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Rest In Peace Dr. Soundararaju Periyanayagam Bishop of Vellore

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Chennai, Mar. 24. Bishop Sounararaju Periyanayagam SDB of Vellore was admitted in the German Hospital, Chetpet-Chennai for a few days to be treated for cardiac issues and in the early morning on 21 March he suffered a massive heart attack, which was the cause of his demise. A requiem mass at Kolapalur, his native village was followed by the transferral of his mortal remains to the Christian Medical Hospital, Vellore.
Born on 06 June 1949, at Kolappalur-Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, he joined the Salesians and made his 1st Profession on 24 May 1970. He was ordained priest on 25 June 1983, at Manchester, England. He was appointed the sixth Bishop of Vellore Diocese on 11 July 2006 with his Episcopal Ordination on 24 August 2006. With a B.A. in Economics from Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur, M.A. in Economics from Loyola College, Chennai, M.A. in Theology from Ushaw College, Durham University, UK and a Doctorate in Economics from St. Joseph College, Bharathidassan University, Trichy. Bishop Periyanayagam was Professor and Vice-Principal (1983-1988 and 1991-1994) at Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur; Principal (1994-2000) at Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur; Rector and Parish Priest (2001-2004) at Lourdes'Shrine, Perambur-Chennai, and Rector (2004-2006) at Don Bosco, Gandhinagar-Vellore. He was a priest for 36 years and a Bishop for 13 years.

Renowned for his administrative skill, he always preferred team work in administration. Even as Bishop, he followed this principle. He was outspoken and would not mince words when he pointed out things that were going wrong. He was not easily intimidated by threatening circumstances but he had absolutely no animosity against anyone. He would easily forgive and express compassion for those who misunderstood him or even misinterpreted him. He was known for his deep friendship and loyalty to his friends. He helped many young boys to come out of suicidal tendencies by listening to them and counselling them. Ever-ready to reach out to help the needy especially the poor young, he was generous and wanted  the religious working in his diocese to focus their ministry on behalf of the poor and the marginalized. We are sure that the Lord has welcomed him with open hands his servant saying, ''Whatever you did to the little ones, you did it to me.'' May he rest in peace!

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