The mortal remains of Rev Fr Thomas Thayil were laid to rest at noon (February 27, 2010) in the Salesian cemetery of Don Bosco Bhavan, Mannuthy (Kerala, South India). Several Salesian confreres from the Salesian provinces of South India (Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Tiruchi) made it to the funeral service. Among the dignitaries were Rev Fr Joseph Pulikkal (Provincial, East Africa) Rev Fr Stanislaus Swamikannu (Salesian Provincial, Chennai), Rev Fr Thomas Thottiyil (Provincial Economer, Hyderabad), and Rev Fr Thomas Anchukandam (Salesian Provincial, Bangalore). The assembly consisted of about 100 priests, other Salesian confreres, members of Salesian Family and other religious congregations, relatives and friends.

Early in the day, at about 04.15 a.m. the body of Fr Thayil was taken out from the mortuary of Aswini Hospital and brought to the Salesian aspirantate at Mannuthy. In the absence of the Bishops who are assembled for the Plenary Assembly of the CBCI at Shillong, the two Vicars General of the Archdiocese of Trichur led two parts of the funeral rite. The Holy Eucharist was presided over by Rev Fr Pulikkal (Salesian Provincial of East Africa). At the end of the Mass, Rev Fr Stanislaus and Rev Fr Thottiyil spoke on behalf of Chennai and Hyderabad Provinces. While the former spoke of the deceased as a religious without guile, the latter remembered Fr Thayil’s advice in word and deed, to do well whatever one was entrusted.

The final part of the funeral rites were led by Rev Fr Anchukandam. In the funeral procession, Salesian confreres carried the body up to the entrance of the church, and later the relatives carried the body. Towards the end of the service, a priest-representative of Fr Thayil’s family and the Provincials of East Africa and Bangalore recalled Fr Thayil’s contribution and thanked him. Fr Pulikkal read some of the condolence messages sent by confreres of East Africa. Fr Anchukandam praised Fr Thayil’s simple and unassuming nature, and acclaimed his valuable service on behalf of the future generations of Salesians.

The entire service had a festive look, expressing gratitude to God for the 82 years of faithful and inspiring Salesian religious and priestly life led by Fr Thomas Thayil.
Fr. Thomas Koonan SDB