Died in Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Delhi on 7th April 2013.

Born: 18-05-1960 in Suriyankottai, Sivagangai Dist.,
Entered: 15-07-1981\Tamil Nadu
Ordained: 28-12-1994      Final Vows: 19-08-2003

The paschal mystery of passion, death and resurrection was literally true for Fr. Santiago during the Lenten–Easter season this year. On Maundy Thursday (28 March 2013) night when all of us were commemorating the agony which Jesus went through in the garden of Gethsemane in the form of vigil and Eucharistic adoration, Santiago was having heart attack which he didn’t recognize at that time, but experienced as severe burning sensation on his chest; he suffered it through the night. After a preliminary visit to a doctor in the morning at Ara where he is the Headmaster of the Catholic High School, he had ECG done and was advised to rush to Patna. So, on Good Friday in the afternoon he arrived at the Heart Hospital, Patna and was immediately taken into the ICCU. Although on Holy Saturday his condition showed marginal improvement, on Easter Sunday night, his BP dipped low. On Easter Monday evening he was taken to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Delhi. On Easter Wednesday morning he suffered a stroke and went into coma. Today, on the last day of Easter Octave (7 April 2013) he was declared dead for this world and he rose for new life in heaven at 12.25 pm.

Along with Santiago, we the members of Patna Province, ecclesial family in this part of Bihar, the staff, students and their parents as well as the parishoners of Ara, and above all his dear family members have also been participating in the mystery of passion and death for the past ten days as Santiago struggled through in hospitals. Today, our hearts are broken and we are overwhelmed by grief. We are not able to experience resurrection just now. We seem to be like the disciples on their road to Emmaus (Lk 24:13-35), unable to experience the risen Lord, though He is walking with us, by our side. We believe that slowly He will open our eyes and enflame our hearts (v.31-32).

On the first Sunday of this Lenten season (17 February 2013), Fr. Jose Kaiprampatt, S.J. died of a massive heart attack. On 28 December 2012 Fr. Jose Madathezhath of the clergy of Buxar diocese died of a heart attack which he suffered ten days before. Thus, not only the Patna Province of the Society of Jesus but the ecclesial family in this part of Bihar is indeed participating in the paschal mystery during this Year of Faith in a real and tangible manner.

After his ordination in 1994, Fr. Santiago worked in two places in two different ministries, and in both, first as an assistant and then as the in-charge. He was in formation ministry for six years in Bangalore, first as Asst. Director at our Candidates’ House, Xavier Hall from 1995 to 1997 and then as Director from 1997 to 2001. Then he came into education ministry as Asst. Headmaster of Catholic High School, Ara, working from 2001 to 2008 and took over as Headmaster in 2008. His twelve years in education ministry at Ara have been marked by creative fidelity as is evidenced by the recognition that the Bihar Secondary Examination Board conferred on the Catholic High School, Ara with the CERTIFICATE OF HONOUR and a shield for the best result in Matric in the District (of Bhojpur) for the eighth consecutive year (in 2012).

Fr. Santiago was a man of quiet service, unflinching loyalty, utmost dedication and hard work. May Jesus, whom he served so faithfully on this earth and who granted him the favour of an intimate participation in His paschal mystery, receive him for eternal reward in heaven.

We miss you Santiago, we miss your quiet but endearing smile …….

(All members of Patna Province should offer one mass for the repose of his soul and members of Ara community two masses)

Funeral: 9 April at 3.30 pm; XTTI, Patna.

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