REV. FR JOSE THENGANAKUNNEL: MAY HE REST IN PEACE!
Father Jose Thenganakunnel, aged 66 and a priest for 40 years in the Congregation of the Missionaries of St Francis de Sales, died of cardiac respiratory failure on Saturday July 16, 2016, at 8. 30 a.m, at St John’s Hospital, Guwahati, Assam. He had been suffering from chronic parkinsonism for the last 20 years. He was admitted to St John’s Hospital due to pulmonary oedema with respiratory tract infection on July 11, 2016, after his 66th birthday celebration.
Father Jose Thenganakunnel was born on July 11, 1950, at Amparanirappel, Palai, Kerala to Varkey and Alykutti. He completed his schooling and joined Minor Seminary at S.F.S. Seminary, Ettumanoor, Kottayam, Kerala, in 1967. He, then, joined Novitiate at Salesianum, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, in the year 1971 and made his first religious profession on May 04, 1972. He did his philosophy at Fatima Giri Philosophate, Nilambur, and theological studies at Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune, from 1973 to 1976.
Fr Jose Thenganakunnel’s assignments were at Catholic Church, Tetenbari, as Assistant Parish Priest from 1976 to 1981; Frasalian Vidyajyothi, Nidadavole, Andhra Pradesh, as Staff from 1982 to 1983; SFS Bhavan, Kharghuly, Guwahati, as Rector of the new Minor Seminary and Councillor for the Region of North-East India from 1983 to 1984 and as Vice Province Councillor from 1984 to 1987; Christ King Church, Gogamukh, Assam, as Parish Priest from 1984 to 1987; SFS Church, Silapathar, Assam, as Parish Priest from 1987 to 1990; SFS Bhavan, Guwahati, as Provincial from 1990 to 1996; SFS Seminary, Medziphema, Nagaland, as Rector from 1996 to 1998; SFS Church, Medziphema, Nagaland, as Parish Priest from 1998 to 2000; He also served the Province as Provincial Councillor and Admonitor from 1999 to 2002; SFS Technical Institute, Imphal, Manipur, as Director from 2000 to 2002; MSFS Novitiate, Chabua, Dibrugarh, Assam, as Novice Master from 2002 to 2004; Vinaya Bhavan Seminary, Thamarassery, as Spiritual Director from 2004 to 2012; Christ the Bearer of Good News Cathedral, Dispur, as Associate Priest from 2012 to 2015; at MSFS Provincial House, Narengi, for rest since January 19, 2015, until his last journey.
Fr Jose Thenganakunnel was laid to rest on July 19, 2016, by Rev. Fr George Panthanmackel, the Provincial of Northeast India Province, at the end of a solemn funeral service commenced with the Holy Eucharistic Celebration presided over by Most Rev. John Moolachira, Archbishop of Guwahati, concelebrated by Most Rev. Paul Mattekatt, Bishop of Diphu, in the presence of Rev.Fr George Parampukattil, General Councillor of the MSFS Congregation, Rev. Fr Emmanuel Mappilaparambil, Regional Superior of Dibrugarh Region, confreres, relatives of Fr Jose Thenganakunnel (Fr Varkey Thenganakunnel, Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Jammu and Kashmir, Fr Jacob SDB, Fr Subin, Sr Betsy SMI, Sr Tomsy SMI, Mr Kuttappan and Mrs. Kuttiyamma, Mr Kuttiyachan and Mrs. Annie, Mr Johny and Mrs. Joyce, Nitin, Suchita, Kunjoonj, William, Sunny Thomas), and of many confreres, Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, well-wishers and friends.
There was also a requiem mass on July 18 presided over by Rev. Fr George Parampukattil, General Councillor of the MSFS Congregation, concelebrated by a number of priests in the presence of a large number of confreres, brothers, Sisters, well-wishers and friends at Christ the Bearer of Good News Cathedral, Dispur, Guwahati.
The funeral programme was well-organized by the organizing committee under the leadership of Fr Emmanuel Uppamthadathil and Fr Benoy Veliyathu supported by members of Provincial House Community, members of MSFS Study House, Shillong, confreres and friends from near and far.
In Fr Jose, we have lost a veteran missionary who lived a committed religious life. He was a true missionary with a great heart and spirit. Nothing can fill the vacuum but only the love of the crucified Christ. His death is a great loss to the Congregation and to the Church. He was a genuine MSFS and a noble priest, a person of integrity. His contribution to our Congregation and Northeast India Province will always be remembered in the annals of its history. His services are counted beyond the boundaries of the North East Province. He had a lot to suffer during the past twenty years. But, by keeping a cheerful and humorous spirit and surrendering himself to the plan of God he has brought those agonizing moments to higher levels of divine depth and interpersonal width.
As we pray for the repose of his soul, we shall thank God for the gift of Fr Jose to all of us in different ways. He was a religious priest who selflessly worked for the glory of God, and God has blessed our Province and the people of God through him. He had no personal agenda except that of Jesus Christ, that of his Church, of the Congregation and of the Province.
Fr Jose’s death is not the end. The Preface of the Eucharistic Liturgy states, “Lord, for your faithful people, life is changed, not ended.” Fr Jose’s life is changed, but not ended. We can be close to Fr Jose by praying for him and he will be close to us by praying for us. The church is in three states really, the saints in heaven, the souls in purgatory being purified before entering heaven, and we the living here on earth, forming one communion of saints that we profess in the Apostles creed. The living and the dead are united with each other by praying for one another. Believing in the communion of saints, believing that life is changed not ended, we pray for Fr Jose. May his soul rest in peace!
Communication from Fr Benoy Veliyathu, the Councillor Incharge of Formation The Regional Formation Forum that met at MSFS House, Hyderabad, from June 25 to 26, 2016, decided to have an update programme for all the formators of the Congregation of the Missionaries of St Francis de Sales. In order that every formator gets a chance to update himself, the programmes are phased out at three different places on different dates. The first of the update program is to be held at Belgaum: from September 27 to 29, 2016, arriving on 26th. The second is at Medziphema, Nagaland, North East: from April 3 to 5, 2017, arriving on 2nd and there will be a sight-seeing trip on April 6 th . The third one is at Vinayalaya, Bangalore: from April 20 to 22, 2017, arriving on 19th. Each time, around 5 to 6 Formators from each of the Provinces could be attending these update programmes in these 3 places. The programmes will be animated by Dr. Philip Thomas and his team.
The next meeting of the Formation Forum of the Province is scheduled to be held on October 24, 2016, at MSFS Provincialate, Guwahati. Hence, all members of the Forum are requested to attend the meeting without fail. We shall begin the meeting at 9 in the morning and it will be over by 4pm.
Communication from Fr Reji Kizhakethalackal, the Councillor Incharge of Social Apostolate and Innovative Ministries (SA&IM Forum) The next joint meeting of the SA&IM Forum of the Province and SA&IM Forum of Dibrugarh Region is scheduled to be held on October 25, 2016, at MSFS Provincialate, Guwahati. Hence, all members of the Forum are requested to attend the meeting without fail. We shall begin the meeting at 9 in the morning and it will be over by 4pm.
Rev. Fr. Agnelo Fernandes is organizing the training programme for the mission preaching team from November 15 to 19, 2016, Visakhapatnam. All the members of Mission Preaching Team are expected to attend this training programme.
Communication from Fr Joseph Kannamangalath, the Provincial Bursar and the Vice Chairman of the Stewardship Forum The next joint meeting of the Stewardship Forum of the Province and Stewardship Forum of Dibrugarh Region is scheduled to be held on October 28, 2016, at MSFS Provincialate, Guwahati. Hence, all members of the Forum are requested to attend the meeting without fail. We shall begin the meeting at 9 in the morning and it will be over by 4pm.