Barefoot priest’s body taken to Kerala

Funeral is scheduled for August 2 at Father Attummel’s native parish in Kerala

By Matters India Reporter

Bhopal: The body of Father Thomas Paul Attummel, who died in a major road accident in a central Indian town, was taken to Kerala, his home state, on July 30.

The 62-year-old priest of Sagar diocese in Madhya Pradesh state was killed when his vehicle collided with a stationery tractor the previous night at Ashok Nagar district, where he was based.

A special funeral Mass was offered at Cathedral Church in Sagar on July 30 and thousands of people associated with the priest attended it. They also paid homage to the barefoot priest, who served in the mission diocese for three-and-half-decades.

“His body is taken in an ambulance and eight priests are accompanying it,” Father Shaju Devasi, a Sagar diocesan priest, told Matters India.

The body was taken to Kerala following the desire expressed by his 90-year-old mother who could not reach Sagar to attend her son’s funeral, Father Devasi added. The funeral is scheduled for August 2 at his home parish at Chalil under Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese.

Father Attummel, principal of run St Thomas Senior Secondary School, died on the spot while two of the four Congregation of Mother Carmel nuns accompanying him in the car received wounds. A speeding Bolero car coming from behind dashed against their car that overturned after the collision.

“The left eye of the priest came out and a deep injury mark was found on his left side of the head leading to his death on the spot,” Father Devasi explained.

The two wounded nuns were shifted to a private hospital in Bhopal, the state capital, where their condition was reportedly out of danger. Earlier, they were admitted to a government hospital.

The priest and the nuns were returning from Guna Dourana, some 50 km from Ashok Nagar, after attending the feast of St Martha with St Martha Sisters when the accident occurred around 10 pm.

Father Attummel was born on April 1, 1955, at Thanneermukkom, Cherthala in the Alappuzha district of Kerala. He was among six sons and two daughters born to Paul and Mary. He and another brother became priests while a sister joined a convent.

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