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Fr Mathew Thekkekara SDB Laid to Rest

By Bastin Nellissery sdb
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Bangalore, Mar. 5. Fr Mathew Thekkekara (TV Mathew), 74, died on March 1 at Mamma Margaret Home, Aluva, due to Cardiac Respiratory Arrest was laid to rest in Don Bosco Bhavan Mannuthy cemetery on March 4. Rt. Rev Tony Neelankavil, Auxiliary Bishop of Thrissur Arch Diocese, officiated the funeral service in the first part and Fr Jose Koyickal, Provincial with Mass and final rites.
Born in Kozhippilly, Kerala, Fr TV began his Salesian life in 1967 at The Retreat, Yercaud. He was ordained a priest in 1977 by Rt. Rev George Punnakottil, Bishop of Kothamangalam.

Fr Shabu Thottumkal, Principal and Scripture Professor at Kristu Jyoti College, Bangalore, during the funeral oration, said that Fr TV Mathew was blazed with the light of Christ and shared it intensely throughout his life with his typical and characteristic enthusiasm and determination. Through his long years of teaching and sharing the Word of God, exercising the priestly ministry with total dedication and living out his faith with unflinching fidelity to Christ, he lived out the mandate of Christ to be the light of the World. Fr TV spent his entire priestly ministry studying, preaching and praying the Bible.

On hearing the demise, Fr Dominic Veliath, a great theologian and colleague of Fr TV, said, ''The Word of God changed his understanding of Priesthood''. His life was the reflection of what he learnt and taught. ''He upheld the universal message of Christ. He ministered to the inmates of the Cheshire Home and the lay movements in the Church. He Spoke vehemently against clericalism and narrow parochialism. Wrote against stratification of the society and religion based on distinctions that were against the essential teaching of Christ'', said Fr Thottumkal.

A fatal road accident in 1992, while studying in OudHeverlee Salesianen Van DB Belgium, turned the course life for Fr TV Mathew. However, meticulous hard work and dedication saw him complete his doctorate. Fr Jose Koyickal, Provincial, summarised the life of Fr TV as prayerful, faithful and dutiful. As he returns to 'dust' today, the initiatives he began or those 'watered': The KJC library, St Peter's Parish Church, Rustumbagh, Bangalore and the Neo-catechumenate movement that he nurtured with Fr Zacharias Mattam SDB, will continue to proclaim.


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