An Indian priest in southern India was found dead in the rectory on January 25. He was 56.
Father Mathew Chethikalam, a member of Carmelite of Mary Immaculate (CMI), was the vicar of Saint Nicholas Church at Karumady in Alappuzha district of the south Indian state of Kerala.
He was found dead when he was missing for the morning prayer after parishioners searched for him.
The priest was also the manager of Saint Nicholas Lower Primary School.
According to police, the priest was ill and there was no foul play or mysteries in the death.
After the police investigation, his body was transferred to Chethippuzha, a locality in Changanassery city in Kerala.
The funeral is scheduled for January 26 afternoon at Chambakkulam Gagultha Cemetery.
Father Chethikalam was born on April 1, 1965, at Chethikalam Chekkudikadu under Laudes Matha Pacha parish in the archdiocese of Changanacherry.
He took his first vow on March 19, 1985, as a member of CMI under St. Joseph Province of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He was ordained a priest on December 27, 1994.
The CMI is the first indigenous religious congregation in the Catholic Church of India. Fathers Thomas Palackal, Thomas Porukara, and Saint Kuriakose Chavara founded the Kerala-based congregation.
In the beginning, the congregation was known as Servants of Mary Immaculate. The CMI priests work in various parts of India and abroad.
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