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Father Varkey Padamattume SDB, a veteran Salesian laid to rest
Mumbai, Nov. 21. New Delhi: Father Varkey Padamattumel, the senior-most Salesian of Delhi province went to his eternal reward on 19th November 2017 at 3.15 pm. He had been in and out of the hospital since the month of September with the exception of few peaceful days. Most of this time excepting a couple of weeks was spent in the ICU. He had shown signs of improvement, but gradually his health deteriorated and he breathed his last on 19th November 2017 at the age of 84.
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Father Varkey was laid to rest on 20th November at 3 pm, in the presence of Salesians, priests, religious, relatives and friends. Most Rev. Anil Couto, the Archbishop of Delhi presided over the Funeral Mass at the Don Bosco Institute Chapel, con-celebrated by more than 40 priests.  The presence of Father Joseph Pauria, the Vice-Provincial of Kolkata, Father Albert, Father Varkey's companion and Father UP Sebastian from Kolkata was a sign of great appreciation and love for Father Varkey. At the beginning of the Mass, Father Jose Mathew the provincial of the Salesian Province New Delhi elaborated the life and mission of Father Varkey both in Kolkata and New Delhi provinces and thanked him for his sacrificing life at the service of the Church and the Congregation.

Father CA Joseph, the Rector of DBTI Okhla animated the liturgy meaningfully. He recalled how Father Paul, Father Varkey's younger brother, accompanied him through his prayerful support and constant presence with him in the last two months. At the end of the Mass, condolences messages from Father Maria Arokiam and Sr. Dina Vellamaruthunkal, the Superior General of the Sisters of Mary Immaculate were read out. Father Joseph Pauria, Father Reji Tom, Father CA Joseph and Mr. Shaju Stephen in their touching words bid farewell to Father Varkey.

Father Varkey was born on 10th June 1933 in Aluva, Kerela. He became a Salesian on 16 April 1953 and was ordained a priest on 9 February 1964 in Turin. In his 64 years as a Salesian and 53 years as a priest, Father Varkey faithfully worked as a missionary in the provinces of Kolkata and New Delhi. He served both the provinces in varying capacities - some of them as the Provincial Economer of Kolkata from 1989-1995, the vicar General of the Diocese of Krishnagar (1982-1983), the Diocesan Administrator, of Krishnagar (1983-1984), Provincial Secretary, New Delhi (2003-2004).
In his Autobiography, ''In Christ Jesus - Memories and Reflections'' (released on the 83rd birthday), he wrote: ''I am aware that I am practically at the end of a long sojourn on this beautiful earth and undertaking a journey to eternity, to the unfathomable riches of God, 'The God of my life.' Remember me as one loving you here and hereafter.'' This is how the confreres of Delhi would like to remember Father Varkey - as he has ended his earthly sojourn and has begun his life in eternity. We believe that he will keep his promise to continue to love us in the hereafter!


Sudikshit Roy Barma India
November 27, 2017

Father Varkey was Rector of Don Bosco Park Circus when I was a student there.His inspiring personality was a booster for me and he helped me a lot during those days.RIP

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