Canadian parish mourns Indian priest’s death
Terrace: A Catholic parish in Canada’s British Columbia on September 18 held a requiem Mass for an Indian priest, who had won people’s heart with warm personality and pastoral skills.
Father Xavier Royappan died on September 12 after suffering a stroke three days earlier.
The priest, who was pastor of the Sacred Heart Parish in Terrace for the past two years, celebrated the silver jubilee of his ordination on April 23.
Terrace is a city on the Skeena River in British Columbia and the parish comes under the diocese of Prince George.
Father Royappan’s body will be sent back to India after a funeral Mass on September 25 at Christ the Redeemer in West Vancouver where he had served earlier, reports terracestandard.com.
Father Royappan served Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church after coming to Canada from India where he was born and raised.
“We’re all thankful to have had him in our life,” said parish assistant Gorette Pires. “He’ll be greatly missed.”
Father Xavier, as everyone called him, came to Terrace for a change from the big city and really liked that the city that he had found very peaceful and a friendly community, said Pires.
He liked the fact that everybody knew his name, and people would say ‘hi Father Xavier,’ which he was not used to hearing after being in a larger populated city like West Vancouver, she added.
Father Xavier studied for a time in Rome, and had lots of cool stories about the city, said Pires.
“He was a very gifted preacher,” said Pires. “Everybody in the church liked him, he was well-liked by everybody.”
She said the priest was “very touched” when the Terrace parish organized a big celebration for his silver jubilee.