Rev.Fr. Kuriakose Kattuthara
(09.07.1957 – 22.10.2018)
Rev. Fr. Kuriakose Kattuthara, fondly called “Appachan”, has been called by the Lord to his eternal reward on October 22, 2018. We are shocked and saddened by this sudden departure of this philosopher and thinker, linguist and professor, and above all, a pastor and friend of every one. We share the deep sorrow of the family members and friends some of whom are present here with us. The other two “Appachans”, his batch mates Msgr. Michael Ani and Rev.Fr. Joseph Kokkatt are present here to bid him adieu. So are also all who loved his jovial nature and the faithful who received his ministerial service.
Rev. Fr. Kuriakose was born on July 9, 1957 from late Mr. Kurian and Mrs. Kochuthresia in the Kattuthara family at Thycattussery and was baptized on July 16, 1957 at St. Anthony’s Church, Thycattussery, in the Ernakulam Archdiocese. His preliminary education was from St. Mary’s Primary School, Srampickal, Thycattussery and SMSJ High School, Thycattussery, Cherthala (1971). After clearing his matriculation he joined the Ernakulam Archdiocesan Minor Seminary, S. H. Study House, Thrikkakara, Ernakulam from 1971 to 1974 completing his minor Seminary and Pre-degree. It was during this time that the then Bishop of Jalandhar, Late Symphorian Keeprath OFMCap., visited the SH Study House and invited the brothers to join the missionary diocese of Jalandhar. Kuriakose was one of those seven brothers who readily opted to join the Diocese of Jalandhar and then proceeded to St. Charles Seminary, Nagpur. He did his philosophy and BA from St. Charles Seminary and St. Francis De Sales College Nagpur from 1974 to 1977 and, after one year regency in the Diocese in Punjab, returned to do his Theology at the same seminary at Nagpur. On completion of his studies he was ordained priest on 29 March1983 at his home parish, St. Mary’s Forane Church, Pallipuram, by Rt. Rev. Dr. Mathew Mankuzhikary, Auxiliary Bishop of Ernakulam Archdiocese.
Immediately after this ordination he was appointed Secretary to Bishop Symphorian for an year and then as Vice Rector of St. John Mary Vianney Minor Seminary at Amritsar, together with the charge of Parish Priest of St. Antony’s Church, Lahorigate and Chaplain to SCJM Convent, Dampganj, Amritsar, from 1984-1985.
In 1985 when Bishop Symphorian established the Philosophate at Jalandhar Fr. Kuriakose was asked to teach the Brothers and thus he came to Jalandhar as Vice Rector, Trinity College and Chaplain to CMC Convent, Jalandhar. The very next year he was sent for specialized studies in philosophy by Bishop Symphorian and he completed his Licentiate from Urban University, Rome in 1988 and returned to be Vice Rector and Dean of the Philosophy Department, at the same time as Parish Priest and Chaplain to Sacred Heart Convent and Hospital Maqsudan, Director of Catechists and Catechetics and Promoter of Vocations. In 1992 he was given additional charge as Director of Gianodaya, with the establishment of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre at Chogitty.
From 1994 to 2002 he was appointed Parish Priest, St. Mary’s Church, Gakhlan; Chaplain, SH Convent, Gakhlan; Director, St. Mary’s Convent School, Gakhlan; in addition to being Director of Catechists; Director, Catechetics and Visiting Professor, HTRM Seminary, Jalandhar (1992-2004) with residence at the Bishop’s House, Jalandhar City. From 2002- 04 he was Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s Church, Bootan; Chaplain, MC Convent, Model Town.
After this Fr. Kuriakose had a long sojourn in Italy from 2004 to 2009. During this period he made preparation for his doctoral thesis and in his favourite study of Computer software, at the same time being helpful to all those who approached him with problems in computer, even forgetting his own health and studies. He found himself with complications due to high Blood Pressure and heart ailments and had to return without completing the doctoral thesis, but winning the hearts of many with his generosity and friendly nature.
On his return from Rome he was appointed to Amritsar on Nov 19, 2009 as Parish Priest of Sacred Heart Church, Majitha Road, Amritsar; Chaplain, SCJM Convent, Majitha Road, Amritsar; Professor, St. John Mary Vianney Minor Seminary, Amritsar; as well as Visiting Professor, Holy Trinity Regional Major Seminary, Jalandhar, with residence at Amritsar Cantt.
Next year in 2010 he was appointed Resident Professor, HTRM Seminary, Jalandhar and Parish Priest, St. Joseph’s Church, Bootan, Jalandhar and Chaplain, MC Convent, Model Town, Jalandhar. In 2011 he was once again made Head of the Department of Philosophy, HTRM Seminary, Jalandhar and Director of the Liturgical Text Translation Committee which he continued to hold till date.
In 2015, July 5 he was appointed Parish Priest, St. Joseph’s Church, Nawanshahar; Chaplain, MJ Convent, Nawanshahar; Director, St. Joseph’s Convent School, Nawanshahar and Visiting Professor, HTRM Seminary, Jalandhar.
From 2016 April 13 he was Parish Priest, St. Joseph’s Church, Bhogpur; Chaplain, MJ Convent, Bhogpur, in addition to being Visiting Professor, HTRM Seminary, Jalandhar and Chairman, Translation Committee.
On April 25, 2018 he was transferred to Dasuya, as per his request, to care for his fluctuating health condition and to render help to the Parish as and when required and to continue to teach at the Seminary and with the translation works. He was suffering from High Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar and on his visit to the Sacred Heart Hospital, Maqsudan, just a few days before the Doctors advised him to get admitted for treatment. He chose not to get admitted and returned to Dasuya.
On October 22nd we heard the sorrowful and shocking news of his departure in a sudden manner. We believe that his time had come for his eternal reward with the words of the Lord “Well done! Good and faithful servant…. come and join the happiness of your master”
Holy Mass was offered for the departed soul at the Cathedral on October 23, 2018 at 4.30 P.M. presided over by His Excellency Most Rev. Dr. Agnelo Gracias, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Jalandhar and concelebrated by Most Rev. Bishop Ignatius Mascarenhas of Simla-Chandigarh and large number of priests from the Diocese and the Region and attended by Sisters and laity.
After the required procedures at the Civil Hospital in Dasuya his mortal remains were brought to St. Mary’s Cathedral, Jalandhar Cantt by 7.45 P.M. accompanied by his family members, priests, religious and lay faithful from the Diocese and prayers were held for him presided over by Most Rev. Agnelo Gracias, Apostolic Administrator and Most Rev. Ignatius Mascarenhas, Bishop of Simla-Chandigarh, for the repose of the soul. After paying respects to the mortal remains the body was taken to Kerala accompanied by family members and priests from the Diocese. The funeral rites were held in his home Parish at Pallipuram, Cherthala in Kerala on October 25, 2018 at 10.30 A.M., presided over by His Excellency Bishop Jacob Manathodath, Bishop of Palaghat and Administrator of Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese, attended by several Priests, Religious Sisters and lay faithful.
Fr. Kuriakose has been a personal friend to several of our priests, sisters and faithful. He was approachable and ever ready to help anyone who called on him, especially if it related to the unknown field for many of us, computer related matters, of which he was an expert. There was nothing impossible for him when it came to computer and he literally slept on the computer most of the time as his room was invariably filled with computers brought for repair or for upgrading the system.
His knowledge of languages, be it Latin, Italian, German, Punjabi, or English was unmatchable. Brothers used to wonder how he was managing the philosophy classes in English using the Italian and German Text Books. His contribution which will be remembered for a long time is the translation of the Punjabi Missal last Year. He was the first one to prepare the Diocesan Directory in 2004. He was, as it used to be said, the asali secretary of Bishop Symphorian for as long as he was in Jalandhar, helping him with preparing documents, translating the letters to foreign languages and to Punjabi.
In 1993 when Bishop Symphorian Keeprath established a local Congregation of Sisters named ‘Missionaries of Jesus’, it was Fr. Kuriakose who went about preparing the required documents and recruiting the vocations from Punjab. He was associated with the MJ Congregation as their professor and mentor and spiritual guide.
With his departure we have lost a dear friend and an expert in whom one could trust. We pray that the Lord may grant him the reward befitting his friends.
May he Rest in Peace!
Fr. Jose Sebastian
Diocese of Jalandhar