Condolences pour in as Meghalaya mourns Archbishop’s death, Fr John Madur takes charge as Diocesan Administrator

Shillong, Oct 12: Following the demise of Archbishop Most Rev Dominic Jala, the head of Catholic Church under Shillong Archdiocese, Fr John Madur has been elected as the Diocesan Administrator of the Archdiocese.

Fr Madur, who was earlier the Chancellor of the Shillong Arcdiocese, was elected by a group of priests who are members of the College of Consultors during an urgent meeting at Archbishop’s House in Shillong on Saturday.

After his election as the Diocese Administrator, Fr Madur also appointed Fr Jimmy Marngar as the Chancellor.

The election and appointment of Fr Madur and Fr Marngar will continue till a new Archbishop/ Bishop is chosen.

Archbishop Jala was also the Apostolic Administrator of Nongstoiñ Diocese.

At present, Fr Ephrem ïawphniaw is the Chancellor of Nongstoiñ Diocese.

However due to the demise of the Apostolic Administrator, the College of Consultors of Nongstoiñ Diocese also has to chose a Diocesan Administrator.

According to the Catholic Church rules, College of Consultors should meet to elect the Diocesan Administrator within 8 days.

Archbishop Jala (68) died in a car accident at Colusa county, Oakland, California in USA around 2.20pm on Thursday, (10.30am on Friday as per Indian Standard Time) along with another priest from Kerela, Fr Mathew Vellankal, the parish priest of St Bonaventure in USA.

Another priest, Fr Joseph Parekkatt, was critically injured in the accident.

Archbishop Jala was born on July 12, 1951 at Mawlai in the outskirt of Shillong city, and was been appointed as the Archbishop of Shillong on December 22, 1999. He was ordained as Archbishop on April 4, 2000.

Father Vellankal from Kerela, worked at St Isidore Parish in California since 2016. He was ordained as priest in 1987.

Meanwhile, condolences poured in from various quarters as people mourned the death of the Catholic Church leader.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief at the death of Archbishop Jala.

In a tweet, Modi wrote, “Anguished by the passing away of Most Rev. Dominic Jala, the Archbishop of Shillong. He will be remembered for his impeccable service to society and passion towards Meghalaya’s progress. May his soul rest in peace.”

Meghalaya chief minister, Conrad K Sangma, Assembly Speaker, Metbah Lyngdoh, Leader of Opposition, Mukul Sangma, Chief Adviser to the government, D D Lapang, and other representatives of various political parties also conveyed their condolences over the death of the Archbishop.

The North East India Regional Bishop’s Council, and other religious organizations, besides the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee, Friend’s Connection Shillong, and other organizations mourned the demise of the Archbishop of Shillong.