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Fr Dino Colussi S.D.B. Veteran Missionary in India leaves for his Eternal Home

By Fr. Shilanand Kerketta SDB
Rev. fr. Dino Colussi SDB (1929-2012)
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New Delhi, Aug. 27. Rev. Fr. Dino Colussi, aged 83, a veteran missionary in India since 1951 passed away this evening at 5.20 pm  in the Holy Family Hospital, Okhla, New Delhi. His funeral will take place on 30th August, 1.30 P.M., at Don Bosco Kokar, Ranchi.
Since last winter Fr. Dino's health has been gradually on the decline. His gait had become heavy, and he walked with much difficulty. Moreover he developed digestive problems as well. Despite all these he made his last journey to Italy towards the end of March 2012. While in Italy he  underwent some minor surgeries, and suffered also an acute attack of pneumonia. On 27th July, exactly a month back, he returned to India. Immediately after his arrival he was admitted to the Holy Family hospital for treatment. Since then his health had been steadily deteriorating.

After some weeks at the hospital he was brought back to the Provincial House and was looked after by the confreres for about a week. On 22nd August he was once again taken to the hospital for intensive care as his condition became extremely serious.

This morning he suffered a mild cardiac arrest and had to be hooked to a Ventilator machine.  At 5.15 pm he suffered a massive heart attack, and breathed his last after about 5 minutes.

Fr. Dino was the youngest of 13 Colussi siblings, having been born on 4th April 1929 at Casarsa Della Delizia, Italy, of Giovanni Battista and Assunta Colussi. He came to India as a young professed seminarian following the footsteps of his elder brothers, Fr. Ferrucio, Fr. Guido and Fr. Luciano, and cousin Fr. Attilio Colussi, Salesian missionaries in Kolkata Province, and his sister Rina, a Salesian (FMA) nun in Shillong.

After his first Religious Profession at Moglia Farm, Chieri, he reached Shillong for his post novitiate formation. He made his Perpetual Profession in 1951 and was ordained in Shillong in 1954. Fr. Dino spent the first years of his priesthood at Don Bosco, Shillong. The major part of his apostolic ministry - 14 years of missionary life - was in Krishnagar, West Bengal (1958-59; 1981-94). He had a short assignment in Bandel (1960-61) and then a longer one at Liluah (1962-68) in the Province of Kolkata. When New Delhi Province was established in 1997, the Province entrusted him with the responsibility of managing the correspondence with benefactors, to be operated from Don Bosco Okhla, New Delhi (1997 - 2001). The final years of his life since 2001 were in the Provincial House, Okhla, New Delhi.

With Fr. Dino's demise Salesian India has lost another great Italian missionary, affectionately and gratefully remembered by the hundreds of youngsters and adults to whom he ministered during his life time. After hearing about Fr. Dino's demise, Debashis Bose, an Alumni of  Don Bosco Liluah wrote recollecting his memories from 1964-65: ''I pay my homage to the departed soul. It is still vivid in my memories as to how Rev. Fr. Dino, holding me close to his chest, put me in Cl. KG. I was a boy of just 5+ then. ... Whatever little I am today, I owe a great, great lot to dear Father [Dino]. I, along with my other batch mates, pray to the LORD for his peaceful stay in the KINGDOM OF GOD. We all seek our dear Father's blessings and inspirations.''

On 28th August, a requiem Mass will be celebrated at the Salesian Provincial House, New Delhi, at 5.30 PM for Fr. Dino Colussi, with His Grace Archbishop Vincent Concessao of New Delhi as the presiding celebrant.

Respecting Fr. Dino's desire to be laid to rest beside his elder brother Fr. Guido Colussi who had passed away in 1997, the funeral will take place on 30th  August, at 1.30 pm, at Don Bosco Kokar, Ranchi.
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