Road accident kills barefoot priest, wounds nuns

Their car dashed against a stationery tractor trolley and was hit by a speeding vehicle from behind

By Matters India Reporter

Bhopal: A senior Catholic priest of Sagar diocese died on the spot and two nuns suffered injuries in a major road accident on July 29 in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

Father Thomas Paul Attummel, principal of run St Thomas Senior Secondary School, died when the car in which he was travelling collided with a parked tractor trolley and turned upside down. A speeding Bolero car coming from behind dashed against it at Ashok Nagar district, the priest’s current base.

Bishop Antony Chirayath of Sagar said the accident occurred around 10 pm on Saturday.

Father Attummel, 62, and four members of Congregation of Mother Carmel were returning from Guna Dourana after attending the feast of St Martha with St Martha Sisters when they met with the accident, Father Shaju Devasi, a Sagar diocesan priest told Matters India.

The senior priest, who sat in the front near the driver, suffered serious head injuries and died on the spot, said Father Devasi. One of the wounded nuns is said to be critical.

The priest and nuns were rushed to the nearest government hospital for immediate medical care. “We are on the way to the hospital and would update further details after reaching the hospital,” Father Devasi said around 12:30 am on July 30.

The damaged car
“His sudden departure is an immense loss for this missionary diocese,” said Bishop Chirayath in a condolence message. According to the prelate, Father Attummel was the fourth senior most priest of the diocese and was noted for his deep spirituality and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. “He spent hours before the Blessed Sacrament. He walked barefoot, recited countless rosaries daily. Rosary beads were always in his hands,” the bishop recalled.

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 of Chalil parish under Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese. He and another became priests and a sister became a nun.

He had his early education at Government School, Thanneermukkom and St. Mathews High School, Kannamkara. He joined Sacred Heart Minor Seminary at Thrikkakkara and came to Nagpur in Maharashtra to study philosophy and theology at St Charles Seminary.

He was ordained a priest for Sagar Syro-Malabar diocese on April 24, 1982, by Carmelites of Mary Immaculate Bishop Clemens Thottungal.

After his ordination he served Sagar diocese in various capacities – parish priest, diocesan procurator and manager of schools and healthcare centers.

Fr. Thomas served as secretary of Madhya Pradesh Regional Education Commission from 2012 to 2017, director of seminarians from 1985 to 1993, diocesan education director from 1995 to 200 and 2006 to 2012.

He served as diocesan consulter during 1990-1995 and 2009-2011. He was the parish priest of San Thome Church and manager of St. Thomas Senior Secondary School, Ashoknagar, at the time of his death.

Father Attummel is survived by his aged mother, brothers and sisters and relatives and friends.

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34 thoughts on “Road accident kills barefoot priest, wounds nuns

  1. May the Lord show kindness towards him and accept him in His heavenly abode with the company of saints.

  2. I am from his parish. We always noted his simplicity in life and humility in talking. Joseph Vadappuram

  3. I am shocked to hear the departure of Fr. Thomas. He was not only a devoted priest but also a great counsellor and a genuine human being. Ever ready to help others and pray for their causes unceasingly. I personally have asked him for his interventional prayers on many occasions. May Lord grant him eternal peace . His absence would be felt for a very long time. RIP.

  4. It’s very sad….. why do God always take the good soul??? May his soul rest in peace 😢I ll miss my teacher Father Thomas

  5. My heart-felt condolences to all in Sagar Diocese! My sincere prayers for the repose of his soul and for the recovery of the sisters injured!! Fr. Prasad Kuzhively SVD, Jaipur.

  6. May the departed soul rest in peace.
    We pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. Fr Antony Rodrigues Varanasi.

  7. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let your perpetual light shine upon Father Thomas Paul Attummel. Wishing the other affected members, a speedy recovery. God bless.

  8. Father Thomas was good human being ever ready to help anybody. May God bless him with eternal life.

  9. May his soul rest in peace. Pray the injured sisters recover soon. Blessed Mary please intercede for the soul of Fr. Thomas and for courage to the injured .Condolences to the Bishop and the clergy

  10. We pray for him, and for his aged mother and other family members and for the diocese. Thanks for the edifying details of his life. Fr Joe Mannath SDB, National Secretary, CRI

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