Hundreds attend Father Vazhachira’s funeral
By : Matters India Reporter
Changanassery: After 40 days of painful waiting, the body of Carmelite priest Father Martin Vazhachira was laid to rest on Aug 4 at the Sacred Heart Monastery at Chethipuzha in Changanassery, Kerala.
Hundreds of mourners, including priests and nuns, braved heavy downpour to attend the funeral of the Carmelite of Mary Immaculate (CMI) priest, who was found dead in Scotland.
The funeral services started at 8 am at the monastery with CMI Thiruvananthapuram provincial Father Sebastian Chamathara leading the prayers. Also present was Bishop Joseph Srampickal, head of Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Great Britain.
The funeral Mass at 11 am was led by Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Tharayil of Changanacherry while Archbishop Joseph Perumthottam of Changanacherry officiated the burial rites at 12:15 pm. Retired Bishops Gratian Mundadan of Bijnor and Simon Stock Palathara of Jagdalpur assisted.
Father Vazhachira’s batchmate and friend Father Romeo Kallukalam delivered the homily.
Father Vazhachira’s body was brought to Kerala from Scotland on August 3 and taken to his family home in Pulincunnu near Changanacherry.
Heartbreaking scenes were seen at the Vazhachira family home when the priest’ aged father and siblings received the coffin. The coffin was kept sealed to preserve the embalmed body. Family members told Matters India that they informed the priest’s father about the death only two weeks ago.
The 33-year-old Fr. Martin’s body was found at a beach in Edinburgh, nearly 50 km away from St John the Baptist’s Church, Corstorphine, where he served as a pastor since October 2016. His body was since held by Scotland police to complete an autopsy and for further probe to determine the cause of death. The Scotland police have not yet released the details.