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Sad Demise of Father Pailo Punnakunnel SDB


By Louis Kumpiluvelil SDB
Chennai, May. 1. With deep sorrow the Salesian Province of Chennai announces the death of our dear confrere Father Pailo Punnakunnel SDB who was called to his eternal reward at 2.30 p.m. today, May 1, 2016.  He was 83 years old. Father Pailo was born on 18th September 1932 at Valavoor, Kotayam Dt., Kerala, as the fourth and last child of his parents, John & Elizabeth Punnakunnel. His twin brother, Father Devassy Punnakunnel, is a Salesian belonging to the Province of Bangalore. Their elder brother John is a priest in the United States.
After completing his High School in Kerala he joined the Salesian Aspirantate at Tirupattur in 1953. In 1956 after completing his Intermediate Course at Sacred Heart College he started his Novitiate at Yercaud in 1956 and made his first profession as a Salesian on 24 May 1957.
He made his Final Profession on 24 May 1962. From his first profession till his perpetual profession he was a clerical student. But at the time of his perpetual profession he opted to become a lay Brother and remained a Brother for the next 23 years. In 1985 he requested permission to pursue priestly studies. Thus after completing his theological studies at Kristu Jyoti College, Bangalore, he was ordained a priest on 27 December 1987 at the age of 55. He was a Salesian for 59 years and a priest for 28 years.

In July 2013 he was diagnosed with cancer and underwent a surgery and recovered temporarily.  However in 2015 his condition worsened and he was shifted to the Provincial House in Chennai for better medical care.

He was a much sought-after confessor and spiritual guide to numerous young people, particularly at Sacred  Heart College, Tirupattur, and in the nearby religious communities.

The funeral services will take place at 4. 00 p.m. on Tuesday 3rd May at Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur,after which his mortal remains will be laid to rest in the Salesian cemetery at Don Bosco Tirupattur.

As a Salesian he served the following communities:
1959-1961: Practical Training, St. Bede's, Santhome.
1961-1962: Practical Training, Don Bosco Orphanage,     Gandhinagar
1962-1964: Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur
1964-1967: Sacred Heart Seminary, Poonamallee
1967-1968: Don Bosco Boys' Home, Sagayathottam
1968-1975: Don Bosco Orphanage, Gandhinagar
1975-1978: Headmaster, Dominic Savio, Tirupattur
1978-1983: Administrator, Don Bosco, Pannur
1983-1984: Administrator, Don Bosco, Tirupattur
1988-1989: Administrator, Don Bosco, Pannur
1989-1990: Administrator, SH Seminary, Poonamallee
1990-1994: Administrator, Don Bosco, Tirupattur
1994-1996: Parish Priest, Madhakottai, Thanjavur
1996-1998: Asst. Parish Priest, LS, Perambur
1998-2000: Parish Priest, Vallavilai
2000-2002: Confessor, Don Bosco, Pannur
2002-2003: Asst. Parish Priest, Maranodai
2003-2004: Administrator, DB Renewal Centre, Bangalore
2004-2005: Asst. Parish Priest, Pavunjur
2005-2008: Asst. Parish Priest & Warden Jolarpettai
2008-2015: Confessor, Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur
2015-2016: Confessor, The Citadel, Chennai
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