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Father Tom Uzhannalil sdb, reaches India
By Joaquim Fernandes
Mumbai, Sep. 28. Father Mathew Thonikuzhiyil, sdb the Salesian Provincial from Bangalore Province along with Father Jose Mathew Koorappallil, sdb from the Province of New Delhi along with other Government of India dignitaries warmly welcomed Father Tom to India at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi.
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Father Tom, who hails from Ramapuram in Kottayam district, went directly to the Vatican after being rescued.

He has been taken to Don Bosco Bhavan in Okhla. He is later slated to visit the Vatican Embassy in New Delhi where he will meet Archbishop Giambastitha Diquatro.

Father Tom will also address the media around 4.30 pm at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) centre. There will be a Holy mass at the Sacred Heart Cathedral church near CBCI at 6.30 pm, which will be officiated by Father Tom.

Father Tom will visit Bangalore on Friday where he will meet CBCI leaders at Bangalore's St. John's medical college.

On October 1, the priest will reach Kochi and go to Palai and Ramapuram the same day evening. He will meet Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other state leaders on October 3.

Even as he prepares to meet the Indian leadership, there are plans back in his hometown to welcome Father Tom with much pomp and circumstance.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India has praised Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj for assisting in the release of Father Tom.

Speaking today, Father Tom said, ''Very happy, thank almighty for making this day possible. All people who have worked in their own ways, I am grateful.''
The 57-year-old priest was working as a missionary in Yemen and helping Missionaries of Charity sisters to run an old age home when he was abducted. He was taken into custody after 15 persons including four Indian nuns were killed by Islamic State rebels.


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