Archbishop Abraham Viruthakulangara of Nagpur died while on a visit to New Delhi April 19, said a communique from Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India (CBCI). He was 75.
Archbishop Abraham came to New Delhi to join the Hindi Region Bishops’ Council annual meeting, hosted by Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto. He was accommodated at the CBCI center close to the Delhi Archbishop’s house.
Archbishop Abraham had planned to catch an April 19 early flight to Nagpur, as there was some urgent matter to be attended to. The night watchman was asked to wake him up around 4.30 a.m.
When the watchman did not succeed to get any response from Archbishop Abraham, he went and opened the unlocked room and found Archbishop Abraham lying in his bed motionless, the communique said.
The CBCI officials were informed and the body was immediately taken to Holy Family Hospital, where death at early morning hours (between 12 mid night and 1 a.m.) was confirmed.
The body was flown to Nagpur at night and funeral will be held at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral in Nagpur April 23.
Archbishop Viruthakulangara was born on June 5, 1943 in Kerala and ordained a priest on October 28, 1969.
He began serving as parish priest and District Superior of Sendhwa Parish of Khargon, Madhya Pradesh.
He became a bishop at the very early age of 34, when named bishop of Khandwa diocese in 1977.
After two decades in1998, he took charge as Metropolitan Archbishop of Nagpur.