Archbishop Dominic Jala
Archbishop Dominic Jala with other Bishops in Rome recently. Image credit – Northeast Now

Fr John Madur has been elected as the diocesan administrator of Shillong Archdiocese following the demise of Archbishop Rev Dominic Jala in a car accident at California in the United States.

Fr Jimmy said a group of priests, who are members of the College of Consultors, met urgently in Shillong on Saturday to elect the diocesan administrator in view of the sudden demise of the archbishop.

Earlier, Fr John was the chancellor of the Shillong Archdiocese.

Fr John Madur as the diocesan administrator has appointed Fr Jimmy Marngar as the chancellor of the Shillong Archdiocese.

Also read: Archbishop Dominic Jala killed in road accident

Fr Jimmy said a communication has been sent to the Vatican in Italy regarding the election of the Diocesan Administrator for a time being as well as the appointment of the chancellor.

Archbishop Jala was also the apostolic administrator of Nongstoiñ Diocese.

At present, Fr Ephrem ïawphniaw is the chancellor of Nongstoiñ Diocese.

Also read: Bishops’s Council mourns Archbishop Dominic Jala’s demise

Due to the demise of the apostolic administrator, the Nongstoiñ Diocese also has to have a diocesan administrator, which according to the Catholic Church norms, the members of the College of Consultors should meet to elect the Diocesan Administrator within 8 days.

Archbishop Jala (68) died in a car accident at Colusa county, Oakland in California around 2.20pm on Thursday (10.30 am on Friday as per Indian Standard Time).

Archbishop Jala died on the spot along with another Catholic priest from Kerela, Fr Mathew Vellankal, the parish priest of St. Bonaventure.

Another Indian priest, Fr Joseph Parekkatt, was critically injured in the accident.

Archbishop Jala along with the other two priests met the accident while they were travelling to Clearlake in California.

Archbishop Jala and Fr Vellankal were in the driver and front seats.

In a facebook page, the California Highway Patrol wrote that at 2.20 pm on Thursday, the driver of a Toyota Prius travelling west on SR-16 failed to yield to traffic on SR-20.

“The driver of the Prius pulled out from the stop sign directly in front of a tractor/trailer, and as a result, the Prius was broadsided. The driver and right front passenger of the Prius were killed and their rear passenger sustained major injuries,” the note in the facebook said.

Archbishop Jala left Shillong for Rome on September 17 for the Ad Limina (meeting of Bishops/Archbishops from different Dioceses with the Pope once in five years).

After the Ad Limina which lasted about 11 days, Archbishop Jala went to the United States to attend a meeting of the International Commission for English Liturgy (ICEL) and to meet some of his priest friends.

The archbishop was scheduled to arrive in Shillong on October 16.

Diocesan administrator of the Shillong Archdiocese, Fr John Madur said it was not sure yet when the mortal remains of the archbishop will arrive Shillong.

Arrangements to bring the mortal remains of the late archbishop are pending as an autopsy is required.

It will take three to four days for the body to reach Shillong as formalities for releasing the body would take time because of weekend and holiday on Monday in USA.

While waiting for the body, the Catholic Church has urged its members to pray for the departed soul and there will be a concelebrated requiem mass at the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, Laitumkhrah Shillong at 5.30 pm every day until the mortal remains of the archbishop arrive from California.

The details of the funeral would be notified later.

Meanwhile, sources in the Archbishop House, Shillong said the body of the archbishop will be laid to rest in the premises of the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, Laitumkhrah because the archbishop himself had wanted he should not be buried inside the Church, but within the premises of the Cathedral.

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