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News 2014 � September

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Fr. Santosh Minj Laid to Rest

By Fr. Bivan Mukhim
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Guwahati, Sep. 17. The mortal remains of Fr. Santosh Minj, who passed away on 15th Sept was laid to rest in the Catholic Cemetery, Uzanbazar on 16th Sept. The requiem Mass at 2:30 pm was solemnized by Arch. John Moolachira, Archbishop of Guwahati and concelebrated by more than 100 priests and attended by a packed Church, among whom were also the relatives and dear ones of Fr. Santosh.
The Archbishop expressed sincere condolences to the provincial and the confreres of the Salesian province of Guwahati and spoke on the shortness of life.

There was a good representation of Salesians from the three North East provinces. During the Holy Mass, a group of young people sang hymns in Sadri composed by Fr. Santosh himself.  
Fr. Paul Olphindro Lyngkot, the Vice Provincial of the Salesian province of Silchar, representing his province said that the death of Fr. Santosh Minj 'was a great loss to the Church, the Congregation and the province of Guwahati. He is now free from all pains and sufferings and is now in heaven with Christ,'' Fr. Paul said.

Fr. Sabastian Jose from Dimapur province and a companion of the deceased described him as 'a friendly, jovial and cordial Salesian.' 'Fr. Santosh is a very approachable person who loved being in the company of Salesians and young people,' Fr. Sabastian added.

An aspirant from Barpeta Road, a community where Fr. Santosh spent the last years of his life said that the community would miss his presence. 'Now only flashbacks of the moments spent together and the joyous and happy years filled with fun and laughter will linger in our minds,' he said. He prayed for the eternal bliss of the departed soul.

Fr. VM Thomas, provincial, quoted the book of Job and said, 'the Lord has given, the Lord has taken back.' He said that every time he visited Fr. Santosh in his sick bed, he had seen him cheerful in spite of all his pains. He had accepted his sufferings and sickness magnanimously. A day before his death he asked Fr. Thomas to sing along the hymn 'On we go to Jerusalem.' Fr. Thomas described Fr. Santosh as an intelligent and passionate musician and said that he used his musical skills and talents to carry out the Salesian apostolate. He also said that he was a loyal and courageous Salesian.

Fr. Thomas said that Fr. Santosh's last wish was to return to the provincial house from the hospital where he was being treated last. ''Fr. Santosh knew that he was going to return to his heavenly Father and he had accepted the Father's will in his life.''.

Fr. Santosh was born on 25th March 1959 in Galasuba-Basti, Udalguri to Mr. Leos Minj and  Mrs. Louisa Tirkey. He made his first profession on 14th May 1979 at Sunnyside, Shillong and his final profession on 24th May 1985. He was ordained a priest on 12th February 1989 in Tangla, Assam.

After his ordination Fr. Santhosh was sent to Canada for higher studies. On his return, he was appointed the Asst. Parish Priest of Kumarikata Parish and then as Rector and Parish Priest of Tangla in 1992.

A good Mathematics teacher, Fr. Santosh was sent to the Savio Juniorate aspirantate as Counselor. In 1995 he was appointed administrator in the same place and served there till 1999.

In 1999 he was appointed Asst. Headmaster of Don Bosco School, Guwahati. Then in 2004 he took up the office of the Rector of Don Bosco Technical School, Maligaon, and later became the Parish Priest as well. In 2010, he was appointed Rector and Parish Priest of Barpeta Road,  posts he held until his health deteriorated recently.

A man of calibre, Fr. Santosh was a good teacher, an able administrator and a leader par excellence. He spoke a number of languages and held a Diploma in Social Development and a Bachelor's Degree in Education.

His death has left a chasm among the confreres of the province and the pre-apostolic boys at Barpeta where he served during the last years of his life.


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