The North East India Regional Bishops’ Council (NEIRBC) has expressed grief in the death of Archbishop of Shillong Most Rev. Dominic Jala in a road accident in the United States of America.
“It is with great sadness that we bring you the news of the premature and sudden death of Most Rev. Dominic Jala the Archbishop of Shillong in a road accident in the United States of America,” stated a NEIRBC press release.
“After the Ad Limina visit of the Bishops of North East India in Rome he had gone to the US to attend a meeting of the ICEL (International Commission for English Liturgy) and to meet some of his friends,” the release added.
“The accident occurred while he was travelling with two other priests- Fr. Mathew Vellankal and Fr. Joseph Parekatt,” it added.
In the accident, the Archbishop and Fr. Mathew Vellankal died on the spot and Fr. Joseph was seriously injured.
“Fr. Joseph is currently undergoing treatment with serious injuries but stable,” the release added.
Most Rev. Dominic Jala, born on 12th July 1951 at Mawlai in the Archdiocese of Shillong, was appointed the Archbishop of the same diocese in December 1999.
“When Bishop Victor Lyngdoh was transferred to the diocese of Jowai in 2017, Archbishop Dominic Jala was also appointed the apostolic administrator of the diocese of Nongstoin,” the release said.
“Before being appointed archbishop, he was the provincial of the Salesians of Don Bosco of Guwahati Province,” it added.
Archbishop Jala was actively involved in all matters connected with the church in North East India and CBCI.
From 2012 to 2019 (September) he was also NEIRBC’s chairman, apart from being the chairman of the Liturgical Commission of the Conference of the Catholic Bishops of India for several years.
Paying homage to the departed soul, the NEIRBC wrote, “We entrust his soul into the hands of his creator. The Catholic Bishops of the Northeast are grieved at his departure.”
“But at the moment of pain, we turn to the priests, religious and faithful of the Archdiocese of Shillong who mourn their beloved Archbishop. We offer them our heartfelt condolences,” the NEIRBC added in its release.
“We pray for the eternal repose of the departed soul and for the archdiocese of Shillong. Let us continue praying as we wait for further news of the arrival of the mortal remains and the date of the funeral,” the release concluded.