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Salesian Priest Dino Colussi Laid to Rest Next to His Elder Brother Fr. Guido

By Fr. Shilananad Kerketta SDB
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New Delhi, Sep. 2.   In fulfillment of his desire, Salesian Priest, Fr. Dino Colussi was laid to rest next to his elder brother Fr. Guido at Don Bosco Kokar, Ranchi, in Jharkhand state of India, on 30th August 2012. The requiem mass at 1.30 was presided over by His Eminence Cardinal Telesphore P. Toppo Archbishop of Ranchi. He was flanked by His Lordship, Bishop Joseph Suren Gomes, Bishop of Krishnagar Diocese in Bengal, and Rev. Fr. Michael Peedikayil,  Provincial of the Salesian Province of New Delhi. The Mass was concelebrated by over 40 Salesian priests and attended by about five hundred faithful. On the same day the Requiem Mass was offered at his native village of Casarsa in North Italy, by his dear ones and friends.
The mortal remains of Fr. Dino Colussi were flown to Ranchi on 29th August at 1.30 p.m., accompanied by Fr. Michael Peedikayil and Fr. Jose Mathew, Provincial Economer. Fr. Vincent Toppo and other confreres of the Ranchi area received the body at Birsa Munda Airport, at 3.00 p.m.

In the evening Holy Mass was offered, officiated by Fr. Hilarius Kullu, Rector and parish priest of Don Bosco community and Holy Angels Church, Kokar. The Salesians of the neighbouring communities and the faithful of the parish were present at the service and recalled his Salesian traits. In the following morning the school children and vocational institute trainees took turns to pray for and pay homage to the remains of the departed Salesian.

In the loving presence of all the members of the Salesian Family - FMAs, SMIs, MSMHCs, the Disciples, Cooperators, Alumni and Students - other religious communities of the parish and  before a sizable group of confreres and lay people from the Province of Kolkata (where Fr. Dino worked for over 35 years) and parishioners and friends, a solemn Holy Eucharist was held for the repose of his soul.

The Holy Eucharist began with a floral tribute to Fr. Dino during which various representatives laid wreathes at his coffin. Fr. Shilanand Kerketta, Vice Provincial, preached the homily wherein he presented with examples the qualities of Fr.  Dino in his ministry for various categories of people.  In the introduction and later during words of homage, H.E. the Cardinal and others mentioned and honoured the Colussi siblings who served as missionaries in India: elder brothers - Fr. Ferrucio, Fr. Bepi, Fr. Guido, Fr. Luciano, and elder sister Rina, an FMA nun.  ''Like St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Colussi family overtook Don Bosco'', said the Cardinal in his farewell speech.

After the communion eulogy speeches were given by various delegates. Bishop Joseph Gomes placed on record the contribution of Fr. Dino to the diocese of Krishnagar especially in his ministry for the youth. Three of the Colussi brothers rendered their priestly services there. Of these Fr. Ferruccio and Fr. Luciano were buried in Krishnagar, the latter having ended his ministry as Vicar General of the diocese.

Fr. Jose Manianchira, Provincial Economer of Kolkata, spoke on behalf of that Province recalling Fr Dino's pastoral zeal for the welfare of the young and his creative ventures.  Sr. Celia SMI addressed Fr. Dino in the name of her Congregation which he served throughout his long stay at Krishnagar.  Fr. Jose Mathew bid farewell to the departed Salesian and priest in endearing terms, on behalf of the Delhi Province and recalled his many strengths and qualities to serve the young and the poor.

The final rite of the burial service was led by Fr. Michael Peedikayil, accompanied by both the bishops.  The SDBs, members of the Salesian family, the faithful and children covered the coffin of the last Salesian child of Colussi family with petals of flowers as a final symbol of their love, affection and esteem.

Thanks to the communities of Don Bosco Kokar, Bariatu and Hesag who networked beautifully, helped by local sisters and people, the last rites of Fr. Dino were devout, prayerful and solemn.

We pray that God may place a crown of beautiful flowers on Fr. Nini, as he was fondly called by his people. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. Amen!
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