on Saturday, December 1, 10.00 a.m., to remember Fr. Kuriakose. We will remember him at the Eucharist which is the memorial of the death and resurrection of Jesus. His death and resurrection gives meaning to our death. We die always with the hope and assurance given by Jesus that we will rise again.
+ Agnelo Gracias
Apostolic Administrator, Diocese of Jalandhar