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Fr. Uzhunnalil Mathew Laid to Rest!
By BIS Bangalore
Bangalore, Mar. 23. The mortal remains of Fr. Uzhunnalil Mathew (UV) were laid to rest in the Salesian cemetery at Don Bosco Bhavan, Mannuthy, at about noon on 23 March 2015.
Funeral of Fr Uzhunnalil Mathew SDB
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After the death at 5.15 pm on 21 March, the body of Fr. Mathew was taken to Don Bosco, Aluva, where Fr. Joyce (Mathew) Thonikuzhiyil, Provincial of Bangalore Province, and Fr. Thomas Anchukandam, former provincial, along with the community of Don Bosco, Aluva, paid their respects and offered prayers. The remains were then moved to the mortuary at Carmel Hospital, Aluva.

The body was brought back to Don Bosco, Aluva, at 5.10 am on 23 March.  After the Office of the Dead celebrated by Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, nephew of the deceased, there was a concelebrated Holy Eucharist, presided over by Mar Thomas Chakiath, Bishop Emeritus of Ernakulam-Angamaly, and attended by some confreres and relatives.

The body was moved to Don Bosco Bhavan, Mannuthy, at 7.45 am.  At 9.30 am, Mar Andrew Thazhathu, Archbishop of Thrissur, celebrated the second part of the funeral rites in the Syro-Malabar rite.  The funeral mass that followed was presided over by Fr. KO Thomas (INK Vice-Provincial), concelebrated by about 70 priests and attended by relatives, friends and religious.   The homily was preached by Fr. Kavilpurayidathil Joseph (KD), a colleague of Fr. Mathew in the first provincial council of Bangalore Province.

The fourth part of the funeral held soon after the Mass in the chapel was officiated by Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil.  The sacred rites included the carrying of the coffin to venerate the altar and the doors of the chapel as a sign of bidding goodbye.  After all had paid floral tribute to the departed, the funeral procession began in which confreres carried the body to the main door of the chapel and the relatives carried it outside up to the cemetery.

The vice-provincial conducted the rites in the cemetery.  Farewell messages from Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Regional Councillor of South Asia, and Bishop Paul Hinder of Abu Dhabi (Arabia South) were read by Fr. Jose Kuttianimattathil.  Fr. Joy Pallikunnel (Vicar General of Dibrugarh and nephew of Fr. Mathew) conveyed the prayerful condolences of Bishop Joseph Aind SDB and the faithful of Dibrugarh diocese.  Fr. George Vadakkel (nephew of Fr. Mathew and principal of Nirmala School, Muvattupuza) spoke on behalf of the family.

Fr. Vice Provincial read the farewell message of Fr. Provincial.  Everyone spoke highly of the missionary valour and the pioneering spirit of the Fr. UV Mathew.  His contribution as the first provincial economer of Bangalore Province was also recalled with much appreciation.  May his soul rest in peace!

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