The period of mourning has been declared by the Shillong Archdiocese to be observed until the late Archbishop’s funeral is complete.
In a release circulated to all parishes, schools, colleges and institutions in the Archdiocese of Shillong, Diocesan Administrator, Fr John Madur said that the Archdiocese of Shillong deeply mourns the passing away of the Archbishop.
“To mark our deepest respect to him we declare a period of mourning to be observed in all the parishes, schools, colleges and institutions within the Archdiocese of Shillong until the funeral is complete,” Madur said.
Archbishop Dominic Jala died in a car accident at Colusa County, Oakland, California in the USA around 2.20 pm on Thursday (Friday morning in India).
The Archbishop along with Fr Mathew Vellankal from Kerela who worked at St Bonaventure in the United States died on the spot.
Another priest Fr Joseph Parekkatt was injured when the trio was on their way back to Colusa County from Clearlake.
Sources in the Catholic Church said that a graveyard is being prepared in the premises of the Cathedral for laying the body of the late Archbishop.
Arrangements to bring the mortal remains of the Archbishop are still pending.
There was no confirmation as to when the body will be released from California to India.
The delay in releasing the body was due to a holiday in the US, and various legal procedures have to be completed as it was a case of an accident.
The Archbishop had left Shillong for Rome in Italy on September 17 for the Ad Limina (meeting of Bishops/Archbishops from different Dioceses with the Pope once in five years).
After participating in the Ad Lamina, Archbishop Jala proceeded to the USA to attend another meeting of the International Commission for English Liturgy (ICEL) and to meet some of his priest friends.