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RIP Father Stephen Kuncherakatt - ANS Publishes a Note

By BIS Correspondent - Courtesy ANS
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Mumbai, Jun. 8. Indian Salesian Father Stephen Kuncherakatt died in Jerusalem on the night of 02 June 2020. He had been taken to the Italian hospital in Haifa for a check-up; the Salesians who accompanied him were unable to stay with him because of the emergency health rules and Father Kuncherakatt died in silence, accompanied by the sisters of the hospital.

Agenzia iNfo Salesiana [ANS], the communication agency of the Salesians of Don Bosco, headquartered in Rome, published an article dated 08 June 2020, reproduced below.
Father Stephen, as he was commonly known, was born on 27 June 1934 in Kidangore-Kerala,India. He made his first profession on 24 May 1958, perpetual profession on 24 May 1962, and was ordained priest on 29 January 1966.

A Past Pupil of the ''St. Mary'' of Kidangore, in 1967 he graduated from the Papal Seminary of Pune, India, and in 1971 obtained his doctorate in Liturgy from the Pontifical University ''Sant'Anselmo'' in Rome. He served from 1971 to 1975 as Dean of the ''Sacred Heart'' University Institute of Tirupattur; as Master of Novices from 1991 to 1997 for the novitiates of Vellakinar (Coimbatore) and Yellagiri. He was also Director and Vicar in various communities, including: ''San Tommaso'' at the Salesian Pontifical University of Rome (UPS); ''Sacred Heart'' Institute of Tirupattur; ''Kristu Jyoti'' Institute of Bangalore; the ''Sacred Heart'' of Tirupattur.

In 2003 he was assigned the position of Professor of Latin and Liturgy in the then Salesian Theologate of Cremisan, Israel, and in 2004 he witnessed the transfer of the Theologate from Cremisan to Ratisbonne, where he continued to serve as a teacher, confessor and spiritual father for students, priests, religious, and lay people until his last day on earth.

Father Ivo Coelho, General Councilor for Formation of the Salesian Congregation, commented, ''He was the type of man who could, in silence, reach out and touch the lives of people firsthand: a man of profound faith who lived his Salesian priesthood in a beautiful, kind and discreet way.

The most obvious thing in him was work: he had a passion for gardening, he made Ratisbonne beautiful, and I believe he continued to work until the end, despite our entreaties to take care of himself. Behind that passion, there was also the highly appreciated ministry as a confessor and spiritual father in the community, but also in the city of Jerusalem. He also spent a lot of time ''re-editing'', or rather ''correcting'', the license and perhaps even doctoral theses he received from all sides.

He was always available to greet or even guide the frequent visitors, mostly Israelis, who wanted to get to know Ratisbonne. And he had the ability to keep in touch with friends all over the world. His kindness has truly touched people from all over the world. He aged in grace and God called him back to Himself in silence. We will miss him; Ratisbonne will never be the same again.''

Father Kuncherakatt's funeral took place in Ratisbonne on Friday 05 June and subsequently, he was buried in Cremisan.

Salesian Monastery Ratisbonne LiveStreamed the Funeral proceedings on its FaceBook Wall
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